Flash on iPhone

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gruber’s been writing about the rumors of Flash coming to iPhone. I think he’s right that it’s unlikely, but I think there’s an angle he misses here:

Lastly, perhaps you might be thinking that although Flash-for-the-iPhone may not be in Apple’s interest, it is in Adobe’s — and so perhaps Adobe will port it themselves once the imminent iPhone SDK ships. Think again. The iPhone SDK is not going to be the sort of environment like Mac OS X where developers are free to create system-level plugins. No one is going to get to diddle with MobileSafari without Apple’s approval.

Gruber’s probably right, but Adobe may be able to make an end-run around this problem by porting Adobe Air to the iPhone. They’ve made it clear since the early releases that as soon as they can create mobile versions of Air (sometime after 1.0), they will. With Mobile Air they could release their own Webkit-based, Flash-enabled browser.

Of course, don’t expect this any time soon. Adobe Air 1.0 hasn’t been released yet, and a Mobile Air would likely have even worse memory issues than a MobileSafari Flash plugin. Still, I’m sure Adobe’s working on it.