back to article Flash goes native on iPhone

When it comes to Apple versus Adobe Systems there’s still no Flash in the iPhone browser, but a new compiler does enable Flash applications for App Store Adobe chief technology officer Kevin Lynch, speaking at Adobe's MAX in Los Angeles, California, explained what we already knew: that there is no technical barrier to running …


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  1. Hi Wreck

    Flash in the pan?

    Why on earth would I want to have flash on my iPhone. It's bad enough on my computer. Just say no!

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Less flash on the interweb is a good thing. It's badly written "intro, skip now" sites and terrible "my new font is in flash" or "here is an advert and screw your bandwidth/performance" that really gives the internet a bad name.

  3. Gordon Ross Silver badge


    Apple should only allow Flash on the iPhone/Touch once there is a version of FlashBlock for these devices too.

    I like not having the irritating Flash gumpf on my iPod Touch.

  4. Barney Carroll
    Thumb Up

    @Hi Wreck

    Interoperability, integrated multimedia…

    Flash ubiquity takes a dent from Apple's stand-offishness as regards the iPhone. Now, things are looking different. My landlord's a Flex deseloper. His CV looks better every minute. Now he can just say he's a mutlimedia RIA developer, and his apps will run on anything.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    I don't know why people always get so excited about Flash. It's a horrible, buggy, resource-hungry, pointless pile of lies. Anyone who develops stuff in flash should be taken outside and shot. It's bad enough that I decided to install a Flash blocker plugin on my Mac at home, why on earth would I want it on my phone?

    Besides, given how notoriously resource hungry it is, I'm not surprised Apple hasn't enabled its use on the iPhone, your battery would be dead in seven minutes flat...

  6. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Down

    No thanks

    Flash is the bane of computing, wasting performance left and right.

  7. Paul 25

    If flash makes it to the iPhone

    I hope it isn't written by the same team that gave us Flash for OS X, that thing is an utter resource hog. On my three year old MacBook (not new, but far from underpowered) playing a movie off YouTube uses about 90% CPU.

    On the iPhone you'd get about ten minutes of play before the battery ran flat :/

    Having said that, I would prefer to have it than not have it, just make it not suck please, ta.

  8. Eponymous Cowherd

    Flash everywhere...

    ...except on the iPhone

    I wonder if this has anything to do with Apple's anally retentive control over the App Store and which apps can run on the iPhone. A Flash interpreter on the iPhone will allow it to run apps that are out of Apple's control (directly from web sites) and, as the C64 emulator fiasco illustrates, Apple don't much like that.

  9. Jim Coleman

    @Hi Wreck

    ...because it's more or less a de facto Internet standard for rich web apps, and by not supporting it, the iphone will remain the only smartphone not to be fully capable of surfing the web and experiencing all its multimedia.

    But if you're happy with crippled surfing, carry on. I'm not, so as soon as the full flash for Windows Phones is realeased, I'm going to install it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Forget it Adobe

    No way do I want Flash on my iPhone.

  11. Lloyd

    It'll never happen

    Flash breaks the iPhone t&c's and there's no way they'll change it, I'm off to Android personally, every time I've patched my iPhone it's broken something, the last time it destroyed everything losing all my contacts (it couldn't restore the backup). Apple have turned into MS.

  12. JediHomer
    Paris Hilton

    @Hi Wreck

    Because TubeGalore is all in Flash ;)

  13. richard 69

    i love apple

    but they are idiots when it comes to using other peoples technology and still suffer from massive arrogance about what they believe their customers need.

    flash is not perfect but is all around and cannot be ignored, a bit like cut-copy-paste! as much as apple hate it, flash needs to be on the iphone...

  14. E Haines

    Still need a Mac

    >"Moreover, you can now build iPhone apps on Windows, previously you needed a Mac."

    That hasn't changed; you still need a Mac to run the simulator and do all the code signing shenanigans. If this is referring to just the development process itself, other people have set up Windows development environments for iPhone development, using a Mac just for the final steps, so nothing new there.

  15. andy van stokkum

    Export Silverlight project to iPhone next...

    How long will it be before MS (or smart partner) release a Visual Studio plugin to export a Silverlight project to an iPhone binary. That would be fantastic for .net devs. Objective C is a bit gash.

    Take that a bit further, having an option to export a Silverlight project from Visual Studio to a Flash binary would be handy too - given everyone has the flash runtime, but not so many have the silverlight runtime.

