Popular social networking site Facebook is about to join the list of iPad-ready websites. Some videos now play when visiting the site from Mobile Safari on the iPad, whereas previously the user was prompted to install Adobe Flash.
Flash is not welcome on Apple devices, as CEO Steve Jobs has made clear time and time again. Facebook's shift away from Flash video follows numerous other major web sites including YouTube, Flickr, CNN and Vimeo. Currently when selecting a video to play on Facebook, the iPad plays the MP4 video directly and reverts to full screen.
The folks over at ReadWriteWeb have determined that Facebook has been transcoding uploaded videos to MP4 and has yet to implement a full HTML5 inline solution for playing videos. These changes are in the initial stages of being rolled out and have not been applied to all videos quite yet.
Some media outlets are depending heavily on their iPad apps instead of converting entire websites to HTML5 as Apple desires. MLB.com for example will direct iPad users to an app for video watching.
Adobe recently announced it was abandoning investment in its CS5 Packager application which would allow developers to make iPad and iPhone apps using Flash tools. Adobe product manager for Flash developer relations Mike Chambers writes:
“The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross-browser, platform and device development. This is the exact opposite of what Apple wants. They want to tie developers down to their platform, and restrict their options to make it difficult for developers to target other platforms.”