Monday, November 17, 2008

Adobe ARMing Flash . . . for iPhone?

Adobe today said it would develop optimized versions of its AIR and Flash 10 apps for ARM11 and Cortex processors for 2009. The technology is aimed at portable devices that integrate technologies like ARM processors and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphic hardware. The largest group of devices to be affected will obviously be smart phones but it is also targeted at other mobile devices that implement the targeted technologies such as GPS units and other MIDs that could be used for serving media. Though the iPhone is not called out by name, it would seem the iPhone is a direct target of the project as the iPhone uses the Samsung ARM 1176 processor and relies on OpenGL ES 2.0 for graphics rendering.

iPhone adopters around the globe have questioned the absence of Flash on the iPhone. Steve Jobs has said he would like to see Flash on the OSX phone but is impractical because of the high resource demand the current Flash and Flash Lite players put on systems. Others have posited that there is a squable between Apple and Adobe over PDF licensing. I have often thought that Apple avoids Flash on the iPhone to avoid losing revenue on the app store. Flash and AIR would most certainly give developers a way around the app store for deploying apps for the iPhone. But once this player hits the streets, Steve's public complaints about Flash will have been addressed leaving the ball squarely in the Mac makers court. Either way it should be interesting. Here's to hoping to see Flash on the iPhone, it would come to much fanfare.

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