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Adobe begins work on Flash player for iPhone

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Adobe has started development of a Flash player suitable for use on Apple Inc.'s iPhone, company chief executive Shantanu Narayen said Tuesday.

Narayen made the revelation during a conference call with investors, explaining that Apple's recent release of an iPhone software developers kit (SDK) has afforded his company the necessary tools to finally begin work a version of its proprietary media player for the touch-screen handset.

"We believe Flash is synonymous with the Internet experience, and we are committed to bringing Flash to the iPhone," he said. "We have evaluated (the software developer tools) and we think we can develop an iPhone Flash player ourselves."

Narayen's comments are the latest in an ongoing saga between the two companies largely played out by the media. It all began last month following claims on the part of one gadget blog that Flash on the iPhone was finally imminent.

That surprised Adobe spokesman Ryan Stewart, who quickly noted in an official company blog post that: "No one aside from [Apple chief executive] Steve Jobs has any idea if or when it's coming. Everyone I talk to doesn’t know anything."

For his part, Jobs would later claim that technological limitations were to blame for the absence of the media player, which has grown in recent years to become a staple of the modern web experience, fueling everything from media-intensive advertisements to full-fledged websites.

The version of Flash player that runs on Macs and PCs is "too slow to be useful" on the iPhone, he said during the March 4th Apple shareholders meeting, while the mobile version known as Flash Lite is "not capable of being used with the Web."

"There's this missing product in the middle," Jobs added. "It just doesn't exist."

Narayen and his team now appear poised to alter that notion. They hope to deliver their missing product via Apple's new App Store, set to open in June alongside the release of iPhone software version 2.0.

Still, several unanswered questions remain, such as how the Flash player would function within websites given Apple's current iPhone developer guidelines which seem to require that all third-party software be released as standalone applications rather than as plug-ins.
post #2 of 74
will apple let them install it as a plug in?
post #3 of 74
As long as its a plug-in that I can keep the hell off my iPhone or iPod, then I don't care what the hell Adobe does or doesn't do. From the experience of the end-user, Flash sucks arse. I can't tell you how thrilled I was the day I discovered Flashblock and Firefox.

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post #4 of 74
Well....it's about FRIGGIN TIME!! :-)
post #5 of 74
"We believe Flash is synonymous with the Internet experience".

A little full of ourselves, aren't we?
Synonymous with annoying internet experience, maybe.

LIsten... I'm sure there are a lot of cool things being done with Flash, and I understand the fun Flash developers have with it.
But Flash is NOT the internet, and the meme that we're not getting 'real' internet without it is more than annoying. Its really dangerous for any concept of a standards-based internet.
post #6 of 74
Yeah I definitely don't miss annoying Flash ads on my iPhone.
I miss the days of web sites just being easy to read and navigate.
Now you have to look at six things before you actually find the info you need.
post #7 of 74
I think it would be funny if they wrote it and then Apple refused to distribute it.
post #8 of 74
Let's not be hasty and see how it turns out before going ballistic. I say as long as the user can turn it on or off, then make it available and leave it up to the user. That should satisfy everyone.
post #9 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Let's not be hasty and see how it turns out before going ballistic. I say as long as the user can turn it on or off, then make it available and leave it up to the user. That should satisfy everyone.

I totally agree. I think it has its advantages and disadvantages. The best solution is to warn the user of the possible negatives, but give them the choice. I would want it sometime, but by default, I would leave it off. As for being a plug-in or Apple allowing it, I think the solution would be for Adobe to create their own browser with Flash support.
post #10 of 74
I think it's just hot air. I don't see how it complies with the SDK terms of use.

The rumor from the Apple Phone Show was that the real hold-up is something completely different from what Apple & reps have been telling us, something about complex rights issues. I'll have to dig it up, my memory is fuzzy on that.
post #11 of 74
As someone who does quite a bit of Flash work, I can say that it does not belong on the iPhone. The best thing about the iPhone, is that it forces developers to make things simple, and elegant and to the point. Mediatemple.com is a hosting company that has a iPhone version of their account management center, which I think is far slicker than the standard version. So much time is wasted with retarded and rediculouse interfaces and bloat. If done properly, Flash can be great - but executed wrong (which is 90% of the time at least) boy is it fucking annoying beyond belief.
post #12 of 74
I'd make more use of Copy & Paste than flash on my iPhone.
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post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

... As for being a plug-in or Apple allowing it, I think the solution would be for Adobe to create their own browser with Flash support.

