It looks like Adobe is finally bringing Flash to the Apple iPhone and other iOS devices but don’t think Apple has had a change of heart now that Steve Jobs is gone. Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 and Adobe Flash Access 3.0 products will bring Flash content to iOS devices but not through the traditional means Adobe has been used to.
In general, Adobe Flash on mobile works by using an app that uses the handset’s processor to render the content. Jobs has criticized this by saying it’s way too resource-intensive and can damage battery life and overall system performance. The latest Adobe products take care of that processing on the server side so iOS users can access this and Apple can’t really block it without going through extreme measures which would likely be more trouble than it’s worth.
The new Adobe Flash products are aimed at content producers and it will enable them to utilize their existing work flows to target iOS users as well as other mobile users without having to transition too much. This includes the ability to do live streaming, as well as include digital rights management.
This is good news, as access to more content is always a great thing but you have to wonder if Adobe was outplayed on this one by Apple. The lack of Adobe Flash on the iPhone and iPad seemed to be a bigger issue years ago but many users and publishers have moved on. Besides, customizing your content to play on iOS devices gives you access to Apple’s audience but it also is compatible with other mobile platforms.
The Adobe Flash player has worked pretty well on the platforms it’s on, although publishers are still working out how to best display this content on smaller screens. Don’t think I’m being too harsh on Adobe though, as it has also created many HMTL5 content creation tools too.