Don’t hold your breath for Apple’s iPhone to support Adobe’s Flash

“Don’t hold your breath waiting for the iPhone to support Adobe’s Flash software: Apple’s terms-of-service agreement prohibits it,” Brian X. Chen reports for Wired.

Those waiting for Flash on the iPhone “may be waiting in vain, based on Apple’s TOS and the company’s history of tightly controlling applications for its smartphone platform,” Chen reports. “Allowing Flash — which is a development platform of its own — would just be too dangerous for Apple, a company that enjoys exerting total dominance over its hardware and the software that runs on it. Flash has evolved from being a mere animation player into a multimedia platform capable of running applications of its own. That means Flash would open a new door for application developers to get their software onto the iPhone: Just code them in Flash and put them on a web page. In so doing, Flash would divert business from the App Store, as well as enable publishers to distribute music, videos and movies that could compete with the iTunes Store.”

Chen reports, “‘An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise,’ reads clause 3.3.2 of the iPhone SDK agreement, which was recently published on WikiLeaks. ‘No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).'”

Chen reports, “Side from taking software control away from Apple, Flash would introduce a slew of other potential headaches as well. Flash apps could hurt battery life, suck up the graphics-processing unit’s power, use an inordinate amount of memory, or potentially introduce security risks. Apple has plenty of customer complaints to address about the iPhone; the last thing it needs is to add Adobe and Flash to the pile.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

We’d rather have a flash for iPhone’s camera than Adobe’s Flash.

Web developers will stop using Flash for video and adapt their other Flash content when they, or more likely the people who are paying them, decide they’d like to reach tens of millions of affluent iPhone users.

This is why Adobe is giving away Flash for mobiles to every mobile device maker. They’re scared that a good portion of that money they paid for Macromedia will end up being wasted if Apple breaks the Flash juggernaut with iPhone, iPod touch and, ahem, future devices.


  1. I’m not holding my breath for a iPhone period.

    I just don’t have a use for it.

    My MacBook Pro and cheap disposable phone does just fine by me.

    When times are good, I can buy all the Apple toys I please. When times are bad, I make do with items that just get the job done and save me money.

    Now if Apple made something that saved or made me money, that’s a whole different story.

    Apple is too consumer driven, they need to invade corporate and businesses with products that are “Indispensable”

    Remember desktop publishing?

    Back to their roots, Apple needs to take soon.

  2. Flash is bulky and hogs resources way to much for the iPhone. As someone who streams video and content over the internet (and iPhone), I only use Flash when I absolutely have to. H.264 and AAC works great and plays in the Flash plug-in as well as QT plug-in. I wouldn’t even consider a Microsloth format, I would quit before using that multiple versions of hunk a junk.
    Like others who make a living streaming, size of the file and quality of product is why we choose. We give our customers the best possible quality at the best price. Sure, I could lie to my customers and charge them more for less but then I would be like Balmer, a con-artist taking people for as much as I can.

  3. There is absolutely no point in flash for the iPhone’s camera until it gets a CCD quality upgrade.

    As I see it, flash is only worthwhile above 3MP. The camera on the iPhone is only 2MP. I personally think this goes against Steve Jobs saying that Apple wouldn’t ship junk. In any country in Western Europe or the Far East that has the iPhone, that camera is outdated and junk. Whilst Americans may be happy, quite a few other customers aren’t.

    I support the iPhone and I would love to get one, but I must say that I will hold off until they put at least a 5MP (natively video-capable) camera on.

    For goodness’ sake, even the Blackberry Storm has a 3.2MP camera!

    On another note, and sort of @MacGenius – the iWork package seriously needs an upgrade to appeal to big corporations. It’s not that it’s bad – in fact, it’s one of those timeless, infinitely usable pieces of software, and I love it – but that if you don’t update something in some way on a regular basis, then the big businesses just aren’t going to think the way they are being wanted to by the manufacturers.

    MS Office (may it perish forever!) may be M$’s most popular software suite, other than their horrible OSs. Why? Frequent updates, making companies feel part of the strategy and in control (when in reality, M$ has no controller – it just rambles).

    Nonetheless, I love the Mac.

  4. This has little to do with preventing Web Apps: you can already write nice Web Apps for the iPhone without Flash. Flash is just a messy, inefficient and proprietary attempt by Adobe to take over the desktop. Fighting Flash is a good thing.

  5. Could there also be some pay-back involved here due to Adobe’s switch to creating Windows versions of their programs first and dragging their feet with Mac versions, even though the Mac platform established them and propelled them to the position they now hold?

  6. That’s great news! Enough proprietary technologies on the web! The way to go is javascript, the direction Safari and Google’s Chrome are leading.
    Accepting Flash would stop the evolution of the Web.

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