updated 11:35 am EDT, Mon June 16, 2008
Apple SproutCore debut
While Flash is already able to provide more advanced functions, this is said to require running code in a plug-in distinct from browsers; it is similarly a proprietary Adobe format, meaning that companies like Apple must wait for versions to appear for different platforms. Most famously the company has complained about the lack of a full-function plug-in that nevertheless addresses the power needs of the iPhone.
Apple has reportedly contributed significantly to SproutCore development in recent months, with new functions and increased performance. The technology is in fact said to form a key component of its MobileMe service, allowing basic online apps that function across multiple platforms. This may eventually expand to more complex programs, however, including iWork software that would substitute for local copies. It is speculated that third-party companies may be invited to build their own MobileMe apps, whether as a default part of the service, or for a separate fee.