We argued loudly, passionately, deployed logic and reason, and provided specific technical details.
Naturally, we were ignored.
Sure, Flash was only on a few high end devices now, but the BBC were confident that Flash would be soon be available on all Android devices and our perceived problems would evaporate.
Naturally, reality decided to ignore their wishful thinking.
Two years and one week after the BBC announced its Flash for Android strategy, Adobe announced it was killing Flash for Android.
High end Android devices like the Nexus – and any device running Android 4.1 would be incapable of running Flash. So there was no way to use iPlayer.
For those asking about Nexus 7 / Jelly Bean 4.1 – we are testing the app and will be releasing an update soon. Thanks for your patience.
— BBC iPlayer (@BBCiPlayer) August 13, 2012
This failure is exactly what happens when you choose vendor driven proprietary “solutions” rather than established and open standards.
This embarrassing turn of events is exactly what happens when you refuse to listen to the geeks making logical arguments.
This monumental cock-up over the Olympics is exactly what happens when you refuse to engage with reality and let prejudice drive your decision making process.
Here are the facts:
- Most Android devices cannot use the Flash based iPlayer app.
- Mobile Flash is now dead for future phones and tablets.
- Android devices can play exactly the same files as those served to the iPhone via iPlayer
So why not just serve up the iPhone’s MP4 files to any device which can play them? The BBC refuse to answer that simple question.
Want to know something funny? I was blogging about how to deliver iPlayer’s iPhone streams to other models of mobile in March 2008!
Plus ça change.
We can only guess what shenanigans were involved with the BBC’s original decision to bet the Android farm on Flash.
Perhaps now our BBC will pay more attention to the geeks who care so much about it.