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Adobe: iPhone Flash in early development

updated 10:00 am EDT, Tue June 17, 2008

Adobe on iPhone Flash

An iPhone version of Adobe's ubiquitous Flash plug-in is still early into development, the company has admitted. In an earnings call for Adobe's second financial quarter, CEO Shantanu Narayen has responded to questions on if and when Flash will be ready for the iPhone 3G, which itself is only expected to ship on July 11th. Apple has long blocked the normal desktop version of Flash from the iPhone, insisting that it consumes too much battery power.

"With respect to the iPhone, we are working on it," says Narayen. "We have a version that's working on the [SDK] emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work. So we are pleased with the internal progress that we've made to date."

Apple has meanwhile begun parallel development with SproutCore, a JavaScript framework that my provide functionality similar to Flash. The latter standard is still likely to be needed however, as it is used on many popular media-heavy websites.

by MacNN Staff





  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Mac OS X version

    ... is anything but normal. Hope Adobe finally will be able to make flash plugin that relies on Apple's technologies, not their own.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As long as it remains an optional thing (but I thought Apple's SDK didn't allow plug-ins and such?). I hope Apple NEVER makes is a standard install of the iPhone or touch with no way to disable it.

  1. dogzilla

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Only Video

    The only real use for Flash I can see is for streaming video deployment. Having fought this battle, I can attest that Flash video is far and away the best solution for streaming live and on-demand video if you're concerned about cross-platform accessibility, especially with the new support for h.264 streams.

    However, I've only seen one single other site that incorporates Flash in any useful way. Outside of and video, I have absolutely zero use for Flash, and much prefer SproutCore/Scriptaculous/JQuery for media-rich websites.

  1. sribe

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple has blocked the desktop version??? I'm pretty sure that neither the Intel nor the PPC binary will work on the iPhone. In fact, I bet even a recompile targeting the iPhone processor would not work because I bet there are some differences. Apple hasn't blocked anything at all. Now Apple has most certainly denigrated the desktop version, but that's very different than blocking it.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...same here, hoping to never see Flash on the iPhone (and I think we never will). Adobe can develop all they want - the license terms are clear. Aside from the fact that all they might, if anything, offer is a Flash Lite stand-alone that can sit in your dock, and that you can load individual Flash files into - just not web sites.

    Though, I'm wondering - what if someone provided an alternate browser, that has Flash integrated (though I think the license terms also forbid alternate browsers - or else we'll end up with Opera and IE on the iPhone --- god forbid!)

  1. bloggerblog

    Joined: Dec 1969



    AJAX is the way to go, forget Flash it's a CPU hog and the Mac version is crazy slow!

  1. trevc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ... the whole web world removes flash from their websites, I STILL want it!!!

    I mean having YouTube on the iPhone has to have SOME start of flash player support. This too is adding new features that aren't just VIDEO related (Interactive buttons, etc), so will they be forced to add more support as long as they continue to have a YouTube section?

  1. petsounds

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i want a complete web

    I'm just shocked that Adobe doesn't have the Flash Player ready for deployment. I think the outstanding question still remains – is what Adobe developing going to run as a stand-alone app, or will it reside as a Safari plug-in? If the former, it's basically useless, and under Apple's SDK TOS, I'm not even sure it's allowable.

    Apple has got to be really split on this issue; they don't want the Flash competition to SproutCore, and yet they know that people want a complete web experience, and there are a ton of sites right now that we can't visit because they are mostly Flash.

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