That would mean we'll have to wait for apple to make a 128 gig iphone...
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

will apple let them install it as a plug in?

It is Apple's rules so I'm sure they'll make an exception for the Flash player. I doubt Java will get as good of treatment as Flash will.

Personally, I can do without either Flash or Java on the iPhone. If they are there then fine, but so far I haven't missed them.
post #15 of 74
Jobs NEVER said that he didn't want flash on the phone. just as the article says, he said that the proper software wasn't available. If Adobe can come up with that software, I can't see any reason why Apple wouldn't use it.

Even though some people make such a big deal as to how they hate it, I would like to see it. I don't know any reason why it couldn't be turned off, or removed, for those who just can't stand the idea.
post #16 of 74
iphone is a new platform, just like MS wanted to own the desktop for the pc platform. MS realizes that the new "desktop" is the mobile platform. iphone has shown it can capture more and more of the internet on the mobile platform, and is the "one to beat" the clear leader in the new "mobile internet" we are seeing only the beginning of this growth....what in less than a year. so with this new ever expanding "platform" adobe is looking to be left out..... it can't have that. SJ has other options and all those years of put downs by adobe is catching up. the real use of mobile flash is FOR ADS---making money for the sites. i don't want my iphone experience garbaged up with flash junk everywhere like it is on my internet experience now. there are ways around flash. and SJ has that already, youtube is porting to a non flash codec, SJ doesn't want flash on the iphone for a bunch of reasons. I trust SJ to protect our experience the iphone will be or is the standard for user interface....and that does not need flash. there are others more in the know than i for what codec works best for the iphone. the user interface is already making the iphone the new standard...wow in less than a year.

i agree with the above statement "If done properly, Flash can be great - but executed wrong (which is 90% of the time at least) boy is it fucking annoying beyond belief."

so stop with the "we have to have flash" " flash defines the web experience" to what are the options for a clean user experience without hogging all the bandwidth and processor.
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post #17 of 74
I'd be happy to buy an iphone if it had flash (player) as an application (so I can download and run swf files) - but if it was available as a plugin in the browser I'd likely turn it off. Looks like I'll be buying an iphone in the summer

ade.
post #18 of 74
Apple are going to have to make exceptions, or they're just going to look stupid. Having a 'no interpreted code' clause in the SDK contract is fine for most people, and you can see why they do it, but for the big software companies theres no real reason not to allow them access.

The clause is there to ensure that the software is 'complete' when apple test it, so that you can't go sending extra code to the program when it's running.
post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Jobs NEVER said that he didn't want flash on the phone. just as the article says, he said that the proper software wasn't available. If Adobe can come up with that software, I can't see any reason why Apple wouldn't use it.

Agree in part. I just can't see any reason why Apple would us it, as yet.

Quote:
Even though some people make such a big deal as to how they hate it, I would like to see it. I don't know any reason why it couldn't be turned off, or removed, for those who just can't stand the idea.

I think that there are too many who just wouldn't comprehend the choice, causing more dissension from ignorance as seen in many of the arguments posted here.

Although this article (http://www.mercurious.com/wordpress/...one-and-flash/) was published last August, it does appear to have some relevance. Perhaps Melgross you could give your take on it.
post #20 of 74
Can someone finally enlighten me- What do they mean by "Flash Lite is not capable of being used with the web"? What does it do then?

I know it is on the N95 but what function does it serve?

(Also- any ideas of how to circumvent the 'roll-over' functionality of so much of flash? - Ireland- I have notice that you are one for solving these kind of touch-interface problems...)
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post #21 of 74
Well they already have a Mac development division right? Should be able to get their stuff on the iPhone faster than other companies.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanUK View Post

Can someone finally enlighten me- What do they mean by "Flash Lite is not capable of being used with the web"? What does it do then?

I know it is on the N95 but what function does it serve?

Perhaps this should help: http://www.mercurious.com/wordpress/...one-and-flash/
post #23 of 74
I've been thinking about how Sun and Adobe could follow the SDK regulations and still offer us Java and Flash. The solution I see Adobe using is to create Flash for the iPhone and use the WebKit engine that is available to any home brew apps that you wish.

