January 31, 2009

What If The iPhone Is Flash-Capable?

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 6:15 pm


Adobe, Apple working together on Flash for iPhone

In an interview with Bloomberg at the Davos, Switzerland event, Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen describes development as a complicated two-way process rather than maintaining the previous image of a one-sided effort that would depend on App Store approval before it could launch.

“It’s a hard technical challenge, and that’s part of the reason Apple and Adobe are collaborating,” he says. “The ball is in our court. The onus is on us to deliver.”

What hurdles Adobe has to overcome aren’t mentioned by the executive, though the company’s long porting process has underscored the difficulty involved. Narayen had said that he was “pleased with progress” as far back as June of last year — just three months after the iPhone SDK made native third-party apps an option on the touchscreen device.

Contrary to all the buffoon press touting the Palm Pre as an “iPhone killer,” I’ve never said so and have never regarded it as one.

Although there are some people who have expressed frustrations with certain limitations of the iPhone, most people are happy with it. They’ve invested money in applications, accessories, and that two-year AT&T contract too. All of that is not about to be flung away because of the Pre or any other shiny new phone.

The Pre will appeal to people who are current Sprint customers who want to upgrade their phones, to people who currently aren’t under any carrier contract (prepaid cards are big; I use one still too), and perhaps those whose carrier contracts are about to expire and want to jump ship and also get a better phone than their current one.

All that being said, if the iPhone’s next iteration appears with Flash capability … Palm has its work cut out for it!


I wrote earlier:

Flash. Oh boy. This is like a cross between the Holy Grail and Atomic Bomb. Holy Grail because everyone wants a phone that can do video services such YouTube and Veoh, plus publishing services such as Scribd, Issuu, and magazine services such as Exact Editions. Is Palm working with Adobe to get Flash onto the Pre? And — the nasty Atomic Bomb side of it — will it be a satisfying experience of Flash?

And I only listed a few services based on Flash that I’m personally familiar with. I’m sure other people could compile a huge list of Flash-dependent sites they’d like to access on the go.

Palm has done a breathtaking job with the Pre so far. It’s really astonishing to see a company make such a turnaround in so many areas: operating system, software design, hardware design, and planned features.

I know many people are skeptical of webOS. I admit I am too. My own gut instinct is that the Pre is mimicking the iPhone in this respect: CSS/HTML/JavaScript now, native SDK later. But, personally, I can live with that. Palm has shown a new vitality that gives me a renewed belief in the company, so I can be patient. Besides, I’m not a big game player, so in that regard the lack of slick games will actually save me money by not tempting me!

However … Flash is a very big deal.

It’s not enough to make me jump ship from the Pre, but it is enough to make me whine whine whine.

I’m really hoping that Palm and Adobe are actually very secretly working together to get Flash on the Pre for its launch.

Don’t make me whine whine whine.

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