All posts in Hours

MacBook Air Battery Life Drops Two Hours with Adobe Flash in Use

MacBook Air

Is it possible that Apple knew what it was doing when it excluded Adobe Flash from being preinstalled in the latest MacBook Air models? A new report claims that the controversial Flash technology can kill battery life on the slim new laptops by as much as two hours.

AppleInsider is reporting that leaving Adobe Flash off of your new MacBook Air can extend the battery life by as much as two hours. According to Ars Technica, one of the new models can happily surf the web via Safari for a full six hours without Adobe Flash installed — but once the same sites are visited with Flash active, the battery life drops by a full third, to only four hours.

“Flash-based ads kept the CPU running far more than seemed necessary,” wrote Chris Foreman after conducting the tests for Ars Technica. AppleInsider notes that without Flash installed, websites generally display static ads where the Flash content should be, “erasing the need for constant processing power demanded by the Flash plug-in’s rendering engine.”

The results likely come as no surprise to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has remained adamant about keeping Adobe Flash technology off of the company’s iOS devices, citing security issues as well as performance and most importantly, battery life.

Apple wasn’t the first to unbundle Adobe Flash from their computers — Microsoft made that move with the launch of Windows Vista in 2007, although AppleInsider notes this “was likely due to the company’s efforts to push its rival Silverlight plug-in.”

As a result, the audience for Flash-based content has dwindled, a particularly disturbing trend for publisher Adobe since Apple is selling far more iOS devices than they are Macs. Currently, the only way to play Flash content on an iOS device is through a third-party app such as Skyfire, which uses its own servers to convert Flash on the fly to HTML5 using Mobile Safari — but that method precludes interactive uses for Flash such as games.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Apple TV Glitch Makes Rentals Last Longer Than 24 Hours

Update: iLounge now reports that this may not work as the 24-hour rental trigger is automatically invoked when streaming to the Apple TV.

Even though the new Apple TV is a streaming-only device, you can still rent and watch TV shows and movies right from within iTunes. But, as MacRumors points out, Apple may not have thought this whole streaming-only plan out thoroughly because you can now rent shows and movies without abiding by the 24-hour rental policy that is standard in iTunes rentals.

Rentals used to work by actually moving the video files around to the different devices you wanted to watch them on within a 30-day period. Once you start watching these videos, however, the 24-hour countdown begins before you’ll no longer be able to watch the rented content. Because the Apple TV doesn’t have storage for moving videos over to, these rentals play directly from your iTunes library on your Home Sharing network.

This is where the bug comes in. By doing the following 3 steps, you can have 30-day rentals instead of 24-hour rentals:

1. Rent and download a TV show or movie from iTunes on your computer, but don’t open or play it as this will start the 24-hour counter

2. Start playing the video on your Apple TV. You’ll notice you get no warnings about the 24-hour rental.

3. When you check on iTunes, you will notice that you still have “29+ days remaining” on the video file.

MacRumors does note that because the Apple TV hasn’t been out for 30-days, it’s hard to test whether or not this bug will work long term, but you may still be able to watch your rentals multiple times over multiple days, just as long as you don’t trip the 24-hour counter in iTunes. Plus, there’s no doubt that Apple will soon issue an updates that resolves this issue in either iTunes or the Apple TV. So don’t expect it to work forever.


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.