For Flash, this would mean that you'll have two web browsers on you iDevice: the orignal Safari and the new version built by Adobe with the FVM and the Apple supplied WebKit, but with 9 home screens and the ability to alter the 4 main icons, this won't be an issue... though I'm sure someone will complain.

Java is a little tougher for Sun as any apps that wish to use the JVM will require the developer to input it into each app. Though, this task can be made to be a simple cut and paste with easy to follow directions. These foregoes Sun and Adobe getting special permission from Apple to go against the SDK rules as these are not plug-in solutions and won't require these VMs to run in the background.


PS: There may be other ways, but this is the one I can think of. If way off base please feel free to inform me.

PPS: I just can't wait until the debate over the usefulness of Flash begins in this thread. I'm glad I have the day off.
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post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

...Synonymous with annoying internet experience, maybe.

I certainly wouldn't miss annoying Flash ads or huge Flash intros on certain web sites, but I do know I have a hard time explaining to my son why web-based games won't work when I let him play with my iPhone. Is the situation with Flash any different from that of Java though? Both would fall foul of the SDK license as it stands but I really think Apple has to allow both (and Silverlight too I guess). Whether or not you choose to install them is another matter but it would be very churlish and anticompetitive of Apple to reject out of hand everything that lets you write cross-platform apps of any kind.
post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Jobs NEVER said that he didn't want flash on the phone. just as the article says, he said that the proper software wasn't available. If Adobe can come up with that software, I can't see any reason why Apple wouldn't use it.

Even though some people make such a big deal as to how they hate it, I would like to see it. I don't know any reason why it couldn't be turned off, or removed, for those who just can't stand the idea.

You can not be serious. Can you dynamically turn Flash on or off now in Safari? Uh, yeah, I didn't think so.

What people hate about Flash is the "apps" tend to be ads, the software is bloated and puts the CPU in overdrive mode killing battery life and running the fans at full bore. For the 5% of Flash that adds any value the other 95% is pure crap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

... but I really think Apple has to allow both (and Silverlight too I guess). Whether or not you choose to install them is another matter but it would be very churlish and anticompetitive of Apple to reject out of hand everything that lets you write cross-platform apps of any kind.

Apple has every right to examine how these "cross platform" apps will affect the iPhone user experience limit the stuff that will affect the core phone and apps. The users won't know it was the flash engine that killed their battery life when the phone goes dead, they'll just know something happened after installing a 3rd party. Hardly the approach they will want for building confidence their App Store, IMO. If people want to write apps for the iPhone with its limited memory footprint, its not out of the realm to require them to be written as iPhone apps. Or prove there won't be a negative impact.

And for anyone who thinks Flash Lite is the answer, yes its a mobile Flash platform but one that basically won't run "regular" Flash apps. Flash Lite apps are written to specifically target the mobile platform. For example, your son's Flash game isn't going to run on Windows Mobile either, with or without Flash Lite. Honestly, it might be a good time to discuss technical limitations with him. I went through this with my son when we disabled IE on the two Windows PCs in the house (after a particularly nasty spyware infestation that shouldn't have been possible from a non-admin account). For the few sites that insisted on IE as the browser, he found other sites with other games to play...

As for being "churlish and anticompetitive", OMG have you looked at Microsoft at any point in the past two decades? I work with their server tools every day. Trust me, they haven't made a single move in that time that wasn't wrapped around some competitive strategy or another. Silverlight is nothing more than an attempt at pulling back Flash apps and standards based media back into their Windows server licensing.

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post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

You can not be serious. Can you dynamically turn Flash on or off now in Safari? Uh, yeah, I didn't think so.

Your hubris must be blocking your ability to do a google search.

1) Turn of all Plugins via Safari's Preferences (though this is not ideal)

2) SafariPlus


3) This is little more involved but it does focus only on the ads: Sytlesheet to specifically disable Flash Ads.
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post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

I certainly wouldn't miss annoying Flash ads or huge Flash intros on certain web sites, but I do know I have a hard time explaining to my son why web-based games won't work when I let him play with my iPhone.

And having Flash Lite would likely not solve that problem. The mobile versions of Flash can't do everything Desktop Flash can do, and using your fingers on a touch screen while playing a game intended to be controlled by a mouse and keyboard would leave much to be desired.

