On January 27th, Steve Jobs announced the new Apple iPad to the world. The iPad is a 9.5 inch tall, 1/2 inch thin, multi-touch tablet device that allows users to "experience" the web, e-mail, photos, videos, music, e-books, and more, like never before. At the end of his announcement, Jobs referred to the iPad as "our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price". We applaud Apple for announcing such an innovative device that will allow you to literally hold the Internet in your hands!

Without going into great detail as to why we think the iPad is such a big deal, we do want to express that we believe the iPad will set the new standard for how users interact with the Internet. In his address, Jobs explained that the iPad fits into a "3rd category" between a laptop and a smartphone. In the iPad promo video, Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Design at Apple says "I don't have to change myself to fit the product, it fits me". Then later in the video he says, "In many ways this (iPad) defines our vision and our sense of what's next".

With this in mind, it is critical to understand how the Internet will work on the iPad. Apple has made the decision not to support Flash on the iPad, just as they do not support Flash on the iPhone. Days after his public announcement to the world, Steve Jobs held a Town Hall style meeting for his employees at Apple HQ. During the meeting he fielded questions from his employees about the iPad and the future of Apple. Wired Magazine reported the following on how Jobs explained why Apple will not support Flash on the iPad.

And the absence of Adobe Flash support on the iPhone for three years and counting, and now on the iPad, is either celebrated by users as a poke in the eye of one of the web’s most dextrous tools, or the most over-rated and overused crutch for decent design.

Jobs, characteristically, did not mince words as he spoke to the assembled, according to a person who was there who could not be named because this person is not authorized by Apple to speak with the press . . .

About Adobe: They are lazy, Jobs says. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it . . .  Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML 5.

There you have it. On a number of levels, the Church Plant Media team agrees with Apple. This news just solidifies our commitment to design standards-based web sites instead of Flash-based web sites.

To dig a bit deeper into the future of web standards, Wired Magazine discusses Apple and HTML 5 in another article. They share that the ambition of HTML 5 is "to bring the web to maturity as a full-fledged application platform, a level playing field where video, sound, images and animations are all standardized". Wired goes on to explain the outcome of a standards-based web site.

The result is a considerably leaner page than you would see were it written in HTML 4 — gone are the lengthy embed and object tags for video content, and sophisticated animations happen without Flash, JavaScript or other auxiliary tools. And that means the page loads faster and gobbles up less memory in the browser . . .  HTML 5 represents the biggest leap forward in web standards since the current (4.01) specification, which was completed in September 1999.

In other news, John Gruber, a full-time technology blogger, reported in a recent blog post that Flash is the “leading source of application crashes on Mac OS X”. Gruber then provides his source for this claim and he goes on to share why the world may never see a Flash plugin for the iPhone (or the iPad).

Here’s the deal. On stage at the WWDC 2009 keynote address last June, Apple senior vice president of software engineering Bertrand Serlet was explaining the new web content plugin mechanism for Safari in Snow Leopard . . .

Serlet explained that, based on data from the Crash Reporter application built into Mac OS X — the thing that asks if you’d like to send crash data to Apple after a crash — the most frequent cause of crashes across all of Mac OS X are (or at least were, pre-Snow Leopard) “plugins”. Serlet didn’t name any specific guilty plugins. Just “plugins”. But during the week at WWDC, I confirmed with several sources at Apple who are familiar with the aggregate Crash Reporter data, and they confirmed that “plugins” was a euphemism for “Flash”.

In other words, in Apple’s giant pile of aggregate crash reports — from all app crashes on all Macs from all users who click the button to send these reports to Apple — Flash accounts for more of them than anything else.

In closing, we want to communicate to our readers that we are committed to developing sites using standards-based, open-source technology, and we will not use a proprietary technology like Flash as the foundation for our web sites. We are also very excited to experience current Church Plant Media web sites on the iPad!

If you would like to learn more about the standards-based websites that Church Plant Media develops, feel free to give our Partnership Director, Kevin Giddings, a call at: (800) 409-6631 x 1.