John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

So Much for Flash on the iPhone

Looks like Apple’s recent ban on apps built with Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiler has had the desired effect: Adobe has finally given up on bringing Flash to the iPhone.

In a bitter blog post this morning, Mike Chambers, Adobe’s principal product manager for the Flash platform, said the company is abandoning its Flash-to-iPhone efforts. “We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5,” he wrote. “However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.”

“As developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at any time, and for seemingly any reason,” Chambers noted.

“The primary goal of Flash,” he added, “has always been to enable cross browser, platform and device development. The cool Web game that you build can easily be targeted and deployed to multiple platforms and devices. However, this is the exact opposite of what Apple wants. They want to tie developers down to their platform, and restrict their options to make it difficult for developers to target other platforms.”

That’s a nasty poke at Apple. Hard to blame Adobe (ADBE) for it, though. Apple (AAPL) has been quite vocal in expressing its low opinion of Flash. Adobe figures it’s better to redouble its efforts to bring Flash to Android than fight a losing battle to put it on the iPhone, which–let’s face it–is doing quite well without Flash. And that’s exactly what Adobe is doing.

“Fortunately, the iPhone isn’t the only game in town,” Chambers observed. “Android based phones have been doing well behind the success of the Motorola Droid and Nexus One, and there are a number of Android based tablets slated to be released this year. We are working closely with Google to bring both Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to these devices, and thus far, the results have been very promising.”

UPDATE: Apple didn’t much care for Adobe’s characterization. “Someone has it backwards–it is HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and H.264 (all supported by the iPhone and iPad) that are open and standard, while Adobe’s Flash is closed and proprietary,” said spokeswoman Trudy Muller in a statement given to

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik