Flash comes to the iPhone

 Posted by (Visited 7094 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Oct 052009

Well, this is a nice end-run around Apple. In a nutshell: develop in Flash CS5, cross-compile to iPhone as a standalone app. Public beta later this year.

How is this different from Adobe Flash Player 10 coming to iPhone? Will iPhone users be able to view web content built with Flash technology in the iPhone browser?

The new support for iPhone applications in the Flash Platform tooling will not allow iPhone users to browse web content built with Flash technology on iPhone, but it may allow developers to repackage existing web content as applications for iPhone if they choose to do so.

Flash Player uses a just-in-time compiler and virtual machine within a browser plug-in to play back content on websites. Those technologies are not allowed on the iPhone at this time, so a Flash Player for iPhone is not being made available today.

Flash Professional CS5 will enable developers to build applications for iPhone that are installed as native applications. Users will be able to access the apps after downloading them from Apple’s App Store and installing them on iPhone or iPod touch.

Adobe Labs – Adobe Flash Professional CS5: Applications for iPhone.

This s a huge game-changer. Expect the App Store to get overwhelmed with Flash apps within days of this becoming available as every good Flash app is ported over. It’s another solid step on Adobe’s part towards making Flash a common rendering and development platform across multiple devices, too — Flash 10.1 is already scheduled to land on basically every other smartphone, and honestly, users don’t care whether it’s runtime interpreted or not.

  11 Responses to “Flash comes to the iPhone”

  1. Expect every bad Flash app to be ported over as well.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fred St-Amour. Fred St-Amour said: Interesting and promising from user PoV RT @raphkoster: New blog post: Flash comes to the iPhone http://bit.ly/1GJkA5 […]

  3. In other words, it won’t have much of an impact on the quality of the contents of the app store as it currently stands… after all, 90% of everything is crap.

  4. This isn’t really any different than the Unity3D solution or the MonoDevelop solution from Novell. The only reason they get away with it is because they compile down to a bytecode. There is no VM at all installed on the iPhone because Apple won’t have a way to deploy applications on the phone that doesn’t specifically include the App Store.

  5. Is it really *that* much of a savings over porting the app to unity or re-writing to the iphone SDK? I’d imagine that adapting the app to the platform (UI, multi-touch, etc) is a big chunk of work, and that all but the most ambitious Flash apps are relatively easy ports from there, no?

    I think Derek’s right. I don’t think Apple cares what your app is written in, provided the customer accesses it through the app store and it’s not a path to more content (i.e. an app vs a platform)

  6. Oh, definitely, for those (many many) people who are hobbyists and only have Flash, I think so.

  7. Oh no. Does it mean i’ll get more unsolicited ads on my iphone?

  8. I still see Flash speed hiccups on my quad-core Mac Pro. That doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that Adobe can make it work on the puny iPhone.

    On second thought, the approach that’s described here sounds like it could work better than a straight port would have. This could mean the iPhone will get much better Flash support than it would have if Apple had allowed a straight port of the OS X version…

  9. No, Lena, because apps still need to be approved by Apple.

  10. Vargen, no on both points, it’s not going to be running flash at all. Flash CS5 will allow developers to port their apps and games to the iPhone format. That means no virtual machine needed or supported. This isn’t Flash support, it’s Adobe pulling a run-around on Apple.

  11. I’m not sure it will have that much of an impact apart from us seeing a ton of crappy Flash apps that people try to port over and make money.

    The big day will come when Flash works natively in the iPhone browser. They Apple’s world will crumble.. like an Apple Crumble 🙂

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