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Putting Flash on iPhone is Easy. Here’s How:

Posted by Bob Warfield on November 18, 2008

Another flurry of “OMG, there’s still no Flash on the iPhone!” articles have appearedWired Magazine talks at length about how it can’t be done without violating Apple’s terms of service:

Allowing Flash — which is a development platform of its own — would just be too dangerous for Apple, a company that enjoys exerting total dominance over its hardware and the software that runs on it. Flash has evolved from being a mere animation player into a multimedia platform capable of running applications of its own. That means Flash would open a new door for application developers to get their software onto the iPhone: Just code them in Flash and put them on a web page. In so doing, Flash would divert business from the App Store, as well as enable publishers to distribute music, videos and movies that could compete with the iTunes Store.

Lots more blah, blah, blah.  Like this is news?  I explained all this months ago.  Why aren’t people talking about the obvious solution?

Of course Apple doesn’t want a Trojan Horse like Flash or anything similar to provide a back door so that you can get any app onto the iPhone just by clicking a web link.  DUH!

If that’s the problem, isn’t the answer easy?  Adobe needs to approach Apple with an offer that the Flash player will only accept signed Flash programs. This would be a useful capability for Flash anyway.  It can be made optional to the general population, but mandatory on the iPhone.  That way, Flash programs must have a certificate before iPhone will play them back.  All that certificate stuff can happen in the background very quickly and quietly.  We already use the technology all over the web anyway.  And why shouldn’t Apple be able to control what plays on the iPhone if they want to?

So now, as we’re blaming Apple for the lack of Flash, we need to ask ourselves where is Adobe in offering this kind of capability and compromise?  Why can’t that work and be done quickly and easily?

7 Responses to “Putting Flash on iPhone is Easy. Here’s How:”

  1. And who will be the party responsible for reviewing the flash applications and deciding whether or not to issue a certificate?

    Does Adobe want to pick up that operational overhead? Does Apple? Well, Apple sort of has to, if the idea is to give Apple control of exactly what can run on the iPhone, doesn’t it?

    If we think Apple is slow now in moving iPhone apps through their approval process, god help us all if they have to handle flash applications as well.

  2. smoothspan said

    Jonathan, welcome!

    I hear you. But, it sounds like what you really want is a no approval process to get apps on the iPhone. I can’t see why a certificate process would be any slower than the current approval process other than the need to get the certificate in advance. As Flash gets steadily more powerful and hooks into AIR, I’ll bet we see a desire to certify the apps anyway to prevent Flash malware of one kind or another.

    As to getting away from Apple approval, I don’t see how that ever happens. This is, after all, a major part of the business model for the iPhone, as well as a way for Apple to keep the user experience as they want it.



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  4. patrickdlogan said

    OTOH I am getting to the point where maybe I just don’t want an iPhone. The whole issue with Flash and apps generally is the primary hold back for me and the iPhone. I’m almost in the market for a new phone. I just have to decide is now the time, or should I wait until sometime in 2009, based on the outlook for all those options. This would be the kiss of death for a Mac, and I’m feeling the same about my next phone.

  5. smoothspan said

    Patrick I hear you. Maybe the deciding factor is who has the killer apps? For now, I don’t see any other phones that have apps I particularly desire, and web browsing on the iPhone is heaven for me, so that’s my choice.



  6. […] Putting Flash on iPhone is Easy. Here’s How: Can’t say that I agree with the author’s conclusions, but an interesting point of view, nevertheless. […]

  7. […] I explained all this years ago and in more than one post.  It really is extremely obvious what’s going on.  The more interesting question is, […]

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