Flash on the iPhone again sounding like wishful thinking

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Two weeks ago it sounded like Adobe was rounding a corner on its way to delivering Flash for the iPhone, but new comments from the software maker are anything but reassuring.



An Adobe spokeswoman told Dow Jones Tuesday (today) that Flash Lite needs more help from Apple than iPhone maker has traditionally afforded its developers. She then refused to confirm whether Apple and Adobe are working together, possibly signaling that the two are not working as closely as previously thought.



Late last month, Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen said the iPhone maker was collaborating with his company on a "hard technical challenge." His comment, "The onus is on [Adobe] to deliver," seems to disagree with the spokeswoman's assertion that Adobe still needs more help.



The software maker recently released a new version of Flash Lite that supports high definition videos, but not the iPhone.



Apple declined comment for the Dow Jones report; however, its continuing reticence to help Flash Lite along should come as no surprise. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has long encouraged developers to use open standards on the device in an effort to promote interoperability and cross platform independence for the next generation of internet applications.



The iPhone and Mac maker has been disappointed in the past with Adobe prioritizing its Windows plug-in at the expense of the Mac version, which fell behind in performance and features. Apple was likely trying to avoid the same problems spilling over to the iPhone, backing up Steve Jobs' criticisms of the "too slow" desktop version and the crippled capability of Flash Lite, which can't fully run content written for the desktop. It could also be prone to memory leaks and overworking the processor.



An Apple developer document published two Junes ago listed Flash as an "unsupported technology" and told devs, "You'll want to avoid using Flash and Java for iPhone content. You'll also want to avoid encouraging users to download the latest Flash on their iPhone, because neither Flash nor downloads are supported by Safari on iPhone."



The guidelines went on to recommend CSS, JavaScript, and Ajax instead. Apple has taken up an effort to remove Flash from its own corporate site and other products, and it teamed with Google to use the H.264 standard instead of Flash on the iPhone's YouTube app.



Taken together, these signs suggest an iPhone with Flash support is highly unlikely despite Adobe's persistence.



For more, see the AppleInsider series Flash Wars.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Google, Palm, Mozilla, and Apple are all working to improve javascript engines and building new javascript frameworks. Adobe is essentially working on Flash all by itself.



    Adobe sees its outgunned and is fighting to keep Flash relevant in the future.
  • Reply 2 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Google, Palm, Mozilla, and Apple are all working to improve javascript engines and building new javascript frameworks. Adobe is essentially working on Flash all by itself.



    Adobe sees its outgunned and is fighting to keep Flash relevant in the future.



    And Mozilla gets a bulk of its income from Google...
  • Reply 3 of 79
    Until Adobe can actually optimize flash so it is not a CPU hog I don't think Flash should be on the iPhone. If it were, iPhone batteries would be sucked dry very quickly. With some mobile surfing, people would be left wondering why their iPhone is only holding a charge for one or two hours.
  • Reply 4 of 79
    Flash is evil. Death to Flash!
  • Reply 5 of 79
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,573member
    I don't miss flash on the iPhone at all. Even browsing the web on my PC laptop I have flash disabled as its a PITA.



    IF, adobe can sort its shit out and release an optimised version of flash for ALL platforms this would be best but, tbh, Adobe seem incapable of releasing anything that is optimised.



  • Reply 6 of 79
    Sounds like they're having a hell of a time trying to get bloated code to run on a phone without draining the battery in 5 minutes without having to completely rewrite everything.



    I guess that's what happens when you save it until the last minute.



    Then again, I really don't miss those dancing chick banner ads telling me I can get 0% financing on my next mortgage.
  • Reply 7 of 79
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I'd say Flash on iPhone is still perfectly likely in future.... but ONLY if Adobe solves the problems:



    * Not slow

    * Not a power hog

    * Not the buggiest part of the browser

    * Not crippled/Lite (but a "video-only" plugin might still be useful)



    I'd expect Apple to be open to Flash support if those hurdles were cleared by Adobe.



    My main desire for Flash was for my own site... which is now redone so that iPhone users get WebKit CSS animation while everyone else gets Flash. Kind of a pain to do that, but it's done now.
  • Reply 8 of 79
    Nothing in this post provides any information to validate the claim made by the title. The comments made by the spokeswoman is just a rehash of what has already been made known. Less hogwash, more facts.
  • Reply 9 of 79
    Apple should really just let Adobe release Flash through the AppStore. Then when enough people download it and see how much it sucks, they'll get rid of it and accept that Steve was right all along. Some really bad press about Flash killing battery life on mobiles would be the best news for open standards.
  • Reply 10 of 79
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    So what happen to the posters that said that Apple was lying about Flash; that it would work great on the iPhone as is; that it would be a simple port if Apple allowed it?
  • Reply 11 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Then again, I really don't miss those dancing chick banner ads telling me I can get 0% financing on my next mortgage.



    Ha! That's hillarious, you (or anyone) being able to get another mortgage...
  • Reply 12 of 79
    I could care less if Flash ever makes it to the iPhone....
  • Reply 13 of 79
    I hate Flash. I wish it stayed on the desktop and not on websites. I wish all web developers would stop using it.
  • Reply 14 of 79
    Apple's efforts to support web standards such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS are admirable, but these technologies will only go so far for delivering rich internet applications (RIAs). The problem is that those technologies are limited insofar as providing rich technology, especially media and animations. There isn't a standard runtime environment, since there are several different browsers to test against. The major problem is Internet Explorer, including IE 6, which is just an absolute pain to test against (I know, I used to be a web developer).



