Flash making its way to the iPhone?


Flash for iPhone

CNN Money is reporting that Adobe has announced that it has begun work on a Flash player for the iPhone.

Last month Jobs said Flash wouldn’t be added to the iPhone anytime soon due to performance issues. Shortly there after, Jobs also announced the released of the iPhone SDK for creating iPhone native applications.

Today, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen announced that they had begun development on an version of the Flash player thanks to the release of the iPhone SDK. As with all iPhone native applications, the Flash player will be distributed through the iTunes App store once that launches.

No word yet in regards to pricing, but I feel pretty confident Adobe will be releasing it for free just as they always have with all previous versions of Flash.

The Adobe/Apple relationship has been a bit strained in the past year, and I find it quite interesting that Apple has kept such strong control over this process to the point where they will actually be controlling the distribution of the most popular browser plugin of all time (at least as far as mobile Safari goes).

Tipped by Bruce.



I want to watch hulu TV shows on my iPhone and it ticks me off that I cant! I paid $500 and $20 more per month on my phone bill! I want flash!


Flash, just like HTML, can be used for good or for evil. If I was to develop an iPhone flash site, I’d be damn sure that I made it simple and light on both bandwidth and processor.

It’s a great tool and those who develop flash apps for the iPhone will just have to keep the target platform in mind.

Just like any other display language.


I’m – partly – a web developer, too.
And I have to say:
Although Flash seems to be the defacto standard for Video and Animation on the Web today, it is really, really bad.

It is a plug-in and a „virtual machine” that is so slow that it brings down every computer, as soon as there’s really something going on.
It had and has a purpose, it is easy to install and everybody, almost, has it. But appart from that it’s really a bad choice.

Even scrolling full screen, pure image files, with no filters applied in flash, brings down a CoreDuo computer. And that’s what’s supposed to be our multimedia tool of choice?
I’ll quit Flash as fast as I can when HTML and Scripting gives you more possibilitys for animations, etc.

And for the purpose of watching videos, it’s equally as bad. It is in every way inferior to pure video.
Look what quality you can stream on the iPhone and what battery live you get out of watching stored videos.
You can forget all that with Flash. And this won’t change. Ever.

It’s is, imo, almost impossible to get Flash to run well on any mobile device out there.

Flash, in it’s current form, has no real use and no place on any mobile.
It makes no sense at all and I would like to know in which miracle universe Adobe will make Flash work on the iPhone with the current SDK.

Finaly I have to add that browsing with the iPhone gave me a whole new experience – and a pleasant one.
The iPhone version of many sites are so brilliantly well made, that browsing them is faster and more convenient – and more „clutter” free – than a lot of the desktop counterparts.
I often stick to using only those.
For example for Newspapers and such.

Matt J

One thing. How will this work, within the constraints put in place by Apple? It can’t be a Safari plugin.


I would love for mobile safari to be an actual desktop-replacement browser but if this is a standalone player I really don’t give a damn. I just want to be able to view flash based sites, like many other much less powerful cell phones can do, despite the fear mongering about being too slow and draining batteries. Maybe give a preference pane to turn it on/off as desired.

Jason Terhorst

Sorry, but even as a Flash developer, I have to say: it doesn’t fit well on the iPhone. Why? Because EDGE sucks (even here in downtown Chicago). And Flash is meant for keyboard and mouse based systems, so it doesn’t fit with the interaction model of the iPhone.

I don’t want Flash on my iPhone, because I don’t want it slowing down my web browsing. I also don’t want it burning up the battery. John Gruber has already been over this; it’s a moot point. Apple doesn’t want Adobe, and we don’t really need them either.


A Flash player I can see provided whatever “performance issues” there may be get worked out; it would behave the same way Quicktime links behave (visit Apple.com and view one of the videos on the iPhone/iPod Touch to see how it works). Flash as a web interface, however, will take some more tweaking, either to Flash itself or to the iPhone UI. There’s easy way I can see to implement a lot of the interactive Flash stuff in MobileSafari, especially mouseover behaviors.


Flash would be sweet on the $249 iPhone I ordered today! :-)

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