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Scoble: Is Jobs lying about not being able to run Flash on the iPhone

Squabbles between Apple and Adobe



5:27 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I almost bought an iPhone today, but they really make you jump through hoops just to buy a phone...I'm not an itunes guy.

Anyway, I didn't realize you can't run Flash on the iphone until today.

Rumors are that it runs internally but due to a fight with Adobe, they aren't putting in the phone.

From Scoble's site:

RUMOR ALERT — I have not substantiated this with anyone at either Adobe or Apple, so might turn out to be totally false...

he’s seen Flash running on an iPhone in a lab and that it’s been running for quite a while and that it’s not a technical issue that caused Steve Jobs to go public about not putting Adobe’s Flash on the iPhone....

Adobe is playing hardball with Apple over their PDF renderer. “Adobe wants Apple to use the Adobe PDF renderer.” His thesis? Steve Jobs is playing hard to get to get Adobe to give up this demand.


10:41 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah that was one of the 132 reasons why I had to return my Iphone when they first came out. If apple is indeed running any version of os x on the phone, then flash or any other plugin should be easy to add technically - unless the above mentioned licensing "technical" issue is the issue.

Did I mention I really don't like flash? :-)

travelin cat

5:10 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It may be an Apple/Adobe issue, but one thing I have noticed on both my laptop and my G5 is that Flash eats up cpu cycles.

When a flash file is playing, the Activity Monitor shows a major jump in cpu activity and the fans in my machine start to kick in... big time.

This kills battery life, which isn't that great anyway on my iPhone.


9:17 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree with travelin cat in that this an Adobe/Apple issue.

The iPhone uses an ARM processor and Adobe will need to port the flash plugin to ARM in order to get flash to run on the iPhone. I'm sure that Adobe has enough competent programmers to make this a trivial matter, but what benefit does Adobe get if they help one of their competitors sell more hardware?


4:43 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I personally would hate having to use Adobe PDF softeware on a Mac, the built-in PDF support is all fast and easy enough to use!

travelin cat

3:08 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Looks like Adobe is going to make Flash play nice with mobile phones. From their site today:

The Open Screen Project is dedicated to driving consistent rich Internet experiences across televisions, personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics. The Open Screen Project is supported by technology leaders, including Adobe, ARM, Chunghwa Telecom, Cisco, Intel, LG Electronics Inc., Marvell, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Verizon Wireless, and leading content providers, including BBC, MTV Networks, and NBC Universal, who want to deliver rich Web and video experiences, live and on-demand across a variety of devices.

The Open Screen Project is working to enable a consistent runtime environment – taking advantage of Adobe® Flash® Player and, in the future, Adobe AIR™ -- that will remove barriers for developers and designers as they publish content and applications across desktops and consumer devices, including phones, mobile internet devices (MIDs), and set top boxes. The Open Screen Project will address potential technology fragmentation by allowing the runtime technology to be updated seamlessly over the air on mobile devices. The consistent runtime environment will provide optimal performance across a variety of operating systems and devices, and ultimately provide the best experience to consumers.

Specifically, this work will include:

* Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
* Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
* Publishing the Adobe Flash® Cast™ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
* Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

travelin cat

7:24 pm on Jun 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Here's an update from Apple Insider:

"With respect to the iPhone, we are working on it," said Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen, responding to a question on the matter from a Jeffries & Co analyst during a quarterly conference call. "We have a version 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."

Narayen added that he's nevertheless "pleased with the internal progress" that's been made to date.

Read the full article here. [appleinsider.com]

travelin cat

4:21 pm on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Here's the latest on Flash for the iPhone from appleinseider.com [appleinsider.com]:

Speaking at the Flash On The Beach (FOTB) conference in Brighton, Sr. Director of Engineering at Adobe Systems Paul Betlem was asked by an audience member for an update on Flash support for iPhone users.

Betlem reportedly responded by saying his team is "working on Flash on the iPhone" but given that the iPhone is a closed and closely guarded system, Apple will have final say over whether the application makes its way onto the App Store.

Should Apple approve the software, it would be available "in a very short time," Betlem added.


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