Flash for the iPhone SDK

Here at TiPB we've covered the heck out of the Flash on the iPhone debacle. Will it, won't it, can it, should it, omgvidz!1 and privacy nightmares. But it just won't stop. Current case in point, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen was once again let near a live mic:

We have a version [of (Mobile?) Flash] that’s working on the emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work. So we are pleased with the internal progress that we’ve made to date.

Great. Only Flash for OS X was never fully optimized by Adobe, making it a resource hog and increasing the bugginess of browsers (any guesses on how it will run on the iPhone?). Also, Apple hasn't approached Adobe to do a MobileSafari plugin anyway, (though iPhone 2.0 seems to include a YouTube plugin...), and the iPhone SDK end user license still seems to disallow something like Flash (or Java) from running their own code. So, this means precisely what, exactly?

For those hoping to get Flex apps up on the iPhone, Apple already has an SDK and won't allow a "competitive" dev environment to murky up their Cocoa Touch and SproutCore plans. From a dev point of view, sure it may limit apps from people already familiar with Flex, the same way it limits those already familiar with Java. While this may sacrifice the ability to leverage code from other platforms, most SDK demos rave about how fast porting has been, and really keen devs will just pick up the aforementioned Cocoa Touch environment and run with it anyway.

For those who just want them their vidz, Apple seems to be banking on YouTube via H.264 app and plugin being enough to stop a general revolt while they establish their "next big thing" mobile platform without Adobe's tech being invited to the party. Will that be enough? Depends on how much people want everything beyond YouTube, from Hulu to pr0n. (And the obnoxious banner adds that will inevitably come with it).

Apple and Adobe need each other but also don't seem to have the best of relationships. They're both gambling big time, with huge stakes. Adobe has a more flexible hand (no pun intended) but Apple has a poker face that makes a mannequin look overly emotive.

My guess? No Flash for the iPhone remains the status quo. What's yours?


Iconfactory and Twitteriffic luminary Craig Hockenberry posts the funniest Flash on iPhone tweet ever on Twitter:

Hoping that Adobe will use a flash:// URL scheme. Would make it very easy to avoid on both the iPhone AND desktop.

Meanwhile, Adobe responds on their blog.


Kontra ponders if this is all really a fight over the future of user interfaces, with Adobe trying to set their own cross-device conventions.

And Gruber points out even Apple's own Quicktime content doesn't run in-line in Mobile Safari, but launches a [Quicktime X?] player.

Which raises an interesting point: How would running video be handled in MobileSafari anyway? If you tried to swipe, scroll, pinch zoom, double-tap, etc., wouldn't it create enormous resource demands on what's still a small, mobile chipset? And if they lock the multi-touch down anytime Flash content (including ads) pop up, it makes the browser otherwise useless. Seems this would almost guarantee the need for an external player. (Or do the video game demos show that it could handle this well enough?)