Flash IS coming to the iPhone – Adobe CEO pleased with Flash development for iPhone

iPhone FlashAll those hints and signs that the iPhone might be getting some much sought-after Flash support turned out to be fairly on point. Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen announced that he’s “pleased with the internal progress that we’ve made to date.”

Just what kind of progress has Adobe made in the Flash-on-iPhone arena? The code-monkeys at Adobe have apparently been toiling away to make a viable Flash solution for the iPhone. Adobe has confirmed that they “have a version [of Flash] that’s working on the [iPhone] emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work.”

It’s not clear if Adobe has found a way to bring a not-too-sluggish Flash solution to the iPhone that is just as full-featured as the desktop version. The problem lies in the processor within the iPhone. The CPU is capable of at least 600Mhz clock speeds, but currently runs at a restricted 412Mhz – which is completely inadequate for running even the neutered version of Flash, Flash Lite, at acceptable levels.

Jens Chr Brynildsen, a Flash expert says that the iPhone’s processor just isn’t up to the task of handling full-blown Flash.

“I really don’t think 600Mhz is going to cut it. I’m just testing out the Nokia E51. It has a 369Mhz processor and totally sucks performance-wise with Flash Lite. The extra 230Mhz won’t provide the required juice. […] I doubt they want to ruin a the user experience just to satisfy the need of a rather limited user base. Just imagine entering a website with five Flash banners.”

So, it remains to be seen how Flash solutions will perform on the iPhone. Steve Jobs has been reluctant to bring Flash to the iPhone because Adobe’s desktop Flash solution is just too bloated, while the Flash Lite just doesn’t pass muster with Jobs’s performance demands for the iPhone.

Interestingly, Apple has been pushing ever harder for web-app developers to use the new SproutCore JavaScript framework for making web applications that “look and feel” like native applications. The push to break away from Flash reliance indicates that Apple isn’t keen on seeing iPhone Flash development succeed.

That leaves Adobe all alone to tackle the iPhone Flash dilemma. The company is apparently committed to making Flash a reality for iPhone users, however, so we’ll likely see a free AppStore download in the near future.

[Via: iPhone Atlas]

  • Steve

    Seems like people are still determined to assume Flash support on the iPhone *has* to mean FULL support for all that bloated, component-based desktop-targeted stuff.

    Which is fine if you want bloat.

    But someone needs to break out a Nikoa running Flash applications that were built for mobile and explain that when you build it right, it works right 😉

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