So try to explain to a child that the phone has Flash, but that his games won't work, anyway. I'm sure he'll get the nuance.

Besides, if games are the concern, relax. Go watch the games demoed during the SDK event. They're about six billion times better than any cheesy Internet Flash-based game. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

There will be no lack of games for the iPhone in a few months.
post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

I certainly wouldn't miss huge Flash intros on certain web sites.

Q: "What is the most commonly clicked link on the entire web?"
A: "What is ... Skip Intro, Alex!"
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post #29 of 74
Article headline in today's Macworld: "Adobe releases Flash Media Rights Management Server"

While we're here discussing the merits/pitfalls of having Flash on the iPhone, Adobe is charging ahead with its plans to cop to businesses with a grand DRM scheme. Blinking banner ads, now with DRM. Just what I want on my phone.
post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I'd make more use of Copy & Paste than flash on my iPhone.

I don't think copy and paste fits in line with the metaphor the iPhone and iPod touch use. After all, you would be unable to see the result of your action until you pasted it. It wouldn't feel organic like every other aspect of the iPhone OS UI.

edit: ooooohhhhh unless you mean that flash is EVEN LESS useful than C&P on an iPhone, since on such a small device it is very rarely needed.
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post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Perhaps this should help: http://www.mercurious.com/wordpress/...one-and-flash/

Thanks!
From having a read of that, it now appears less likely that Flash Lite will appear on the iPhone as it offers developers a second option to develop software outside the Objective C (official SDK) platform. Surely this seems quite unlikely post SDK release.

I use my iPhone for web browsing as much as I do my Mac or work PC. I do not miss Flash at all. Thanks to re-encoding YouTube and BBC iPlayer (not that I really use either), there seems little Flash has to offer.
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post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Your hubris must be blocking your ability to do a google search.

1) Turn of all Plugins via Safari's Preferences (though this is not ideal)
...

No, I want some type of Flashblock for Safari that specifically and selectively lets me enable which Flash trash I run (at runtime). Adblock Plus and Flashblock are the reasons why I probably will stay with Firefox and not move to Safari 3.1. For some reason Apple refuses to effectively implement that type of functionality in the Safari browser. Shame too, as from one night's testing it seems that all the new speed gains in Safari 3.1 are pissed away on all the craptastic ads it insists on loading. This site being a prime example. I just wish Firefox behaved more like an OS X app....

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post #33 of 74
Here's my $0.02.

There are HUGE communities of Flash and Java developers, and a huge library of existing games & applications for both platforms. There's a small (tiny?) community of Objective-C developers. The iPhone has already proven itself to be a significant platform in the mobile world - even though Windows Mobile and Symbian are still far larger.

For all those existing Flash and Java developers, the iPhone represents a new source of $$$. But they are blocked because their apps won't run on the new platform. Adobe and Sun NEED to assure their developer (and investor) communities that they will open this new $$$ source.

Apple, on the other hand, would like to grow the community of Objective-C/OS X developers. The lack of Flash and Java is not hurting the sales/profitability of the iPhone and (more importantly) preserves Apple's look-and-feel. Apple - rightly so - foresees that Flash & Java will open the world of sucky UI and performance, and pollute the elegance of the iPhone. I don't think Apple has or feels any obligation to help out Adobe or Sun, nor their developers - and may even see the iPhone as a way to steal developers from those other platforms.

I suspect that largish amounts of money will change hands, favors will be exchanged, and both Flash and Java will show up on the iPhone eventually.

- Jasen.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

"We believe Flash is synonymous with the Internet experience".

A little full of ourselves, aren't we?
Synonymous with annoying internet experience, maybe.

LIsten... I'm sure there are a lot of cool things being done with Flash, and I understand the fun Flash developers have with it.
But Flash is NOT the internet, and the meme that we're not getting 'real' internet without it is more than annoying. Its really dangerous for any concept of a standards-based internet.

Tell that to Steve Job's buddies over at Nike that have a "flash only" store.
post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Adobe has started development of a Flash player suitable for use on Apple Inc.'s iPhone, company chief executive Shantanu Narayen said Tuesday.

Narayen made the revelation during a conference call with investors, explaining that Apple's recent release of an iPhone software developers kit (SDK) has afforded his company the necessary tools to finally begin work a version of its proprietary media player for the touch-screen handset.

