or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Mossberg: Apple working on Adobe Flash support for iPhone
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mossberg: Apple working on Adobe Flash support for iPhone

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
An impending software update to Apple's iPhone will include a plug-in for the handset's Safari web browser that will finally let users view Adobe Flash media files, the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg reports.

The technology columnist made the comments in a question and answer piece posted to his web blog, specifically in response to a question regarding the quality of the Apple handset's browsing experience and its current inability to play some web movie clips.

"At launch, the iPhone version of the Safari browser is missing some plug-ins needed for playing common types of Web videos. The most important of these is the plug-in for Adobe’s Flash technology," Mossberg wrote. "Apple says it plans to add that plug-in through an early software update, which I am guessing will occur within the next couple of months."

The columnist also noted having some success in connecting his iPhone to a friend's BMW dashboard system over Bluetooth.

"In my two-week test of the iPhone, I succeeded in connecting it without much trouble to the built-in audio system and microphone on a friend’s BMW. Almost instantly, the over 700 contacts I had on my test iPhone were displayed on the car’s dashboard screen and calls could be made and received through the iPhone," he wrote."

Mossberg added, however, that the iPhone can use Bluetooth to connect only with cars and with wireless phone headsets. "It cannot use Bluetooth to transfer any data to or from a computer, to play music through stereo wireless headsets, or for any other purpose."
post #2 of 45
The Flash plug-in, if it doesn't bog things down excessively, is excellent news.
post #3 of 45
How come they let Mossberg say so much? Apple specifically states now that you should avoid Flash in their "iPhone development guidelines". They could've omitted that if the flash update was so near.
post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by meh 2 View Post

The Flash plug-in, if it doesn't bog things down excessively, is excellent news.

this is excellent news... in addition to being able to view flash sites, especially video (good) and advertisements (bad), the other significant factor is that this is probably the preferred method to write applications for many developers, especially if the .SWF file can be hosted locally on the phone's memory. speed should not be an issue. with the latest Flash Player 9, the runtime has increased in speed and efficiency greatly, compared to 8... somewhere on the magnitude of 10 times (guess from memory) for certain features. also, since we are talking about comparing speed against RIA applications running in Safari, the Flash runtime should see parity, if not an advantage to speed compared to AJAX / webkit applications.
post #5 of 45
The problem is that there isn't currently a Flash runtime for the ARM processor and if there was, how fast would it really be?
post #6 of 45
joy. so the next time i come here to post from my phone i'll be annoyed by those flash ads.

this will be a great addition to the phone. so many sites i frequent that i can't see without flash...
post #7 of 45
I'm sure the Flash plugin runs on the iPhone, but if you haven't noticed, Flash on a Mac is a major CPU hog. What a Windows PCs seems to handle without any effort, the Mac struggles along, all the while keeping its CPU cool by accelerating the fan. That would drain the iPhone's battery way too quickly (not a fan, but the CPU usage).

I bet Apple engineers are rewriting the Flash plugin to be small and efficient on the OS X platform. If so, I have no doubt it will benefit Macs, as well, which would rock!
post #8 of 45
The flash will be a welcome addition. BTW my 2007 Aura TL accepted instant link with Handsfree Link AND all contacts were transferred to the cars dashboard from my iPhone. Something I had been unable to do with Motorola phones or Palm Treo's. A very seemless procedure.
post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumguy View Post

The flash will be a welcome addition. BTW my 2007 Aura TL accepted instant link with Handsfree Link AND all contacts were transferred to the cars dashboard from my iPhone. Something I had been unable to do with Motorola phones or Palm Treo's. A very seemless procedure.

Note that Walt said Flash Video, not Flash in general. It's one thing to support FLV, and another to port the entire plugin to an ARM processor.

I think people are underestimating what a can of worms supporting Flash would be for Apple. Too many complications with all of the poorly written UIs out there. There's no equivalent to rollover on iPhone. No equivalent to drag and drop. And Flash would probably be a MAJOR resource hog and battery drainer.

