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To quote Steve Jobs, iPad is “the best browsing experience you’ve ever had”. A bold claim, definitely. But coming from a guy who knows his business well, his claim should be taken at face value. Or shouldn’t.

Let’s go over it again, iPad offers to beat everyone’s ‘best’ browsing experience. Best, as in the bestest best experience with web browsing. Well, anyone has had a bad day with web browsing. Sometimes, even the most powerful devices in the market can’t do as well as expected. So will this sleek, .5 inch thick iPod-Touch-on-steroids device give you the best one you will ever have?

Apparently, it can.

Web browsing experience with iPad is incomparable with other devices out there. It is simply incredible. (Dare we say ‘amazing’?).

Yes, it definitely is amazing. Loading websites is fluid, smooth, and fast. With a display screen that offers out of this world touch response, there are so many things you can do. Pinch sections of websites to zoom, scroll down to go to the bottom of the site, display the website in landscape or portrait display – think of anything you want to do with the website and you can do it with an iPad. All using just your finges. It is like discovering web browsing for the first time.

To top these off, you also have the usual perks you get from surfing the web with other personal computing devices like bookmarks bar, tab grid, and toolbar drop downs – all with marked, even spectacular improvement. But do all these give you “the best browsing experience you’ve ever had”? Well, not exactly.

The main drawback with browsing the internet with iPad – in fact, one of the main things people gripe about iPad in general – is that it does not support Flash, a web standard. Nearly all websites in the world use Flash to seamlessly insert rich media into the webpage. Rich media covers anything and everything from audio and video files, to online games. Entire websites are even made using Flash. Nearly all websites use it. Where there are video files or audio files in the website, there is Flash being used in there somewhere. And since iPad does not support Flash, and may not even consider using Flash, ever, this creates a huge dent in the web browsing experience that can be had with iPad. And while Apple has been quite successful in trying to replace Flash with its own HTML5, the websites that support this tool are probably fewer than 1% of all websites on the web.

So you see, there’s a huge problem. Even when Apple has taken web browsing to a newer level and even when Apple ensured that the device has nearly everything that is needed to enhance the experience of browsing the web, end users may still get a generally bumpy experience when surfing online. For an end user like you, you may never expect a perfect visit to many many websites. Certain elements of many websites may not work. And even if they do, they may not work well. If you love visiting websites that are fully supported with Flash, like HBO, for example, you may find that the website will not work on the iPad.

Quite frankly, this love-hate relationship with Flash is a major blow in the browsing experience offered by iPad. Even when surfing with Safari is weirdly brilliant, not being able to load some of websites’ contents may prove to be a very frustrating experience.

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