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Adobe Announces "Full" Flash Player for Mobile: iPhone ETA TBA

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Adobe took the wrapper off a real for-real version of their desktop Flash player designed (and hopefully optimized) for mobile devices like the iPhone. Well, technically they took the wrappers off the wrappers, since Flash Mobile won't ship until the end of 2009 on its current schedule, and it won't support the iPhone even then, only Windows Phone 6.5 (are we allowed to call it WinPho now?), Google Android, Palm Pre, and Nokia. Even these implementations are likely to only ship in 2010.

And the iPhone version? According to Anup Murarka, director of partner development and technology (via Macworld):

“We’ve made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot of engineering work to be done. [...] We’re working with Apple on what we have. We’re committed to make the Flash plug-in work on the iPhone.”

Analysts aren't so sure, citing lack of low-level system access on the iPhone (and BlackBerry) as limitations, as well as Apple's preference for their own QuickTime technology.

So, if no news is good news, not much news must be... what exactly then?

Rene Ritchie
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.

  • Since Flash's main purpose in life seems to be pushing Ads into people's face, a version that ALWAYS ran in Flash-Block mode *where nothing plays till you click it) would be just fine with me.
    Maybe show the first frame, so you would have a clue if you wanted to click it or not, that preserves the advertising value while eliminating the annoyance value.
    Apple could insist that Flash block-like feature be built in and always on by default unless the user configures if off. This would be doing the entire internet community a favor by forcing Adobe's hand on the single most annoying browser extension ever developed in the history of the internet.
  • 2010? That is a LONG time in the internet world. Long enough for something new to come along and Flash to be quite old news IMO.
    I won't bother getting excited.
  • Nokia??? You mean SYMBIAN,right??? Always the same mistake...
  • 2010? Woha, maybe it'll be ready for iPhone 5G... Maybe.
  • People who hate Flash simply lack the talent, creativity, and patience to use it... either that, or ActionScript is just too complicated for them. So, they blame Flash itself for their frustrations, rather than their own ineptness to ever design anything worthwhile.
    It's actually quite sad that these people only have use of their left brain and blame Flash, which requires both sides of the brain.
  • @Steve
    Most people I know who hate flash, hate it because over half the ads on the internet are flash based. They don't necessarily hate the actual idea, it just every other ad you run into is flash based and getting rid of flash can easily mean browsing with no ads.
    On the other hand, I have seen some jaw-dropping designs/websites with Flash and I gota tell you, it's insane (in a good way lol)
  • I want it on my phone and i will block it if i am too bothered by the ads!
  • Yay! At least another year of iPhone browsing without annoying ads
  • I think Apple should get rid of the Youtube app and replace it with the flash app that opens every time that you click something flash related in Safari, etc. This could work maybe with a few tweaks to the original idea.
  • @Steve:
    No people who hate flash not because they they lack talent or patience, but because we have to suffer the annoyance every day of having our screens take over by the work product of the twits who claim to have the "talent" and "patience" who whore themselves out to advertisers so they can push useless and annoying advertising into our faces.
    If I said I didn't like Cabbage would you post that its because I don't have the patience to farm?
  • People don't like flash ads. Flash, the technology, is fine IMHO. Well implemented flash is appreciated, unfortunately there are far more crappy flash implementations than really good ones.
  • Shouldn't it really be about having functionality & choice? We shouldn't be arguing about how it might get used, or personal preferences. None of us (open minded people) believe that we should hobble technology, because we're "fundamentally" opposed to how some might choose to use it. It's not a matter of patience or annoyance or even whether you favor one side of your brain over another. Flash communicates. And, it is a m
    piece of technology that my iPhone lacks.
  • @ icebork & all haters...
    According to your logic we should get rid of TVs cause they have ads...& guns cause some folks abuse them & probably our freedom of speech cause some have big mouths and don't know when to shut up...(get the hint my kneejerk reactionary non technical friends?). It's 100% true - Flash does awesome stuff NOTHING else in a browser can do. So go pound sand till the cows come home but it won't change the facts.
  • I have a mute button on my TV.
    When Adobe allows me to stop flash in its tracks I'll think about un-installing flash-block from all my computers.
    If its so cool, why does Adobe refuse to add a stop context menu item? Because the principal use of Flash is advertising. Thats the truth that you can't seem to handle.
  • I am getting a different phone. The iPhone is cool but u can only do the stuff u want with a jail broken phone. No flashplayer, no tethering. Apple doesn't seem to want to let people use thier device to it's fullest potential. Maybe that's why microsoft is so domminant hmmm
  • Take in a deep breath, you guys need oxygen.
  • @ icebike: Oh what a great idea! While we're at it can I get a context menu with a 'stop' action for:
    -Annoying advertising gifs
    -Poorly coded javascript
    -Non-compliant HTML
    -Deceptive blog articles with interesting titles that end up boring the s**t out of you when you actually read them
    We should be able to do that, because after all; your tv remote has a mute button on it. Right?
    Any technology has the potential to cause suckiness if it's not applied right. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Flash can create fantastic interactive experiences when it is designed and coded responsibly.
    If someone tags your garage with red spray paint you could always lead a campaign to ban red paint, but you'd be missing the point. Flash could deliver excellent experiences on the iPhone, and with Apple's strict-as-hell pass/fail reviewing, you can bet that they wouldn't be approving any bloated pieces of crap (unless they generated fart noises or something useful like that). You want to talk about garbage- how about 70% of the app store. But there is also 30% of brilliance. Flash is no different, as long as it has a well-coded runtime suitable to the platform. Whether or not Apple will allow anyone to tickle their low level API's for perfomance's sake is another issue altogether.
    At any rate- don't blame Flash because Flash ads exist. If you truly think that is all Flash is about, you need to educate yourself on what Flash is really capable of- not just focus on bad things that are created with the technology.
  • Download
  • I just want flash so I can watch my free porn on my iphone
  • Haha@porn!
    Is that all you think about? Gawl!
  • Most Internet users have banner blindness, so whether the ad is delivered in flash or some other format, you'll most like ignore it.
  • Flash is good for streaming movies on a lot of websites I need. There just as many annoying pop ups and advertisment. Hurry up and get it sorted. It will be the main reason I am gonna sell my iPhone and go android if they get flash first
  • I like the idea of how the urine thing works switched with flash forty plus fig is not a fish
  • The real truth is in the $$$. With adobe flash there would be major unprofitable hits with iTunes, for instance and other similar sites, there'd be no sense in buying/ renting movie in iTunes and there's the flash based games the app store will take a significant hit in profits if that did happen. If this is the case they would make this flash version very basic with tons of restrictions...let's see what happens
  • Slap Steve jobs on his face
  • Stick your ( d I c k)in Steve jobs butt and get (s h I t ) all over your (d I c k)
  • Steve Jobs is gay and was cought in bed with a Another man, they used there iPhone to make love
  • Steve Jobs is ( g a y )and was cought in bed with a Another man, they used there iPhone to make love
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  • Flash good or bad that's not a matter on the other hand iPhone is too a good configurations laptop is cheap then iPhone & iPhone from apple.i think IPhone have to support don't teach to iPhone users which Good or bad just try to enable everything.