Flash is Broken on the Mac: The Flash Wall of Shame
Flash on the Mac is broken
Steve Jobs is now famously purported to have called Flash a “CPU hog” and “old technology”, something I’d have to agree with based on my experience. Flash is simply broken on the Mac, there is just no denying it. I don’t know what the problem is and I’m not going to pretend to know, but I do know that it makes for a generally miserable experience to encounter a Flash website when you’re on a Mac.
Apple’s problems with the Adobe Flash plugin have been in tech news a lot recently, so we’re going to show what the complaints are about. It doesn’t matter how good your browser is, the Flash plugin will probably screw it up by taking over every possible CPU cycle. Load a Flash-based site and your MacBook Pro will sound like it’s preparing to enter Earths orbit. This is what people are complaining about, and this is exactly why Apple doesn’t want Flash on their touch devices.
I don’t believe you, Flash on the Mac is beautifully written and a wonderful compliment to any web browser, it’s full of soft flowers and will bake you cakes and tuck you into bed, all while only using 1% of CPU when running 600 YouTube Videos!
I wish! If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to meltdown your Mac browser with some Flash, check out BB 2.0, the collaborative music project, where you’re supposed to play various YouTube videos to create your own music… fancy idea but I can’t play more than 8 videos at a time on my Mac without whatever browser becoming totally unresponsive, with Firefox fairing the worst and requiring a Forced Quit to return to sanity (for the record, I can play them all on a relatively weak Windows Netbook next to me, in any browser).
Ok enough is enough, what can I do as a Mac user?
Other than voicing your complaints (Adobe must be listening somewhere, and hopefully addressing the problem), I think the best thing for Mac users who are fed up with Flash’s performance is to simply add a Flash blocker to their web browser. Here’s a few options to consider:
FlashBlock for Firefox
BashFlash for Chrome
ClickToFlash for Safari
Further reading on the Flash in Mac OS X and iPad/iPhone/iPod debacle:
Daring Fireball: Apple, Adobe, and Flash
And is there any hope for the future? Well, maybe in an Flash-free world, thanks to the iPad:
Wired: How the iPad is reshaping the internet without Flash
[ Note ] To our knowledge, the above images are not photoshopped, these are real screenshots of Flash freakouts in Mac OS X on various browsers, some from our own OS X Daily staff, reader submissions, forum rants, and web searches. We have personally confirmed many of the Flash problems and we encourage you to verify it yourself by getting on a Mac and loading any Flash intensive site like this, or simply and sadly going to YouTube and playing a video while you have the Activity Monitor open.
Dear Adobe, it may already be too late, but fix Flash on the Mac!