Faking Flash/Flex on the iPhone: It can be done, we have the technology


We’ve all been pretty upset about Flash on the iPhone. It’s been promised and we’ve pleaded to the heavens above for sweet release but still Apple laughs at our wasted prayers and tears. But there is a solution. If you absolutely must have Flash on your iPhone, Tim Consolazio recommends trying an advanced version of VNC.

First, some background: VNC is a console/screen sharing system that lets you log into and use other machines over the Internet. You can basically share your screen with others along with your mouse and keyboard. You can try out VNC solutions for the iPhone right now and these currently let you connect to your remote PC or Mac and use it just as if you were sitting in front of the keyboard. This would also let you, theoretically, run Flash on your iPhone or Touch, albeit inside a browser.

However, Citrix Receiver and Citrix Cloud is a different solution. Instead of giving you a browser where you can run Flash programs it actually encapsulates the Flash app in something that resembles a standalone application. So instead of seeing a tiny desktop on your iPhone you see the full application. The Cloud still shares your desktop but you have a much more enticing application to work with. Citrix Receiver even separates the apps into little folders for you so you never have to see a desktop at all.
Sure it’s a huge hack but it seems like a good workaround, at least for now. It could even be an app store within an app store! Tim points out:

So, when they go live with this (again, Citrix Receiver is a demo), does this mean I’ll have to install the Citrix Receiver and understand all this cloud stuff to simply run an iPhone game?

Yes…and no. Here’s a total hypothetical. Say you’re an internet game company of some kind, something like a Pyzam. You’re in the business of buying and developing Flash games, integrating advertising, all that. You create a branded version of the Citrix Receiver, and get your cloud infrastructure set up. Users go to the App Store, and get your branded viewer for free. They create an account, log in, and happily play Flash/Flex/Air games on their iPhone, with advertising and whatever else the developers build into the games/widgets/etc.

UPDATE – Citrix notes:

I would like to point out however that the technology used is NOT VNC. It is ICA.