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Adobe Says 7 Million iPhone OS Users Tried to Download Flash -- Would Hulu App Fix That?

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, according to Adobe 7 million iPhone and iPod touch users attempted to download Flash in December, well over the 3 million who tried back in June. We wonder how many of those were for Hulu, and whether rumors of a Hulu app for iPad would change them significantly?

Engadget feels that both Apple and Adobe's competition (competing smartphone platforms that will soon include Flash 10.1, and competing video and rich-content delivery systems from HTML5 to Silverlight which now streams H.264 to the iPhone) are the only ones who will benefit.

We figure technology might as well, as Flash is forced to make less resource intensive, more security and privacy friendly plugins and Apple and others are forced to make and push alternatives.

Case in point, Hulu. Techcrunch and 9to5mac hear a a Hulu app might still be in progress and set to launch in March in time for the iPad. Their videos are already H.264 so no conversion is required, but they make money off their advertising, which is entirely Flash-based now, and would need to either be replaced with HTML5 for a web app, or Cocoa touch for a native App Store app.

Either way, we're still waiting..

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • It Apple would put video apps in the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad for example Hulu, like the YouTube app that would have been cool and I would not need Flash.
  • Why doesn't Adobe release Flash to the Jaibreak community so they can disprove Steve Jobs' "always crashes" excuse?
  • @StanTheMan:
    I thought the exact same thing, but the thing is, they know the performance won't be up to snuff. Look at flash 10.1 on the palm pre, the nexus one (Adobes videos)... It's laggy still on both phones. They just want the money and the staying power than legitimate support from iPhone OS would bring them.
  • Adobe haven't released 10.1 on any phones as yet so they're clearly still working on optimising it.
    As for Hulu, I haven't seen an entirely flash based ad in ages; they have all just been another flash video that I have seen recently. This would be easy to replicate in a dedicated iPhone/iPad app. Since the web and ads are bread and butter for Hulu they should even be able to throw together a HTML5 page and figure out how to splice random ads into the video stream in real-time without having to reencode their videos.
  • I want my hulu app! I'm on that site watching a show at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • Apple should just add flash. Android, webos, Nokia, Winmo, and RIM are all going to have it... making flash even more popular than it is now. And apple will be left behind.
  • It's sad that the true "killer app" for any new "iphone" would be Flash.
    Apple is smart at holding off on flash for as long as possible, but soon, and hopefully with the 4G release, Apple is going to have to give in.
  • @StanTheMan/Adam
    Because Apple would revoke Adobe's rights to release into the App Store if they did that.
  • Oh, and a hulu app would not "fix" the need for flash, but it would knock that 7 million number down quite a bit...
  • Although, I probably would give my left one for a Hulu app with embedded Flash reducing the chance of shenanigans.
  • @dev: revoke WHAT right? Adobe never had the right to do so and if flash is released for the iPhone it wouldn't be an app store app, .ipa applications are sandboxed to only work within themselves. Apple would have to include it in a firmware update.
  • @Adam
    Ummm...their SDK developer license, you know, the thing that allows them to distribute through the App Store? You might want to take a look at Photoshop Mobile. Written by Adobe. In the App Store.
    Apple has intimated in the past that they reserve the right to revoke a developer's SDK license should that developer write unauthorized software for the iPhone. There is zero chance Adobe is going to release -- or even help release -- a Flash for jailbreak if it might result in cutting them off from doing iPhone (or iPad) development in the future.
  • @dev:
    But there are other examples where JB apps actually came to be app store approved, no?
  • @icebike
    Yes, but I am not aware of any examples where a devloper had jb and non-jb products at the same time, or any where a jb dev maintained the jb version after going App Store "legit." it is not permitted.
    Adobe could try it, I suppose, since all they could currently lose would be PS mobile, but it would be stupid (IMHO) to risk Apple's displeasure and their SDK license for a a jb Flash that would not net them a dime.
  • @Steve Woz
    So if Android, webos, Nokia, Winmo, and RIM all jumped off a cliff, should Apple do it to?
  • If Apple releases a Hulu app it would send iPad sales thru the roof!
  • I don't really understand why this has turned into a huge soap opera!! Just allow flash already!!!!
  • Even if a Hulu app were finally created and realized, I half-expect that Apple would reject it purely out of spite. I love Apple products, but I'm not so crazy about the company itself sometimes.
  • In regards to the ads...what about apple's new ads regulation?
  • @iDavey
    The letter of that law is so vague "beneficial" as to be almost meaningless, and it let's Apple be maddeningly arbitrary. (That is what annoys most devs, btw, not that Apple has rules, but that with many of them it is hard to know if you are breaking them.)
    I would wager Apple would give Hulu a pass, because having a Hulu app would be a good thing for the iPhone, but if a smaller producer like collegehumor tried the same thing, they would be denied.
  • I for one don't want flash. Pop up dog food ads over my web carousing adventures?!? No thank you. HTML 5 is the future. Embrace the future...move on
  • @dev - iSmartDialer. Look it up in Rock and in the AppStore. The jb version integrates with the phone app. The AppStore version is on it's own and feels like a decapitated version.
    I don't know of that's a case that somehow slipped under the radar.
  • @David
    You are correct that iSmartDialer announced releasing both (and they probably did), but I think it may have slipped under the radar. if you look today, there is no more iSmartDialer on the AppStore. (There is a SMARTDIALER (no i) from a different company, but no iSmartDialer.) It still exists on cydia/rock but not the App Store.
    I have no idea if it was removed by Apple because of the jb version, or if the developer just took it off themselves, because appears either defunct or temporarily offline, and quick googling does not reveal any story.
  • Flash 10.1 has much better optimization on my Mac... it brought my CPU use in Flash from 100% down to a much more reasonable 25%.
  • 7 Mill my ass. I don't think there are that many morons out there... Maybe auto redirected from some myspace or webkins site...
    I'd like to see some real numbers from a third party.
  • If Apple releases a Hulu app it would be soooooo grate!
  • Not for most of the world. Hulu is a U.S. service only, Flash isn't