"We believe Flash is synonymous with the Internet experience, and we are committed to bringing Flash to the iPhone," he said. "We have evaluated (the software developer tools) and we think we can develop an iPhone Flash player ourselves."

Narayen's comments are the latest in an ongoing saga between the two companies largely played out by the media. It all began last month following claims on the part of one gadget blog that Flash on the iPhone was finally imminent.

That surprised Adobe spokesman Ryan Stewart, who quickly noted in an official company blog post that: "No one aside from [Apple chief executive] Steve Jobs has any idea if or when it's coming. Everyone I talk to doesn’t know anything."

For his part, Jobs would later claim that technological limitations were to blame for the absence of the media player, which has grown in recent years to become a staple of the modern web experience, fueling everything from media-intensive advertisements to full-fledged websites.

The version of Flash player that runs on Macs and PCs is "too slow to be useful" on the iPhone, he said during the March 4th Apple shareholders meeting, while the mobile version known as Flash Lite is "not capable of being used with the Web."

"There's this missing product in the middle," Jobs added. "It just doesn't exist."

Narayen and his team now appear poised to alter that notion. They hope to deliver their missing product via Apple's new App Store, set to open in June alongside the release of iPhone software version 2.0.

Still, several unanswered questions remain, such as how the Flash player would function within websites given Apple's current iPhone developer guidelines which seem to require that all third-party software be released as standalone applications rather than as plug-ins.

Pretty funny.
I wonder how the part about how an app they build with the SDK has to go dormant when you run another application on the iPhone.... escaped their review?
You know, how when you build something with the SDK and it's running, and then you run another app like... say... Safari?
And then their app has to stop running?
How they gonna build a flash player app, that stops running when you switch to Safari?
They can see how to do this now that they have the SDK?
They have NO IDEA what THEY are talking about.
I wonder if maybe they are just pounding their chest and not .... really.... doing anything?

What a joke......
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

Pretty funny.
I wonder how the part about how an app they build with the SDK has to go dormant when you run another application on the iPhone.... escaped their review?
You know, how when you build something with the SDK and it's running, and then you run another app like... say... Safari?
And then their app has to stop running?
How they gonna build a flash player app, that stops running when you switch to Safari?
They can see how to do this now that they have the SDK?
They have NO IDEA what THEY are talking about.
I wonder if maybe they are just pounding their chest and not .... really.... doing anything?

What a joke......

The SDK lets you use WebKit inside your app, the way iTunes uses WebKit for the iTunes Store. They can make another browser app that uses Flash and WebKit (and perhaps Java) without being in violation.
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post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Tell that to Steve Job's buddies over at Nike that have a "flash only" store.

True, at this stage some amount of Flash trash is unavoidable. That doesn't make it preferable. I suspect if Nike has a Flash-only store, it is because someone sold it to an executive as "Teh Sexy (TM)". The reality is that shoe sizing is still pretty hard to get right online. I wonder how much merchandise they actually move on that site.

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post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

I don't think copy and paste fits in line with the metaphor the iPhone and iPod touch use. After all, you would be unable to see the result of your action until you pasted it. It wouldn't feel organic like every other aspect of the iPhone OS UI.

What? Cut and paste isn't only about drag and drop.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The SDK lets you use WebKit inside your app, the way iTunes uses WebKit for the iTunes Store. They can make another browser app that uses Flash and WebKit (and perhaps Java) without being in violation.

So when I use my browser, (Safari) it won't work, but they're going to build me a new browser that does use flash and work?

Anyone else think Apple will really go along with this?
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

True, at this stage some amount of Flash trash is unavoidable. That doesn't make it preferable. I suspect if Nike has a Flash-only store, it is because someone sold it to an executive as "Teh Sexy (TM)". The reality is that shoe sizing is still pretty hard to get right online. I wonder how much merchandise they actually move on that site.

I can tell you that I know they move a LOT through the site.
And they offer some really neat customization on shoes built special.
None of this in any way prevents them from doing this without flash.
I do agree that an executive was sold on the idea of being Flash.
As much as people want to say Apple is somehow taking a hit in NOT supporting Flash, Nike is taking a bigger hit by relying on it so exclusivly and it goes without saying.... IMO..... you will see Nike fix that with a non-flash approach.
(I'm have some knowledge on this....)
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