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Flash Mobile 10 Coming This Fall, Not to iPhone

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Adobe’s (s adbe) recent earnings report revealed that version 10 of its Flash Mobile framework will be available this fall. This is great news — that is, it’s great news for phones running Windows Mobile, Palm Web OS, Symbian and Android, which Flash Mobile 10 will be optimized to run on.

Just as AT&T’s (s att) logo was so obviously absent from the tethering and MMS features revealed at the WWDC keynote a couple weeks back, so is the iPhone’s lack of inclusion in the Flash Mobile announcement (slide 13).

The iPhone’s media capabilities are excellent. Obviously with iPod features, there are plenty of songs and movies that can be played by the device. But third-party applications, such as SlingPlayer and and even the included YouTube app, make it an ideal platform for Internet-based TV. I’d personally love to see a Hulu client for my iPhone, or a wider array of YouTube content available — but wishlist items like these seem to be best handled (these days) by utilizing Flash technology.

Most logically, Flash is not supported on the iPhone based on hardware capabilities/limitations. The 2G and even the 3G iPhone hardware platforms were fairly light on processing power (at least relative to the new 3G S). But the newest iPhone model is on par with Palm’s Pre and is certainly as well, if not better, equipped than many of the other smartphones on the market today. Were Apple (s aapl) to work with Adobe on an iPhone hardware optimized version of Flash, I believe a killer solution would be the result.

While Adobe has extended an olive branch in the past to develop for the iPhone platform (Why not? That iPhone, it’s so hot right now), Apple doesn’t seem to have jumped at the chance in the past nine months. Of course, Apple is known for not tipping its hand, but if we were going to see or hear anything on the Flash/iPhone topic, surely it would have been revealed at the WWDC this month.

One of the potential points of interest we did glean from the WWDC Keynote however, is Quicktime X. It’s feasible that Apple has neglected to play in the Flash arena because of its update to its longtime media player application. Is it possible that Quicktime X will bring new functionality that will compete with Flash? I really don’t see it happening, but the continued absence of discussion from Apple on the topic of bringing Flash to the iPhone makes me wonder.

So for now, while the iPhone 3.0 software update and the new iPhone 3G S are excellent advances to our favorite smartphones, we’ll still have to look on as other device platforms get all Flash-y.

25 Responses to “Flash Mobile 10 Coming This Fall, Not to iPhone”

  1. As long as internet exists, Flash will also exist. It is really stupid to think of Flash as annoying banners only. And regarding the CPU usage, sry my friend, but not everyone has that high tech broadband of yours to watch high quality quicktime material. Flash video size is much lower than anything else with the same quality. More CPU usage, less video file size.

    Flash is being used in online gams, usefull apps, cool interactive websites which any combination of CSS, JS, and HTML will never dream of achieving, and that is if the browser supports all of them.

    Web will be a very boring place without Flash

  2. greenpaz

    I just got the iPhone and am SO happy I don’t have to listen to annoying advertising while surfing the Web (at least, I haven’t come across any yet). I usually have my computer on mute, but that’s not as feasible for me with the iPhone.

    • sne-01

      Right, and while Flash currently is the only technology capable of easily providing interactive ads, rest assure other technologies (HTML 5, Silverlight, …) will be used once capable enough and once there is browser support and market penetration.

      With many considering Flash Builder the technology of choice for developing rich Internet applications, not having Flash support in your browser will really cripple you.

      After all, close to all web sites rely on Flash to offer interactive content, and the days of Flash being used solely for ads and video are long gone.

    • sne-01

      There’s a reason why advertisers use Flash.

      NO other technology offers the same market penetration. You can interact with Flash content on virtually any device, any oparating system, and any browser…. except the iPhone. That cannot be said about any other technology, including HTML/JavaScript/CSS which are implemented totally different on different browsers, making it hell for developers.

      The iPhone is great and for a very long time there has been no real competition. That’s changing. The Google’s Android phones are quickly becoming equally capable, and do offer Flash support…

      P.S. Interested in where the buzz is? Check out:

      You may want to also compare those Google search trends to “Microsoft Silverlight”, “HTML”, and even “Apple iphone” , …):

      Total dominance :-) Yeah, Flash isn’t going anywhere.

  3. andelsboligtilsalg

    “I really despise Flash! When I am forced to view a video in flash, I can open Activity monitor and see that it taxes the processor far more than just playing a video in Quicktime for instance. If I load sites ladened with Flash, as opposed to well designed sites with Javascript, AJAX etc. I can tell that it taxes the system a lot more, often times the fan will start spinning on my (not too shabby at 2.4 GHz) MacBook Pro.
    Flash has been one of the worst things that has ever happened to the internet and I for one am glad that processor/battery hog is not any part of my iPhone!”

    I totally agree. HTML 5 FTW

    • I haven’t read through the HTML 5 spec, so this is a sincere question: does HTML 5 replicate much or all of Flash’s functionality? Because all I’ve heard so far is playing video without an embed or video tag, and video isn’t exactly the only thing that Flash can do.

