Nothing new under the sun

Thursday, 4 Nov 2010

Chris Foresman:

We did find (quite by accident) that Apple may have more reasons behind not installing Flash by default other than the stated reason of ensuring that users always have the most up-to-date version. Having Flash installed can cut battery runtime considerably – as much as 33 percent in our testing. With a handful of websites loaded in Safari, Flash-based ads kept the CPU running far more than seemed necessary, and the best time I recorded with Flash installed was just 4 hours. After deleting Flash, however, the MacBook Air ran for 6:02 – with the exact same set of websites reloaded in Safari, and with static ads replacing the CPU-sucking Flash versions.

That sure is nice. But it requires animated ads to be synonymous with Flash ads.

That may currently be the case. But did the rise of Bayesian spam filters or protocols such as SPF “solve” spam? They were both promised to. Instead they were merely a brief reprieve until spammers caught up. So too will web advertisers in a world with <canvas> and CSS animations – technologies backed by Apple themselves.

Flash may wane but animated ads will rise again. And their new form will not be confined primarily to one side-band delivery technology, but will instead ride on the same technologies as primary web content. Consequently these ads will be harder to filter out or confine.

The battery life savings is temporary, and the web is set to get messier.

Via John Gruber.