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Adobe's Flash growing, not iPhone ready

updated 06:50 am EST, Tue February 17, 2009

Flash on smartphones

Adobe's Flash Lite multimedia player for mobile phones, while still lacking iPhone compatibility, has been growing in popularity and will have reached 1 billion phones by the end of March this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Reaching their desired mark one year ahead of the company's previous target, Flash Lite is said by Strategy Analytics expert Steward to have risen due to recent support for HD video as well as Nokia's agreements to install Flash Lite on its phones. Another factor mentioned by Robinson is the absence of real competition for Adobe's Flash Lite player, though he still predicts another 1.5 billion smartphones carrying the software within two years.

Although Microsoft Corp is currently developing a Silverlight for Mobile Player for release on Nokia's Symbian S60 devices and its own Windows Mobile Phones, Stewart is still confident the plugin won't make a significant impact on Flash Lite's current increases. To help continue with its progress, Adobe will be demonstrating a Flash Player 10 for smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Along with the Flash 10 beta, Adobe will also be releasing the beta of a new Flash Lite distributable player based on Flash Lite 3.1.

Even with the increase in phones using Flash Lite, Adobe is still thought distant from getting an equivalent application onto the iPhone. Robinson claims that Adobe is working diligently to get Flash onto the iPhone and is looking to have it ready to go much later this year.

Independent analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates claims that performance and business are the chief obstacles. In order to get high performance, Flash must run in the lower layers of the OS, which Apple restricts as part of its iPhone SDK guidelines. Business-wise, Gold states that Apple will want to push its own technology, such as QuickTime, rather than depend on a third party's development.

To help increase the popularity and use of Flash on mobile phones, Adobe and Nokia plan to give away $10 million to developers in the Open Screen Project with ideas for Flash services and applications that can run on smartphones as well as on TV set-top boxes and PCs. [via Computerworld]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    But it's not used..

    as those phones don't use the browser in the OS.. so what's the point? ;-)

    1 billion non-using installs = why install it anyway?

  1. benj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I can see it now

    1 billion compromised phones

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash is good

    Although Flash only websites do annoy me, Flash is an excellent way to deliver slide shows (although AJAX is catching up), video, audio and some well designed visual content. It is also a good platform for providing cross-platform development of applications.

    This is a small inconvenience in the iPhone, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

    To access much of this content, we have to rely on third party software through the app store, which takes months to approve. Even updates to bug fixes can take months.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Marook - FlashLite is generally used as a rapid way to develop simple apps / skins on top of an OS like Windows Mobile.

    But yes, it's like Sun's claims over Java installs. Most of us never use anything other than the basic features of our phones because the additional apps are crummy.

  1. lepton

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Lots of flash content depends on hovering - moving your pointer around without clicking. That's something you just can't do on an iPhone and some other touch devices.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Adobe...

    Need to lock their teams in a room opening the door only for pizza and Red Bull until this is done. The most common reason I put down my IPT for my iBook is hitting a flash-dependent site, which is near constant and gaining,

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Jack Gold...

    "Flash must run in the lower layers of the OS, which Apple restricts as part of its iPhone SDK guidelines. "

    This Does Not fly! Seeing as how Google - a 3rd party developer has been working closely with Apple and has several Apps running low-level processes.

    Besides - this article reads like Flash and Quicktime are competing technologies. WRONG! They are not. They serve 2 different markets that happen to have some overlap.

    I don't give a damn about watching flash-based YouTube Videos on my iPHone. But as a web developer I would like to be able to test Flash Apps that I have built into client project from my iPhone.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Jack gold

    This Does Not fly! Seeing as how Google - a 3rd party developer has been working closely with Apple and has several Apps running low-level processes.

    What he says is correct. Apple restricts which layers of the OS you may use in the SDK. Just because Apple's in bed with Google and allowing them to use undocumented APIs doesn't mean anybody can.

    I won't say that Flash "must run" in the lower layers is correct, as I know nothing on how Flash is programmed.

  1. marianco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash sucks big time

    Sorry, but Flash sucks big time.
    It is TOO SLOW.
    It is already 10 times slower on a Mac than a PC with the same hardware.

    If Adobe is serious about running Flash on a Mac, it has to first learn how to properly program Flash on a Mac so that it is as fast on Mac OS X as on a Windows PC.

    Since Adobe's programmers suck and since Adobe discriminates against Apple, it should come as no wonder that Apple is against Flash on the iPhone.

    Adobe: show us the money.

    I prefer HTML5 with CSS Animation. This can do everything Flash can do. And it will be an OPEN STANDARD (Flash is NOT an open standard). And it will be BUILT IN to every browser - no need for Flash plugins.

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