    Unless IE can be wiped off the face of the Earth and all browsers can score 100% on Acid3, these problems will remain with standard technologies. Given that Microsoft is at the same time improving IE and refusing to implement SVG, coding to one set of web standards will not be enough to ensure cross-browser applications.



    On the other, RIA frameworks like Flash offer one runtime, and one test environment. All RIA applications run identically across browsers and operating systems.



    There are 3 RIA frameworks:



    1) Flash/Flex

    2) Silverlight

    3) JavaFX



    The problem with Flash is that it sucks computing resources like crazy, despite claims that it's a "smaller, more efficient" runtime than Java. It's closed source and proprietary. There's no mobile component that works off the same runtime (Flash Lite requires totally different applications to be written).



    The problem with Silverlight is that it's supported by Microsoft, and developers need to be part of the Microsoft ecosystem. Linux is not officially supported as a platform, except for the unauthorized Moonlight/Mono hack. It's also closed-source and proprietary. There's no mobile component.



    With JavaFX, Apple has a chance to support the most open RIA framework. Parts of JavaFX, including the compiler, have been open sourced, with more to follow. What's more, the runtime for the mobile and desktop versions of the framework are the same, with some different APIs between the two environments.



    Apple's going to have to invest in an RIA technology sooner or later.
  • Reply 15 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Google, Palm, Mozilla, and Apple are all working to improve javascript engines and building new javascript frameworks. Adobe is essentially working on Flash all by itself.



    Adobe sees its outgunned and is fighting to keep Flash relevant in the future.



    Fast javascript + SVG will do for the fancy 2D animated features in the future.



    The HTML5 video tag will replace flash for the video uses online.



    The most useful thing that Adobe could do is provide a flash video codec for the iPhone, and then Apple could parse flash video files to extract the video and show it without any of the flash gumpf.



    The most annoying thing recently are streaming video flash adverts. Why? What a complete waste of bandwidth. They play automatically as well. Flash used to be neat, now it's a noose on the internet.
  • Reply 16 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    Apple's going to have to invest in an RIA technology sooner or later.



    I think that's called "writing an iPhone application".



    There's nothing stopping you calling web services directly from your native application, that's how applications like blogging tools and the like work. I'd hope that the iPhone has HTTP Client classes, or at least SOAP classes. This is also how Android works (although they just needed to port the simple Java HTTPClient API).
  • Reply 17 of 79
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    flash as said above is irrelevent, it won't go on the iphone....once-twice-20 times bitten--really shy....apple doesn't need flash. open standards are what apple wants...gee at barcelona all these iphone wannabe's talk about how closed apple is, gee lightning should strike such liars and their phone messes they push.

    i don't want flash, iphone is the new paradigm, and let them use open standards as suggested by apple. adobe is fightling to overcome its ignoring apple for so long.
  • Reply 18 of 79
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    As I said above it isn't only Apple working on javascript, Google, Mozilla, Palm are also heavily invested.



    The ability to make rich internet applications, media playback, and animation is being worked on. It will come as their is more development being invested in javascript than in Flash.



    Internet Explorer does not hold the position as the gateway browser it once did. IE's dominnance on the desktop is quickly waning. IE has no position on mobile devices. As we go into the future IE will have little to no power to dictate which frameworks are used.



    The fact that javascript is divided into different test environments at this point is a strength as the major developers are in competition to leap frog each other in improving javascript speed and performance. That competition effectively pushes javascript to a place where it can supplant and replace Flash.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    Apple's efforts to support web standards such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS are admirable, but these technologies will only go so far for delivering rich internet applications (RIAs). The problem is that those technologies are limited insofar as providing rich technology, especially media and animations. There isn't a standard runtime environment, since there are several different browsers to test against. The major problem is Internet Explorer, including IE 6, which is just an absolute pain to test against (I know, I used to be a web developer).



    Unless IE can be wiped off the face of the Earth and all browsers can score 100% on Acid3, these problems will remain with standard technologies. Given that Microsoft is at the same time improving IE and refusing to implement SVG, coding to one set of web standards will not be enough to ensure cross-browser applications.



    On the other, RIA frameworks like Flash offer one runtime, and one test environment. All RIA applications run identically across browsers and operating systems.



  • Reply 19 of 79
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    It can be argued that when HTML/CSS/javascript have the same capability they will be used exactly the same way.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hattig View Post


    The most annoying thing recently are streaming video flash adverts. Why? What a complete waste of bandwidth. They play automatically as well. Flash used to be neat, now it's a noose on the internet.



  • Reply 20 of 79
    Considering the shoddy attitude and commitment Adobe has had towards Mac users for the last decade, I'm not the least bit sympathetic to their frustration with Flash & the iPhone. From installers that don't work to dropping Mac support on new software releases to charging equal price on Mac versions of programs lacking same features on the Windows versions, Adobe can sit & spin for all I care.



    Even the latest CS4 is a ridiculous money grab by Adobe considering its poor new features or overdue fixes. More importantly, Adobe has done little to advance Flash or any other products it acquired in its purchase of Macromedia a few years back.



    That Adobe feels slighted by Apple's lack of interest in helping Flash get on the iPhone is nothing more than a good old "taste of your own medicine", IMHO. I honestly hope Flash never gets on the iPhone...at least that will be one place where I don't have to worry about Adobe!!



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