I can't see Apple convincing Google to convert the entire YouTube catalog from Flash to H.264, and then coming out with full Flash support two months later, anyway. Why help Adobe push a non-standard proprietary file format, when you can sell enough iPhones to force the industry to conform to open standards? Especially when the user experience of Flash on iPhone will probably be mediocre at best for many sites.

I make a lot of money with Actionscript, but I still think promoting Flash in this way is a bad idea for Apple.
post #10 of 45
I hope they improve the Bluetooth support on the iPhone, specifically adding support for:
- Contacts syncing
- Calendar syncing
- Ability to use an NMEA compatible Bluetooth GPS
post #11 of 45
I want to be able to use the iPhone as a BT remote control, like other phones can do, for various devices. Like Lego Mindstorms.
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

I make a lot of money with Actionscript, but I still think promoting Flash in this way is a bad idea for Apple.

Flash is big part of my business too, but I've actually changed my position on Flash for iPhone. Previously I posted that I thought it was important to have. Now that I've had a chance to actually use the iPhone, I think it is better to leave it off. Absent Flash, it should encourage Flash developers to actually use swfobject with alt content so users will see an image file instead if Flash is not enabled.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotek2001 View Post

The problem is that there isn't currently a Flash runtime for the ARM processor and if there was, how fast would it really be?

there is a flash runtime for ARM running on the N770 and N800. you can even play YouTube videos with it (albeit, with slow video refresh, but the n800 has a less powerful ARM then the iPhone). On the N800 its implemented as an Opera plugin.
post #14 of 45
so what does this mean? will we be able to watch videos off of youtube.com on our iphone? (not the app)...
post #15 of 45
"Google street" needs flash...
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Note that Walt said Flash Video, not Flash in general. It's one thing to support FLV, and another to port the entire plugin to an ARM processor.

I think people are underestimating what a can of worms supporting Flash would be for Apple. Too many complications with all of the poorly written UIs out there. There's no equivalent to rollover on iPhone. No equivalent to drag and drop. And Flash would probably be a MAJOR resource hog and battery drainer.

I can't see Apple convincing Google to convert the entire YouTube catalog from Flash to H.264, and then coming out with full Flash support two months later, anyway. Why help Adobe push a non-standard proprietary file format, when you can sell enough iPhones to force the industry to conform to open standards? Especially when the user experience of Flash on iPhone will probably be mediocre at best for many sites.

I make a lot of money with Actionscript, but I still think promoting Flash in this way is a bad idea for Apple.

I agree with you about the YouTube support question. That would seem strange.

But, proprietary or not, Flash is still the most important standard on the web for this purpose. In that sense, it's almost an open format.

Not having some sort of Flash support is a big negative.
post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Flash is big part of my business too, but I've actually changed my position on Flash for iPhone. Previously I posted that I thought it was important to have. Now that I've had a chance to actually use the iPhone, I think it is better to leave it off. Absent Flash, it should encourage Flash developers to actually use swfobject with alt content so users will see an image file instead if Flash is not enabled.

I don't see the iPhone as ever becoming so important that web developers would switch.

There are several hundred million computers on the internet. Apple would have to sell a hundred million iPhones within a very few years for them to have an impact.
post #18 of 45
I hope they're also working on a video-capture app. \
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't see the iPhone as ever becoming so important that web developers would switch.

There are several hundred million computers on the internet. Apple would have to sell a hundred million iPhones within a very few years for them to have an impact.

I'm not sure if I was clear enough in my earlier comments. I'm suggesting Flash developers should be using swfobject with alt content ALL the time not just because of iPhone. There is no switching involved, it's just the right way to embed Flash especially for IE 7.

m

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #20 of 45
It would only make sense that you be able to capture video on your iphone that you may or may not want to upload to youtube....
post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

that will finally let users view Adobe Flash media files

"finally"?? the thing hasn't even been out more than a week
rolleyes
Slow Motion, Quick Thinking
Reply
Slow Motion, Quick Thinking
Reply
post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

... Apple specifically states now that you should avoid Flash in their "iPhone development guidelines". They could've omitted that if the flash update was so near.