  16. Adam T


    Flash isn't going to appear in iPhone Safari because the swf applications can't be vetted by Apple.

    The iPhone is clearly capable of running Flash, as we see in the announcement, but in this case it's ok because the apps have to be submitted through the approval process.

    This isn't about the iPhone being incapable, it's about Apple being obtuse.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Adobe has announced a new feature in the forthcoming Creative Suite 5 that will enable developers to compile Flash applications to iPhone native code"

    Oh god please no, as if there's not enough crap in the App Store already without Flash developers getting stuff on there.

  18. DrXym

    Obvious reason for no Flash

    Flash is too powerful and competes with apps on the iPhone. Half of the games and other apps on the store would be rendered worthless if the phone supported flash.

  19. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    Who cares?


    98% of people may have Flash installed, but so what? A huge number of those users still have IE6!

    If ubiquity were the only reason for supporting a technology, we'd never have gotten past CP/M. There's very little Flash can do that Unity Technologies' 3D-accelerated multimedia plugin can't do. (And they've had iPhone support for about a year now too.)

    Who the hell needs Flash?

  20. Tom Chiverton 1

    Resource hog ?

    Also at MAX it was mentioned that the v10.1 player (on phones and desktop) uses half the RAM and a third less CPU, with no application changes needed. That should sort that out.

    Also, please don't blame bad user experiences on Flash - you can just as easily get the same mess with jQuery :-)

    PS Silverlight on many phones, is it, eh Microsoft ?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Oh dear Apple...

    It means I can't stream BBC News or watch any non-youtube video. Apple are putting politics before their customers. No Flash means people have to use crappy old QuickTime (which is just as bad as Flash on the desktop when it comes to resource hogging and pointless start-up processes). It also means Apple loose control over what applications can run on the phone, and so both Apple and the network operators loose money (Flash has a Microphone and Camera API, so it could be used for a voicecall application). Allowing plug-ins would also open the door to Silverlight and Java, which would be great for users (if implemented well) but not good for Apple who wants to push it's own API and App store, which I see eventually being brought to the desktop.

    Shame :(

    Microsoft have finally stopped doing this, with the inclusion of multiple video codecs in Windows 7 - Is Apple the new Microsoft?

  22. Craig 28

    I don't want...

    I don't want an iPhone on my Flash.

    Hate flash, but you really can't ignore it these days. Yes ubiquity can be an argument for support, when it interferes with operability of many sites.

    That said I hate Apple's attitude to the app store, etc, etc way more. And this is someone thinking of buying a Mac (mostly for Voice Over though).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash can not be made secure -- high risk of malware

    Flash is a security nightmare no matter the OS, browser, security settings, or user behavior. Starting as little more than a video format, an unending stream of "enhancements" to ActionScript and elsewhere now allow it to approximate a cross-platform development environment. Unfortunately, one with inherently poor security, where features were/are added without adequate attention to security, with it now able to access so many objects and services, directly from Flash or indirectly by building upon Flash, that it is riddled with vulnerabilities and active exploits that make it one of the leading vectors for malware attacks.

    Increasingly, ad servers, news/sports sites, and most everyone else will go to great lengths to subvert Flash blocking, site blocking, and other efforts in order to deliver unwanted/dangerous web content. The majority of these use JavaScript and ActionScript together through several stages to gain increasing control and access. For example, with only a little effort one could (and probably still can) use a transparent Flash image to overlay all or part of the display, then monitoring key/mouse events and sending them to a remote site using techniques nearly impossible to detect; and for good measure, the malware could download child porn into a "hidden" browser window without likely detection, bypassing many safeguards, and looking the same as if done by the user.

    We already have enough problems on phones and such with SMS, MMS, and fragile cellphone infrastructure that was not designed for today's hostile environments.

    BTW I first tried posting this on the CW site, but they required JavaScript and had links to other sites, dynamic URIs, and many examples of bad web design, excessive clutter, scripts, etc. that provide little if any additional function. I am using w3m, a text-only browser with no scripting of any type; w3m, lynx, and similar programs lack a lot of "features", but they let me browse in relative safety. So much for all those non-standard sites that require Flash to function at all; I will just go elsewhere and not even miss them. There are currently two exceptions to my rule, sites important enough for me to switch to a "throw-away" environment, typically something like Linux/Firefox/Noscript/Flashblock. Or maybe use my iPhone if Flash not required.

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