Adobe, Apple working together on Flash for iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Once thought to be building Flash for the iPhone mostly on its own, Adobe has mentioned at the World Economic Forum that it's not only continuing work on the animation plug-in but has teamed up with Apple to make it a reality.



In an interview with Bloomberg at the Davos, Switzerland event, Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen describes development as a complicated two-way process rather than maintaining the previous image of a one-sided effort that would depend on App Store approval before it could launch.



"It?s a hard technical challenge, and that?s part of the reason Apple and Adobe are collaborating," he says. "The ball is in our court. The onus is on us to deliver."



What hurdles Adobe has to overcome aren't mentioned by the executive, though the company's long porting process has underscored the difficulty involved. Narayen had said that he was "pleased with progress" as far back as June of last year -- just three months after the iPhone SDK made native third-party apps an option on the touchscreen device.



Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has maintained since nearly a year ago that the real obstacle is the nature of Flash itself. While desktop Flash is too resource-heavy for the small processor and low memory of smartphones like the iPhone, Jobs has warned that Flash Lite is too feature-limited and doesn't do many of the things users expect Flash to do -- such as playing video on the web or showing complex animations on websites.



Most Flash Lite implementations actually depend on an app that runs entirely outside of the web browser and are often based on older versions of Flash that limit their performance and feature set; Jobs has argued for a "product in the middle" that does more.



Whether or not the collaborative process involves working on that app is very much a mystery, but it may be necessary for Flash to appear in Apple's preferred form, as third-party iPhone apps aren't allowed to serve as plugins based on the iPhone SDK's guidelines.



And in the meantime, the cellphone maker has publicly advocated HTML 5 as a replacement and is collaborating with fellow browser developers Mozilla and Opera to perform many of the same functions of Flash but in a more universal and less resource-hungry standard.
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 152
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    I just installed clicktoflash yesterday:



    http://github.com/rentzsch/clicktoflash/tree/master



    Prior to installing, I had around 100 open windows/tabs, and the CPU load was 123% (out of 200 on a dual-core iMac). I closed Safari, installed clicktoflash, and reopened the same windows. With Flash turned off: 16%.



    Unless Adobe fixes this serious performance problem I'd just as soon see Flash go the way of Stuffit files.
  • Reply 2 of 152
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,129member
    Maybe flash will be a big feature for the 3rd iPhone with it's faster software. Would be nice to see it on the current Gen model too
  • Reply 3 of 152
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    This is the same siruation we say in the beginning when Jobs was asked about third party software. He had said that they were sure it would happen, and he left it as a "when we figure it out", sort of basis.



    It was pretty much the same with Flash. Despite what some here have been arguing, Jobs nevwr said it wouldn't happen. He never said he didn't want it. He never said he didn't like it.



    He did say that it used too many resources for a small mobile device like the iPhone, and that Flashlite didn't give the proper experience. He said that when something did, it would be different.



    I've always thought that Flash would arrive. The question was always when, and how. Last year, when Adobe said they were working on it, I believed them, and I believe that Apple is helping them.



    It's all too obvious. So many other phones have some version of it, and from what I see, they work just fine.



    I understand Apple's position on this, and it makes sense. It's the same reason why they don't want background processes running.



    If this is done right, and I imagine Apple won't allow it until it is, then it will be fine.
  • Reply 4 of 152
    The lack of flash isn't really high up in my 'list of problems'. To me he biggest problem with the iPhone is the lack of snycing. To dos? Push gmail? How come when I update an app on my iPhone it doesn't reflect that change on my computer!? How come I can't stream music to the nearest airport express?! How come when I add a bookmark to my iPhone safari it doesn't change my laptop's safari?! They can do so much stuff over the air that they aren't doing. I agree that media should be done over the wire, but how bout the other stuff?!



    P.s. Apple can/should also do moe with the multitouch. Like multitouch swipe to change safari tabs! Or a two finger tap on the notifictations bar to turn wifi on/off.
  • Reply 5 of 152
    i use Me just to sync my iPhone accross my iMac and laptop and it works sweet.
  • Reply 6 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has maintained since nearly a year ago that the real obstacle is the nature of Flash itself. While desktop Flash is too resource-heavy for the small processor and low memory of smartphones like the iPhone, Jobs has warned that Flash Lite is too feature-limited and doesn't do many of the things users expect Flash to do -- such as playing video on the web or showing complex animations on websites.



    Most Flash Lite implementations actually depend on an app that runs entirely outside of the web browser and are often based on older versions of Flash that limit their performance and feature set; Jobs has argued for a "product in the middle" that does more.



