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Adobe preps Flash for iPhone, waits on Apple

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Tue September 30, 2008

Adobe iPhone Flash Enroute

Adobe today at the Flash on the Beach expo said the company is actively developing a port of its Flash animation plugin for the iPhone and iPod touch, potentially bringing the phone's web features up to par with certain rivals. Senior Director of Engineering Paul Betlem noted in a presentation at the event that the Flash group was developing a port but that Apple's mobile operating system is a "closed platform" and so is out of Adobe's control; it's at Apple's discretion if and when the port becomes available, Betlem says.

He adds, however, that a greenlight from Apple would result in a quick launch, although no interval has been given. It's also not known whether Flash would represent a true plugin for Safari or would require a separate software container to work correctly; to date, Apple has avoided running third-party code in its handhelds' built-in programs.

The company has had an off-and-on relationship to Apple regarding Flash on the iPhone. The company first claimed it could develop Flash using the official software development kit but later retracted the statement after noting the limitations set into the kit. Apple itself has expressed interest in Flash but has declined to use Flash Lite, calling it too great a compromise over the desktop version to be useful for the generally faster iPhone processor and graphics chip.

The absence of Flash has been regarded by some as a significantly limiting factor in winning converts from other platforms. Symbian Series 60 devices such as Nokia's N95 have long had support for Flash Lite and with recent updates have had the option of watching videos directly from YouTube without needing a dedicated client or a downscaled version of the videos.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm basically frothing at the mouth over flash for the iphone. I know many of you don't want flash because of ad banners and that fine--don't install it. It lets me watch videos and other content though!

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Steve to Adobe: "We don't need no stinkin' Flash!"

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bring it on!

    Many a photography sites and slideshows rejoice!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    check ur awareness level



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  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash Widgets on iPhone

    This is great news for anyone wanting to deliver brand experiences on mobile phones – it’s just a shame we still don’t know when it will happen. The powerful combination of the iPhone interface with the rich interactivity of Flash is something agencies, marketers and consumers will find hard to resist. Interestingly, we can also envisage a potential cost saving for clients as pre-existing Flash content is repurposed for mobile.

    At present, it looks like there is only talk about the Flash plug-in on the Safari web browser. As such, Flash widgets per se are not really on the cards yet. Native iPhone widgets/applications in Flash are still a good while away, but we wait with anticipation for the opportunity to use this new technology.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    isn't going to happen

    I would suggest that all of you "Flashinistas" read over Daring Fireball's lucid argument as to why Flash won't happen on the iPhone.

    It would directly violate the SDK for the iPhone among other issues.

    BTW Apple just announced they are dropping their NDA for the iPhone regarding the SDK.

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Adobe's problem

    The only reason I use Flash is when I am trying to offer content for Windows users since they don't automatically have Adobe Reader or a better PDF editor that comes with it and very few video codecs that come with Windows Media Player that aren't Microsoft owned. The only reason I can see to develop a site totally in Flash is because Internet Explorer has problems renderings standards compliant websites as far as CSS wise. I have virtually no problems with cross browser rendering across the Opera, Firefox, and Safari rendering engines - it is only Internet Explorer that requires extra work and limits my designs. If Adobe wants Flash to be everywhere, then they have to open source the Flash player. Why should Apple be pushing Adobe's proprietary platform? That is Adobe and the website owner's fault, not Apple's.

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    PDF and Quicktime anyone

    Oh, and as far as I am concerned about how much web the iPhone can handle, I very much prefer being able to access PDFs and Quicktime out of the box than having Flash Player. I can't imagine Flash working well on the iPhone anyway. How do you do mouse hovers, without a mouse?

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