Adobe brings Flash apps to the iPhone

And it accomplished this without much cooperation from Apple

Adobe Systems has come up with a way to let developers write Flash applications for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch devices, even without the support of Apple.

Adobe has been trying to work with Apple for more than a year to get its Flash Player software running on Apple's products, but has said it needs more cooperation from Apple to get the work done. It has now come up with something of a work-around.

At its Adobe Max developer conference in Los Angeles Monday, Adobe announced that the next release of Flash Professional, due in beta later this year, will allow developers to write applications and compile the code to run on Apple devices.

"We are ecstatic to announce that we're enabling you to use your Flash development tools to build applications and compile them to run natively on the iPhone," said John Loiacono, head of Adobe's Creative Solutions business unit, who made the announcement at Adobe Max.

Adobe noted that it is still not able to offer Flash Player for Apple devices, because Apple's license terms don't allow plug-ins for its Safari browser. "Applications for the iPhone built with Adobe Flash Professional CS5 do not include any runtime interpreted code," the company said in a statement.

However, Flash Professional CS5, which is due in public beta before the end of the year, will include an option for Flash developers to take the code they developed for other devices that do include Flash Player, and compile it to run on Apple devices.

Adobe demonstrated a few Flash applications running on an iPhone, including a game from Chroma Circuit and Apple's own Connect Pro conferencing product. More information would be at http://www.adobe.com/go/iphone, Adobe said.

"The new functionality opens iPhone development to millions of designers and developers who currently use Adobe's popular Flash authoring tools," Adobe said.

It wasn't immediately clear what limitations might result from not having a full Flash Player on the Apple devices. Adobe executives were expected to discuss the development in more detail more later Monday.

In announcing the move, Adobe executives mocked Apple in a humorous "myth-busting" video segment in which they tried to integrate Flash with the iPhone by mincing the device in a blender with a Flash Player CD and mashing the two products together with a steamroller.

The only two devices they could not get Flash running on, they said in the video, were the iPhone and an old rotary-dial telephone.

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James Niccolai

IDG News Service
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