    Um, this is twisting what SJ said to make it seem like he agrees with this Adobe guy. He said nothing of the sort. SJ said Flash Lite sucks because it's not really Flash, and full Flash support is too processor-intensive for cell-phone-class processors. He said nothing about having any actual desire to have Flash on the iPhone.



    SJ and Apple has pushed for years for web content to support web standards ONLY, and not use proprietary formats. The iPhone has shown that people can surf the web without the possibility of accessing Flash, and there is no reason for Apple to permit Adobe to kludge it in there.



    Finally, no Flash support on the iPhone just makes Adobe's ability to sell Flash servers and get new companies to use Flash on their web sites just that much harder, because the best mobile surfing device can't access it. Companies don't want make an iPhone web site and a rest-of-the-internet web site, particularly for new sites. This gives the argument that they should stick with just using web-standards a big plus. And for the internet, that's a good thing?.
  • Reply 7 of 152
    I guess Jobs' statement of any usable version of Flash being too resource heavy, is a signal that the version of Flash they're developing is intended for the new (upcoming) iPhone, about which rumors have been going round about much more powerful graphics hardware...
  • Reply 8 of 152
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    I just installed clicktoflash yesterday:



    http://github.com/rentzsch/clicktoflash/tree/master



    Prior to installing, I had around 100 open windows/tabs, and the CPU load was 123% (out of 200 on a dual-core iMac). I closed Safari, installed clicktoflash, and reopened the same windows. With Flash turned off: 16%.



    Unless Adobe fixes this serious performance problem I'd just as soon see Flash go the way of Stuffit files.



    this is only going to change if adobe starts taking osx just a little more serious than they have in the last few years. they clearly don't care about the mac and their shoddy implementation of flash is ample proof.



    it seems with adobe's desire to get flash on the iphone, apple has some bargaining power. in order for flash to run, it needs to run efficient. since the iphone runs osx, fix flash for the mac and you're on your way to getting it on the iphone.



    i'm not holding my breath, but i don't miss flash either...



    i've used the lack of real flash on mobile devices as a perfect argument to have a handful of my clients drop flash from their websites already. keep on dragging your heels adobe!
  • Reply 9 of 152
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ipodrulz View Post


    The lack of flash isn't really high up in my 'list of problems'. To me he biggest problem with the iPhone is the lack of snycing. To dos? Push gmail? How come when I update an app on my iPhone it doesn't reflect that change on my computer!? How come I can't stream music to the nearest airport express?! How come when I add a bookmark to my iPhone safari it doesn't change my laptop's safari?! They can do so much stuff over the air that they aren't doing. I agree that media should be done over the wire, but how bout the other stuff?!



    P.s. Apple can/should also do moe with the multitouch. Like multitouch swipe to change safari tabs! Or a two finger tap on the notifictations bar to turn wifi on/off.



    I'm not interested in over the air syncing. I don't want my phone to sync everytime I get in range. I want it to sync when I want it to. That's a feature I can do without. Over the air is also much slower than a direct connection. As long as I could leave it off, fine, but you can say the same thing about Flash. Besides, Adobe is doing most all of the work. Adobe likely calls Apple when they need some questions answered, it's not taking anything away from Apple's own development efforts.



    I think people are in too much of a rush for things. I'd rather see Apple go slowly, and do things right, than to rush every feature in the world out, and screw the whole thing up. This is difficult enough as it is!
  • Reply 10 of 152
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post


    Um, this is twisting what SJ said to make it seem like he agrees with this Adobe guy. He said nothing of the sort. SJ said Flash Lite sucks because it's not really Flash, and full Flash support is too processor-intensive for cell-phone-class processors. He said nothing about having any actual desire to have Flash on the iPhone.



    SJ and Apple has pushed for years for web content to support web standards ONLY, and not use proprietary formats. The iPhone has shown that people can surf the web without the possibility of accessing Flash, and there is no reason for Apple to permit Adobe to kludge it in there.



    Finally, no Flash support on the iPhone just makes Adobe's ability to sell Flash servers and get new companies to use Flash on their web sites just that much harder, because the best mobile surfing device can't access it. Companies don't want make an iPhone web site and a rest-of-the-internet web site, particularly for new sites. This gives the argument that they should stick with just using web-standards a big plus. And for the internet, that's a good thing?.



    You're twisting the truth as well then. What he said, is that if the software can be done right, we would have it. This is pretty clear. He wasn't dissatisfied with the idea of Flash being on the phone, he just wasn't satisfied that it would work properly with the current software.
  • Reply 11 of 152
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    snip...



    It's all too obvious. So many other phones have some version of it, and from what I see, they work just fine.



