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Flash 10 coming for almost every smartphone except iPhone

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Flash_logoThe Flash coders at Adobe have been very busy folks and this week they’ve demonstrated full versions of Flash 10 running on Nokia, Windows Mobile and Google Android devices.  Adobe wants to get the latest full version of Flash running on all mobile smartphones and frankly that’s what we as users want too.  Pick up a new smartphone on the market and the first question you’ll hear a geek ask is "does it do Flash?" because it is becoming a big portion of our web browsing experience.  It is great to see Flash growing up and coming to the little screen.

Apple on the other hand seems to be saying "no Flash for you!" and although Adobe indicated they are working on a version of Flash for the iPhone it is unlikely we will ever see it come to the swipe screen. Wired opines that Apple cannot let Flash appear on the iPhone because it is a platform for developers and as such takes the user experience out of Apple’s hands.  We know they hate that and Wired feels they hate it enough to never let it happen.  They point out that even the iPhone developer’s SDK prohibits Flash from appearing in the App Store:

Allowing Flash — which is a development platform of its own — wouldjust be too dangerous for Apple, a company that enjoys exerting totaldominance over its hardware and the software that runs on it. Flashhas evolved from being a mere animation player into a multimediaplatform capable of running applications of its own. That means Flashwould open a new door for application developers to get their softwareonto the iPhone: Just code them in Flash and put them on a web page. Inso doing, Flash would divertbusiness from the App Store, as well as enable publishers to distributemusic, videos and movies that couldcompete with the iTunes Store.

Apple’s well aware of these problems, which iswhy the company wrote a clause in its iPhone developers’ Terms of Service agreement that prohibits Flash from appearing on the iPhone:

"An Application may not itself install or launch other executable codeby any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-inarchitecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise," reads clause 3.3.2 of the iPhone SDK agreement, which was recently published on WikiLeaks. "No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application exceptfor code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs andbuilt-in interpreter(s)."

Let’s hope that Apple is not that unbending as Flash has become such a standard that the iPhone will be harmed long-term with its omission.  That’s our take on it anyway.

(via neowin)

8 Responses to “Flash 10 coming for almost every smartphone except iPhone”

  1. Flash a ‘battery vampire’. I think what you mean is literaly anything that uses the processor. This could be JavaScript, Playing video, sound, absolutely any program ever written by anyone at all in the entire world that uses a processor.

    Flash per-se is not a ‘battery vampire’ it is the effects that are run within the Flash environment that use processor power.

    To re-itterare to make it very clear. That’s any computer program ever written.

  2. Tanzan Nangi

    @PXLated –

    If Apple changes its mind and allows Flash on the iPhone tomorrow, I’m sure you’ll then think that its the greatest thing to have happened. Grow a mind.

  3. Hmmm – I’ve never heard any normal person (non-geek) wonder about Flash on their iPhone. For the vast majority it’s a none issue and with all the apps available (10,000) I bet it won’t be one even if Flash hits other phones. Just isn’t needed.

  4. @Scotty: That’s BS.

    If you run an app or visit a web site which drains your battery than either plugin to AC or don’t visit the site or don’t run the app.

    I don’t need somebody exercising nanny/parental control over my usage.

  5. The Wired article struck me as a bit melodramatic, even going so far as to include quotes from developers that were rejected by Apple for the app store.

    I suspect Flash will come to the iPhone purely out of necessity. I agree that the restrictions in the app store mean it probably won’t arrive via that route, but I’d be pretty shocked if there aren’t pretty continuous discussions/negotiations between Apple and Adobe going on. My guess is that Flash will become a standard feature during some future update.

    The reason for this is simply a matter of competition. Right now, one of the top selling points for the iPhone is that its web browser is generally superior to those on competing phones. Flash isn’t a big factor at the moment, since the version offered on other platforms is so heavily crippled that it still prevents the serving of most Flash sites. Once a full, up-to-date version of Flash is available on competing platforms, though, the competitive scale will shift almost entirely away from Apple unless it is available there as well.

  6. I expect that the content providers will unfortunately do what’s necessary to provide what content they can to the iPhone. Flash seems to most widely be used for playing video, so I expect that sites that supply video that way to provide an alternative means to access the video. One such example is the YouTube app.

    The pure Flash applications are a different story. This probably falls more into the area of games, than other types of applications. The only alternative to that would be an iPhone native version, which I admit would be less desirable for the game developer to do. If the potential for revenue is there, then they will do it, even though they are doing it to support a single platform.

  7. Yes but the good side of not allowing Flash is preventing it from being a battery vampire. There are several G1’s floating around here and to a one their owners complain about the battery life and that’s before Flash comes to the platform and helps push battery life even lower. Say what you want about Apple and being control freaks but they’ve put considerable effort into power management. And I for one thank them for it.