Steve Jobs doesn't like Flash, and his feud with Adobe has made more than a few recent headlines. Given that he's also no fan of Google these days, it's probably fitting that the search giant is integrating the Flash plug-in directly into its Chrome browser.
As Jobs will reportedly tell anyone willing to listen, Flash is a memory hog, it crashes browsers, and it has security issues. Apple's chief is throwing his weight behind HTML 5, and his refusal to support Flash on the iPad may or may not open the door for a tablet competitor like HP's forthcoming Slate, which will run the Adobe software.
By bundling Flash with Chrome, Google is taking, shall we say, a different approach, one that it expects will remove some of the nuisances and dangers Jobs has been complaining about. Chrome users won't have to install the Flash Player, and they'll automatically receive updates. "This eliminates the need to manually download separate updates and reduces the security risk of using outdated versions," said Google VP of engineering Linus Upson on the Chrome blog Tuesday. "With Adobe's help," he added, "we plan to further protect users by extending Chrome's ‘sandbox' to Web pages with Flash content."
Over on the Flash blog, Paul Betlem, senior director of Flash Player engineering, said that Adobe expects the revamped API will be browser-neutral, offer better plug-in performance, and allow for tighter integration with browsers, and improved security.
"Our hope," said Betlem, "is that the robust integration between Chrome and Flash Player will serve as a showcase for more consistent, seamless, and efficient Web browsing experiences. We feel that this significant effort by both Google and Adobe will directly improve the speed of innovation and move the Web forward."