    ...snip



    do all other phones run flash lite or are there any that run the full desktop version of it? i'm also curious what kind of battery life penalty flash lite delivers...
  • Reply 12 of 152
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tofino View Post


    do all other phones run flash lite or are there any that run the full desktop version of it? i'm also curious what kind of battery life penalty flash lite delivers...



    All the ones I've seen run Lite. Can't talk about penalty, as it can't be turned off in the ones I've seen.



    I really believe that Jobs does want to see Flash on the phone, and that he's spurring Adobe on to make it better.



    He could very well have just said that we won't ever see it, the way he did with Java. But he didn't.



    He doesn't think that Lite is terribly useful. He wants to see what we see on the desktop, with something that won't kill the cycles.



    If we can turn it off and on at will, something that other phones I've seen CAN"T do, though there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to, as it's a design decision, then everyone should be happy, so I don't see the opposition as being meaningful.
  • Reply 13 of 152
    I don't care either way about Flash on the iPhone, as long as it doesn't suck.



    Having Flash on the iPhone is more important to Adobe than it is to Apple, so hopefully Apple can use this to negotiate a few things out of Adobe. At the very least improving the Mac desktop version of Flash. Maybe improving the interface in the Adobe Creative Suite.



    Any other ideas on what Adobe should do to earn a spot on the iPhone for Flash?
  • Reply 14 of 152
    Flash would kill the iPhone as it is.



    im on a flash website and CPU is about 120 %



    i hope in snow leopard we see adobe taping into Open CL



    and if the iPhone 2.1 is Multi-Core it might be ok for flash.



    adobe needs to start making flash less of a resource hog. in both OS X and Windows.

    i sure as hell wont be download flash on my iPhone any time soon.
  • Reply 15 of 152
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,990member
    It's ironic that the people who cite the lack of Flash on the iPhone, are often those who say Apple isn't 'open' enough.



    Adobe Flash is one of the most closed things there is, clean room reverse engineering is the only way to offer an alternative to Adobe.



    In my experience a lot of sites are adapted to the iPhone, not the other way around.



    One of the first things I install on a desktop is a flash blocker plugin for the browser.



    My 2c.
  • Reply 16 of 152
    Quote:

    I'm not interested in over the air syncing. I don't want my phone to sync everytime I get in range. I want it to sync when I want it to. That's a feature I can do without. Over the air is also much slower than a direct connection. As long as I could leave it off, fine, but you can say the same thing about Flash. Besides, Adobe is doing most all of the work. Adobe likely calls Apple when they need some questions answered, it's not taking anything away from Apple's own development efforts.



    I think people are in too much of a rush for things. I'd rather see Apple go slowly, and do things right, than to rush every feature in the world out, and screw the whole thing up. This is difficult enough as it is!



    I don't think speed becomes an issue when it's something as simple as comparing if apps are updated, or sending over 4 or even 20 To Dos. Apple could do a simple 10MB limit. Though the point of my post was to say that Flash is no where important compared to all the other things Apple could be working on.
  • Reply 17 of 152
    I could do without Flash for everyday use, but it's those random convenience type things that make it hurt. Need a restaurant menu so you can tell home what to pick up? Use the iPhone! Oh, wait, they decided to use flash for that. I guess I'd like one question mark blue cube with extra sauce because that's all I see on the menu.
  • Reply 18 of 152
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    It's not a really big deal, but I'd rather have something, than not have it, as long, as I've said, it can be turned off easily. Then, there's no disadvantage. I don't know why people sometimes have a problem with this.



    I also don't know why a few people hate it so. There's nothing wrong with Flash per se, it the developers who screw things up. But that's not always the truth, sometimes it's pretty good.



    Unfortunately, most programmers aren't as talented as they like to pretend they are. Like most professions, most are just ok at their jobs, and there are as many bad ones as good ones.



    Perhaps we should rail against such low standards in the profession instead. After all, we can see these problems in just about any software we have.
  • Reply 19 of 152
    It just occurred to me that this might be the most important quote in the article.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "It?s a hard technical challenge, and that?s part of the reason Apple and Adobe are collaborating," he says. "The ball is in our court. The onus is on us to deliver."



    This is pretty much a 180 from where they were before, claiming flash would be ready "in a very short time" and just needed Apple's approval.
  • Reply 20 of 152
    I would cry no tears whatsoever if Flash were to die. The internet is one of the few things left in the world that's largely open and free, so the less control individual companies have the better.



    The trouble is, it will take years for the HTML 5 specification to be completed. Some organizations like Mozilla are jumping in and implementing things already (video and audio tags are coming in 3.1 in a few months) - which is great but it might cause problems down the line if these specs then change.
Sign In or Register to comment.