I’m not a big fan of this anti-Flash movement. I think it has been sensationalized because everyone in the media loves a good battle. Now that Steve Jobs has come out punching, it’s the cool thing to bash. Don’t get me wrong, I think Flash is over-used, and is certainly more resource intensive than it should be… but the “battle” is blown out of proportion.
What I do like, however, is statistics. And this is a pretty damning one.
While benchmarking the new 2010 Macbook Air, Ars Technica found that web browsing without the Flash plugin installed resulted in 2 more hours of battery life. That’s a big deal. It’s the numerous Flash web banners that load on websites, sucking up your valuable CPU cycles and burning through your battery. As I was reading the Ars Technica story, I noticed two animated banners running. My only goal is to read static text, not watch a video or listen to audio.
Uninstalling Flash isn’t the solution, at least not until alternatives like HTML5 have put the nail in the coffin. A great thing you can do, however, is install a browser plugin that will keep Flash elements from loading until you need them. Flashblock (for Chrome, for Firefox) and ClickToFlash (for Safari) should help you get those 2 extra hours out of your battery.