Monday, April 20, 2009

Apple may find Flash on the iPhone Afterall

We all know that Adobe already has a Flash version that is compatible with the iPhone. We also know that Apple has denied Adobe access since it would undermine their control and ultimately their App store. It seemed that the only way Flash would hit the iPhone is through competition from other smartphones... which didn't seem like it would happen anytime soon.

However, it there is enough competition out there for Google to throw its support behind the Web as the "unifying platform" for mobile devices. The main points I got Technology Review's article are the following:

1. Web Applications can do similar functions as those purchased from the App Store.
2. Web Applications are free.
3. Web Applications are not be device specific and therefore are easier to develop cross platform.

If fact #1 holds true, and Web applications becomes the common platform as Google hopes, then Flash's presence on the iPhone is inevitable. The article quite clearly states that the one downfall of web apps is the following:

Nonetheless, mobile Web apps may have limited capabilities in the near future. "Apps that will work in this environment will be more text heavy or static," says Sharma. They won't be the type of apps that need to be constantly updated from a server. "But when you get into games or applications that require [device] support, it becomes tougher to develop applications that are browser only," he says.

Can anyone think of a solution? hmmm, Flash perhaps? If Web Apps are the common platform then they will have to accept Flash to overcome the browser's shortcomings... even with Canvas enabled.


kdX said...

The main reason for delay in Flash coming to iPhine is that, the App store will not survive the market. This is their market, apps, apple SDK's and business. Flash will make many online games appear for free, like for example from What would APP store app do then?

Pure business. Think Flash can be expected, but not until the financial crisis goes down.

I Love Flash,
Roshan Kolar

P. Baird said...

Actually, I'd say that both of your initial "we all know" statements are somewhat inaccurate. First on the statement "Adobe already has a Flash version that is compatible with the iPhone" ... all that has been said publicly about this that Adobe is working on Flash on the iPhone, not that one is yet complete. Adobe has also announced that they are working on versions for several other smartphones, but those also are not yet available because, we'll, they're still working on it. This is an important point because to assume that "Adobe already has a flash version..." would suggest there's some reason it's not available other than the obvious, which is that they're still working on it. Your other point, that "Apple has denied Adobe access since it would undermine their control and ultimately their App store" comes from one person's opinion who has no inside knowledge of affairs. Again, all that's been said publicly by Apple... literally, all that has been said by Apple is first "you may see Flash on the iPhone someday" (Steve Jobs) and then later "we have no further comment on that topic today" (recently at MacWorld)... there's nothing in either of those comments that would suggest that Apple is denying Adobe access. The iPhone was in development for years and years before anyone ever got wind of it, and the Flash Player has been in development for over a decade to get it at the level of functionality that it is at today. Developing a brand new version for the iPhone that has full functionality isn't going to materialize overnight.

Alan said...

@P. Baird

1. Adobe Evangelists have mentioned Flash installed and working on the iPhone - it was done when the iPhone first came out.
2. Flash on the iPhone would negate 90% of store apps. Many iPhone apps are simply ports of Flash apps already.
3. Apple is denying Flash on the iPhone. This is old news.
4. Flash works on the Android and there are videos on the net about it.
5. The Palm Pre will have Flash support-> Open Screen Project.

Apple wants iPhone developers. Why learn the clusterf*ck that is Objective-C when you can just do it with Flash.

Arecki said...

Flash on mobile devieces really sucks I think.. It's slow and frustrating a bit (I've tried some basic attempts even on Nokia 5800 with Flash Lite 3). Is there any *good* touch device like Iphone? Nokia 5800 is really nothing special with her touch system.

Flash Lite 3? A lot of tricky optimization tricks needed to do something cool. And it's still AS2.0..

Anonymous said...

The issue isn't about getting flash to run on the iphone it is about getting it to run well. In it's current state flash runs like crap and is very limited in it's functionality on mobile devises & I recall a statement by apple saying that it won't put flash on there until it runs well enough to actually be useful.

Anonymous said...

The only thing stopping me from getting an iphone, is the fact that it hasn't got flash support. It claim's that it's the internet in your pocket, yet how can they claim this if many websites use flash.

The Xperia X1 looks like the alternative, which with it's Opera browser is flash compatible. So if I was looking for a phone for the Internet experience I would choose the xperia over the iphone.

Overall, i'm not getting either for now, maybe i'm just too fussy.

Apparently flash doesn't run too well on Mac's, so maybe it's a compatibility issue with apple's OS.

Nikos said...

I would be willing to learn objective c

Unknown said...

Good to see there are a lot of comments from people with no idea as always. flash is being integrated into all televisions, is adapted with QNX for integration with almost all upcoming interfaces, is running with Arduin, and is now pretty much the ubiquitous software for high spec user interactivity across platforms - apple was once a market leader and completely lost the plot - they have come back over the last 6 years especially with iPod - they are going to make the same mistakes as last time - ridiculous walled gardens - when will Apple learn to play with others ???!!!