After a nearly endless stream of hearsay and rumors on the matter, Adobe has now gone on the record about Flash on the iPhone. During a presentation at the Flash on the Beach expo today in the UK, Adobe’s Senior Director of Engineering Paul Betlem mentioned that the Flash development team was actively working on a release for the iPhone, but due to the closed nature of the handset, the final call would be Apple’s.
Betlem didn’t specify whether Adobe is working on embedding Flash within the Safari browser, or if Flash playback would require a standalone application. While Apple has yet to allow any sort of plug-in to run within Safari, making the exception for Flash may be necessary.
Either way, full Flash integration would be an especially huge selling point for the iPhone. Love it or hate it, much of the general population has grown to see Flash as an integral part of the browser experience. With browsers on other platforms now offering support for the format, Apple needs to take advantage of Adobe’s interest while Flash is still a determining factor in the mobile browser battle.
Update: Feelings on the announcement are mixed; Jason Kincaid of our parent site, TechCrunch, doesn’t necessarily feel that Flash is the way to go. From his post:
“These days, most of us use Flash primarily to view videos on sites like Hulu, YouTube, and CNN. Flash on the iPhone may give us access to all of these sites (assuming its CPU can handle video), but I’d rather see native applications for each of these media hubs similar to what YouTube has created. Flash is notoriously CPU-intensive, which is the last thing the iPhone needs with its already lackluster battery life – native apps would allow for H.264 video playback on the phone’s Quicktime player that would probably require only a fraction of the CPU cycles.”
What say you, avid users of the mobile web?
[Via Flash Magazine]