    • aplman

      What?? Replicate Flash functionality???

      Absolutely NOT! Sure, one day (years from now) when HTML 5 has been finalized, and is supported in browsers, it will offer a very small improvement over its current version, but that’s it. Period. The uninformed speculation and dreams expressed in this Apple-biased thread are really just that.

      There will still be the same problem with various browsers implementing the HTML 5, CSS, and JavaScript “standards” differently, effectively rendering a web developers job orders of magnitude more challenging than relying on a true open source, cross-browser, and cross-OS solution such as Adobe’s Flash (open source Flex SDK and the open SWF format).

      Some may remember and emphasize the days when “Flash” implied online banner ads. While it’s true that Flash was the only technology at the time that was capable of delivering such interactive ads and with a small footprint, those days are LONG gone. Since then, ActionScript 3 (ECMA standard-based), Flash Builder, etc., and the maturity of the Flash player has made the technology highly suitable for creating enterprise-level solutions.

      Oh… and when available, HTML 5 will offer nowhere near the rich feature set that Flash (already) offers. With Flash Builder 4+, web developers have a professional development environment that without doubt will solidify its reputation as /the/ standard in creating rich Internet applications.

  4. Flash, particularly Flex Actionscript 3 dramatically changes the architecture of the web, and delivers functionality that you could not deliver any other way.

    Adobe has been working on Flash for the iPhone for quite some time. The release of this is not up to Adobe, but up to Apple because it must be integrated into Safari for the iPhone. The reason we haven’t seen flash support on the iPhone is because Apple is dragging their feet on approval and release. They lose control over applications that currently must be approved and delivered from the iTunes music store. With Flash, rich applications can be delivered from a web page without Apple’s approval.

    The absence of Flash means that the iPhone cannot display over 30% of web pages. Android will be able to do this. This issue alone will tip the balance on who dominates web enabled phones.

    • I find it interesting that nobody I talk to that has an iPhone cares, or if they do care, it’s to say that they hope Apple doesn’t include flash, or if they do provide it, offer us a way to disable it.

    • @TJ Draper I care, I’d love Flash to be on the phone. There are lots of great sites — not just video streams — that won’t work on the phone because of a lack of Flash support. It kicks the whole “it just works” ethos of Apple down a bit, if you ask me.

  5. The possibly of a Flash app/plugin for the iPhone keeps me up at night.
    Let’s hope Apple continues to keep Flash off the iPhone.

    Oh god if only they could remove it from the internet in general!

    Praying that HTML 5 does kill off Flash, Silverlight, et al.

  6. @dave and @ TJ Draper – I actually agree with you. Especially TJ’s insights to Activity Monitor. However, it’s up to the industry to turn the tide away from Flash use, and push the likes of YouTube and Hulu (for instance) to a better solution. Would be great if Quicktime X could be a catalyst for that. But until that as yet unnamed solution is found/adopted, we’re unfortunately stuck waiting for iPhone to support Flash…

    • I agree Flash is currently necessary for the consumer right now (though I think it’s finally becoming less so) and not having it on a computer being used to browse today’s modern web would not be an option, but I do not miss it on my iPhone at all…

  7. I really despise Flash! When I am forced to view a video in flash, I can open Activity monitor and see that it taxes the processor far more than just playing a video in Quicktime for instance. If I load sites ladened with Flash, as opposed to well designed sites with Javascript, AJAX etc. I can tell that it taxes the system a lot more, often times the fan will start spinning on my (not too shabby at 2.4 GHz) MacBook Pro.

    Flash has been one of the worst things that has ever happened to the internet and I for one am glad that processor/battery hog is not any part of my iPhone!

  8. The iPhone has been the best thing in years to move the Internet towards internet standards and away from one-company wonders like Flash.

    Flash is generally only used for a) advertising and b) the lazy way to get video onto a website (eg, YouTube).

  9. I bet tht apple is just saving that feature for the next iPhone. Because surely apple is aware about flash, it’s just marketing genius to get us to buy the next iPhone

    • Agree, Flash is just ridiculously resource hungry. How can it uses 80% of my CPU watching standard quality hulu … while watch a 1080p quicktime file only uses 30% ?!

    • That will never happen !! HTML 5 is not near flash!! How can you even think such a thing??? It doesnt make sense..

      There’s a wider and more diverse ecology around the total Flash platform than around the total “HTML5” ecology — many, many, many businesses are based atop using the capabilities available to nearly all browsers today.

      And within Adobe there’s a united emphasis in working atop Flash: the new Text Layout Framework came through the InDesign research groups… the video and metadata teams have been leading the way on automated captioning and text search within Flash video… and LiveCycle are developing other aspects of the Flash Platform. This is larger and more cohesive than what the companies behind each different HTML runtime are doing.