3/19/08
6:15 am

Problems With iPhone Flash via SDK

So Adobe announced today that it wants to bring Flash to the iPhone using the new SDK. But this presents several problems.
First, the SDK allows developers to create applications, not browser plug-ins. So this is not Flash as most people think of it. It may allow me to create stand-alone applications that run inside Flash as an application, much as stand-alone Flash projectors do on Macs and PCs. But it won’t allow Flash to play inside a Web page, which is what most people expect.
The second problem is that Apple doesn’t allow this kind of thing, according to the SDK guidelines:
“An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise.”
Flash by itself doesn’t do anything, it relies on a Flash movie (swf) to tell it what to do. Apple doesn’t seem to want things like this. This issue has been talked about since the launch of the SDK in regards to Sun’s interest in bringing Java to the iPhone.
So until Apple allows Flash to run as a plug-in in Safari, and Adobe makes a Flash version that runs as a plug-in on Safari, announcements like this one don’t mean much.