Everyone loves Adobe, except Apple: no Flash on iPhone

Adobe is crowing about all the smartphone platforms that support Flash. And not just Flash Lite: this is the real deal. However, there's a notable omission in the loving list of phone vendors: Apple. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder whether Steve Jobs will ever permit Flash on the iPhone.

By Richi Jennings. October 5, 2009.


Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention YouTube's greatest hits...

    Tricia Duryee reports:

Adobe has secured relationships [with] Research In Motion, Windows Mobile, Palm and Google to roll out full Flash capabilities to the various smartphone platforms. With such a complete line-up, the only obvious phone remaining is Apple’s iPhone. ... In the past, Adobe executives have stated that it is working with Apple to make Flash work on the iPhone, but that it will come out on a separate timetable.


The new Adobe Flash Player 10.1 software will be one piece of software that work across PCs, smartphones, netbooks and other devices, which is the vision of the company’s Open Screen Project. ... To date, phones have been running a scaled back version of Flash, called Flash Lite. But now that phones have faster processors, the content renders more easily and has to be tweaked less.

Tim Anderson adds:

Announced today at the company's MAX conference in Los Angeles, the product's most notable feature is that the full player - rather than a cut-down "lite" version - will be delivered to mobile devices and netbooks as well as for the desktop. ... Actual devices with Flash 10.1 are promised for the first half of 2010 and will feature hardware acceleration for H.264 video on chipsets ... as well as support for multi-touch gestures and accelerometers where present.


Speaking ... in London last week, Opera’s Bruce Lawson said the "HTML 5...has been designed as an open standard and it competes with Flash and Silverlight. I believe that the web is too vital a platform to be in the hands of any one vendor," for which statement he was cheered by delegates. Still ... HTML 5 is not yet done, and Adobe continues to extend its reach.

Adobe's Ryan Stewart evangelizes:

We’ve been saying all year that Flash on mobile devices is a push this year and we’ve made a lot of progress. Today ... we’re going to be showing off Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones. This is the version of the Flash Player that we’ve been working on so hard this year ... with some great partners ... to optimize the player for those devices and create a quality mobile experience.


Possibly more important is that the number of companies committed to the Open Screen Project continues to grow.

Ginny Mies asks what it means for the JesusPhone:

iPhone owners, however, aren't so lucky. Adobe said that they are still working to make the Flash Player compatible on the iPhone OS, but are hindered by limitations within the platform. ... Apple will want to jump on board soon, though; Flash Player 10.1 opens up some interesting multimedia possibilities.


The player supports multitouch, accelerometer and screen orientation, all of which makes for the optimal video-watching experience. It also supports gesture-based controls, which is a boon for gaming. Adobe said that the player won't be a drain on battery life, either. For example, the player goes to sleep when you receive an incoming call.

Anthony Ha, too:

This news could put pressure one Apple in a couple ways. First, if every smartphone but the iPhone can support Flash content, the iPhone is going to look comparatively crippled — which might push Apple to work with Adobe to resolve whatever obstacles remain. (That would be a boon for web developers, and Adobe itself, who have had to find workarounds.)


Plus, broad mobile support for Flash means developers could build a rich web app that’s accessible on almost any phone via mobile browsers. That’s a very different model from the one popularized by Apple, where companies build separate, downloadable apps for each smartphone platform, and sell them in an App Store.

Matt Buchanan is glass-half-full, then goes for the netbook angle:

If you want to spin that positively ... the iPhone is now basically the only place you can go to flee from Flash, which basically covers everything like a pulsating squid thing with icky tentacles and stuff, ceaselessly stretching out to ensnare more. There is no escape. Except the iPhone.


The GPU acceleration for Flash is the real deal, for sure, though—I watched a Star Trek trailer on YouTube HD on an Nvidia Ion-powered HP Mini 311 output to an external monitor, even, and it ran flawlessly. Which, if you've ever tried to play an HD Flash clip, even on full-fledged systems it molests CPU cycles, so just working on a $400 netbook very nearly deserves applause..

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itblogwatch@richij.com.

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