Bugs, and plenty of ‘em—that’s the gist of a blog note by an Adobe senior product manager titled “Lion Tamers,” which links to a list of known Adobe product issues with Apple’s latest and greatest. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion just hit the airwaves Wednesday, and I mean literally—the only way to get a copy is by downloading it via Apple’s Mac App Store, or by purchasing a new Mac preloaded with it.
“The cat is out of the bag!” jokes Adobe’s Jody Rogers in the post. “Mac OS X 10.7 aka Lion is roaming the streets and you brave Mac IT admins have been deemed Lion Tamers by the public at large. Or at least by me. I’ve managed a few OS compatibility assessments in my past and it is no easy task to gather up all the necessary info from the software publishers that are used in your environment, run/coordinate testing, etc.”
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It’s no secret Apple and Adobe haven’t been bosom buddies the past few years. Steve Jobs took public umbrage with Adobe in early 2010, calling the company “lazy,” according to Wired, and stating that Apple didn’t support Flash because “it is so buggy.” Added Jobs: “Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash.” And a few months later Jobs posted a letter on Apple’s website titled “Thoughts on Flash” that outlined Apple’s decision to skip support for Flash on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen fired back the following day, telling the Wall Street Journal “If Flash is the number one reason that Macs crash, which I’m not aware of, it has as much to do with the Apple operating system.”
According to Adobe’s Mac OS X Lion (v10.7) compatibility list, the biggest Adobe/Lion snafus lie with Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5, Adobe Flash Builder 4.5, Flash Catalyst CS5, Flash Builder 4, Adobe Reader, the Acrobat Safari plug-in and Adobe Drive 2 and 2.1. If you’re running any of the above, Adobe actually recommends against upgrading to Lion.
Adobe initially intimated Flash player hardware acceleration might have been disabled in Lion (to account for inexplicable “high CPU activity”), but has since noted “the final release of Mac OS X Lion (10.7) provides the same support for Flash hardware video acceleration as Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6).” That said, I can personally attest to some Flash weirdness in either Lion, or perhaps just Safari version 5.1 (it’s also available for Snow Leopard) that occasionally thwarts Flash apps from loading properly in a web page, though a refresh usually clears this.
The thing is, Adobe’s taken an awkward “wait and see” approach to Lion, and the company’s position on supporting Lion’s new features is strangely ambivalent. On it’s “known issues” page, Adobe admits that “Lion has some exciting new features such as Autosave, Restore, Versioning, Full Screen Mode, and more multi-touch gestures,” but writes that “[since] many of these features require new code in order to work properly, Adobe will investigate which ones make sense to our customers for inclusion in future versions of our products.”
Investigate “for inclusion in future versions”? Really Adobe? What happened to the part about “working closely together” with Apple to make this stuff available at or around Lion’s launch? Without (if it’s not offered as a free update) sticking customers with upgrade costs if they simply want to upgrade to the latest Apple operating system? Even Apple managed to update its rather long-in-the-tooth iWork ’09 suite on Wednesday with complete Lion “Full Screen, Resume, Auto Save and Versions” support.