It’s annoying that the iPhone and iPad don’t support Flash but according to Gawker, when Steve Jobs went to see The Wall Street Journal, he claimed the iPad’s battery performance would be degraded from 10 hours to 1.5 hours if it had to spend its CPU cycles decoding Flash. We’ll probably never know how Flash affects the iPad and iPhone but a recent video (below) from an Adobe Systems engineer, showing Flash Player 10.1 on a Nexus One, has caused a bit of a stir.
The Adobe engineer‘s Nexus One video clearly shows the Nexus One’s battery draining rather quickly and some eagle-eyed Vimeo commenters picked up on it. According to the engineer, the video was edited, “it’s a shortcut movie,” which would explain the battery levels going down so quickly. But if you look closely you’ll notice that the Nexus One’s clock seems to be showing a short amount of time passing and the video doesn’t look very edited.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why the Nexus One’s battery could have drained so quickly, including the inability of the battery meter to accurately display battery life. What’s odd though is that in another, more official, Adobe demo (below) featuring a Nexus One, the battery meter is also almost empty. Now we’re not saying that these two videos mean that Flash is a battery hog but we do wonder why Adobe doesn’t charge its phones up before it films them.
Update: In response to comments regarding Flash’s effect on battery life, Adobe sent us a video (below) showing a Nexus One playing a video on YouTube. Adobe states in its blog that the Nexus One “lasts for some 17 minutes with little effect on the battery indicator, and just to ensure fairness I have included the battery usage chart data from the Android OS. Our own tests show that video can be played for well over 3 hours over Wi-Fi from YouTube in H.264 (Baseline 1.2).”