Even if the phone were capable of flash, that would still be an excellent guideline
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I agree with you about the YouTube support question. That would seem strange.

But, proprietary or not, Flash is still the most important standard on the web for this purpose. In that sense, it's almost an open format.

Not having some sort of Flash support is a big negative.

Nothing proprietary can ever be an open standard. As kong as Adobe owns it, it's not open. And as long as it's not open, it doesn't help Apple much to support it, especially if the end experience is going to be sub par.

Flash may be popular, but no responsible design should ever require it. As someone pointed out earlier, you can put Flash into the site, but always provide alternate content to those who don't have it, or who have purposely disabled it.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I'm not sure if I was clear enough in my earlier comments. I'm suggesting Flash developers should be using swfobject with alt content ALL the time not just because of iPhone. There is no switching involved, it's just the right way to embed Flash especially for IE 7.

m

Sorry, but it wasn't.

Talking about the iPhone, you said:

Quote:
Absent Flash, it should encourage Flash developers to actually use swfobject with alt content so users will see an image file instead if Flash is not enabled.
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I'm not sure if I was clear enough in my earlier comments. I'm suggesting Flash developers should be using swfobject with alt content ALL the time not just because of iPhone. There is no switching involved, it's just the right way to embed Flash especially for IE 7.

m

Screw IE7. They should embed flash in the least ie friendly way. Go FF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grady View Post

It would only make sense that you be able to capture video on your iphone that you may or may not want to upload to youtube....

It will cost you $5 for Apple to unlock the video capture feature on your iPhone.
Serving humanity one sarcastic comment at a time.
Reply
Serving humanity one sarcastic comment at a time.
Reply
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Nothing proprietary can ever be an open standard. As kong as Adobe owns it, it's not open. And as long as it's not open, it doesn't help Apple much to support it, especially if the end experience is going to be sub par.

Flash may be popular, but no responsible design should ever require it. As someone pointed out earlier, you can put Flash into the site, but always provide alternate content to those who don't have it, or who have purposely disabled it.

It seems as though most of the worlds developers disageee with your statement about using it

If Apple has a bad implementation, that doesn't make it bad in itself.
post #27 of 45
Flash on iPhone would mean that AT&T could get their SMS gateway and voice services bypassed by an embedded flash App. Flash plug-in has the capability of sending voice/video/data so it's banned. Apple/AT&T can't block folks from spending more money on minutes and SMS messages.
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

Flash on iPhone would mean that AT&T could get their SMS gateway and voice services bypassed by an embedded flash App. Flash plug-in has the capability of sending voice/video/data so it's banned. Apple/AT&T can't block folks from spending more money on minutes and SMS messages.

Well, we'll have to see if Mossberg is right. he usually is.
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmarksdale View Post

Screw IE7. They should embed flash in the least ie friendly way.

If I were living in 'Apple Fantasy Land' as your location label states, maybe I would agree, but 90% of the people offering me money to develop programming are IE users so I try to accommodate their needs. It's not really Microsoft's fault that they were targeted with the EOLAS lawsuit, they just had the deepest pockets.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

Flash on iPhone would mean that AT&T could get their SMS gateway and voice services bypassed by an embedded flash App. Flash plug-in has the capability of sending voice/video/data so it's banned. Apple/AT&T can't block folks from spending more money on minutes and SMS messages.

That's the general idea. Of course Apple could disable the microphone and camera while safari was running if they wanted to. Flash has to ask permission to access the mic or camera.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotek2001 View Post

The problem is that there isn't currently a Flash runtime for the ARM processor and if there was, how fast would it really be?

In addition to the counterexample already presented, there is also a Flash runtime available for Sony-manufactured Palm handhelds (running on an ARM processor), and for PocketPC 2003 and Windows Mobile 5 (both running on ARM processors). They're not forging new territory in this one respect, at least.
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Nothing proprietary can ever be an open standard. As kong as Adobe owns it, it's not open. And as long as it's not open, it doesn't help Apple much to support it, especially if the end experience is going to be sub par.

