Fiplab are at it again with their handy programming skills making our mac lives just that little bit easier. This time they introduce Flash Block a menu bar app for easily toggling the flash browser plug-in on and off.
Available from the App Store, there are 2 default options for blocking the battery and CPU sucking entity that is flash on our Mac laptops.
1. Auto Kill Flash (always detects and disables Flash) 2. Kill Active Flash (only disables currently loaded Flash plug-ins - they will reappear if you refresh the page)
Getting down to testing
At the time of writing I'm using flash 11,0,1,98 installed as I run my mac book pro in 64 bit mode whenever possible. Installation is the standard seamless affair that we come to expect from the Apple store. The app itself is 69p from the apple store that I didn't realise in my rush to complete this review and then realising that there is a Flash Block extension readily from the Mozilla developers
Getting down to the brass tacks of it all we enabled flash auto kill and first tried to goto some of sites that are a little flash heavy, starting out with Justin.TV which is nothing but flash. Behold the famous error that plagues many a mac user.
Realising this might might be a browser restart issue, I fired up a copy of Chrome and went to the same URL to see what would happen. Going over to Justin.TV again resulted in a warning about pages becoming unresponsive. No matter what combination of clicks and websites we were stonewalled with unresponsive pages error messages. Time for a browser restart.
Lo and behold there was a FireFox 6.01 update waiting in the wings, after an install we are back up and running.
How Does It Feel?
Quite honestly, even though it looks like at times that the Flash plugin has crashed... Amazing. The whole swiping and gestures mechanism of the mac actually feels fluid and taking up the 2.24 ghz of my cpu rather than what I would class as sluggish performance.
It does indeed block flash but I can't tell at the moment how effective it is due to apparent warnings of flash crashing. Still that aside it has made the system feel more responsive.
Is it worth the 69p investment? Well that remains to be seen if they can keep up with the releases and bug fixes also keeping in tune with whatever Adobe presents us in the future.
As a first we aren't going to give this a rating YET. Check back soon as we will be testing this for a week and reviewing this review again. Also a copy of the review has been sent to FipLab to see if they can help us out with our issues.
The good people at FipLab got in touch with us about our issues (which we admit we wouldn't be at all surprsied if this was a one time issue due to this mac having NEVER been formatted and re installed. We are talking upgrades all the way from Lion)
"We've tested on three macs running Lion and haven't had any of those 'crashing' messages. When Flash Block is enabled, there should just be a blank white space where the flash would have been loaded.
We aren't using the beta version of Flash, so we will try testing again after upgrading to see if Adobe have changed anything that causes a conflict with our app."
Thanks for the reply FipLab and let us know if we can help!