Flash may be popular, but no responsible design should ever require it. As someone pointed out earlier, you can put Flash into the site, but always provide alternate content to those who don't have it, or who have purposely disabled it.

Maintaining alternate content is a silly waste of development resources because those people without Flash would comprise of maybe 1-2% of web users, last I saw any installed base numbers. Doubling development time to catch that 1% is not a good use of time. Save for maybe Silverlight, there is no other web interactivity standard out there that I am aware of that can do what Flash can do.
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Maintaining alternate content is a silly waste of development resources because those people without Flash would comprise of maybe 1-2% of web users, last I saw any installed base numbers. Doubling development time to catch that 1% is not a good use of time. Save for maybe Silverlight, there is no other web interactivity standard out there that I am aware of that can do what Flash can do.

If making a simple jpeg or screen capture of your flash title screen DOUBLES your development time then there is something wrong with your development process. Error trapping is not a waste of time. We also put in "title" and "alt" tags in all of our images because some browsers use "title" and some "alt". Another reason to use alt content in Flash is if you are targeting a particular version, you don't want it to be a big ugly "YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR FLASH". It's all about attention to detail from an artistic perspective. That's why we use Macs, we're artists.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

If making a simple jpeg or screen capture of your flash title screen DOUBLES your development time then there is something wrong with your development process. Error trapping is not a waste of time. We also put in "title" and "alt" tags in all of our images because some browsers use "title" and some "alt". Another reason to use alt content in Flash is if you are targeting a particular version, you don't want it to be a big ugly "YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR FLASH". It's all about attention to detail from an artistic perspective. That's why we use Macs, we're artists.

What I meant is using something else that does the exact thing as the flash unit did, which to me is more than just a lame image substitution, because that's not interactive.
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

What I meant is using something else that does the exact thing as the flash unit did, which to me is more than just a lame image substitution.

Well I don't think anyone expects you to write a Java application as alt content. As lame as it may seem to you, image substitution is just a small step toward making a Flash app a little more error proof. The alt image lets the viewer see the intended artistic balance of the page instead of big blank holes with broken icons. Is that so wrong?

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #36 of 45
Most of the time I can't stand websites developed using Flash. I wouldn't be bothered at all if iPhone never supports Flash (or Java). AJAX-based sites seem so much cooler (and more useful).
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by <2cents View Post

Most of the time I can't stand websites developed using Flash. I wouldn't be bothered at all if iPhone never supports Flash (or Java). AJAX-based sites seem so much cooler (and more useful).

I don't know why I bother defending Flash over and over in this argument. Flash is like a can of paint. When used for graffiti on the side of a building, it is annoying, when used on a canvas in an art gallery it can be valued in the millions of dollars. It all depends on who's doing the painting.

m

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't know why I bother defending Flash over and over in this argument.

Yet you continue to. We get it. People who get paid to use Flash like it. Those who don't...
post #39 of 45
I wonder how playing flash games will work on the iPhone..especially for teagames where you need your keyboard to control things.
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

I think people are underestimating what a can of worms supporting Flash would be for Apple. Too many complications with all of the poorly written UIs out there. There's no equivalent to rollover on iPhone. No equivalent to drag and drop. And Flash would probably be a MAJOR resource hog and battery drainer.

I can't see Apple convincing Google to convert the entire YouTube catalog from Flash to H.264, and then coming out with full Flash support two months later, anyway. Why help Adobe push a non-standard proprietary file format, when you can sell enough iPhones to force the industry to conform to open standards? Especially when the user experience of Flash on iPhone will probably be mediocre at best for many sites.

I agree with this, and I've said the same myself in previous threads. Apple is all about dumping old standards it doesn't like when it releases new products (e.g., the iMac with USB and no floppy), despite what people think should happen because "that's the way things are done." I think Mossberg is wrong here, and I doubt he really heard this from someone in the know at Apple.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Mossberg: Apple working on Adobe Flash support for iPhone