Flash on iPhone? Of Course

by Abraham L
Summary:

Because of Apple’s ban on anything can run interpretive code, Apple products do not support .swf files (Shockwave Flash files). Despite the lack of Flash support on Apple devices, doesn’t necessary mean the product is incapable of playing Flash files. A smart programmer by the name of Tobias Schneider has found a way for Apple products such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad to run Flash. This is done not necessarily through an app but through these devices’ browser, Safari, so Apple cannot dictate on whether or not this program reaches iPhones since it won’t be available on the app store because it’s not an app.

Flash paying program for iPhone: Gordon
Taken From www.wired.com

The program itself is a runtime javascript. To make a clear example, picture a emulator for NES games. The programs purpose it to make Apple devices able to run the actual Flash code rather than finding some way to manipulate the code itself leaving the code in it’s original state, untouched.

However, this does not necessarily mean that the iPhone (as well as other apple products) will now support Flash. The program only works on websites that have installed the program thus, Gordon is limited.  With the ongoing issue between Adobe’s Flash and Apple on interpretive code, there is a high chance that the development of a Flash playing application that plays .swf files in a similar fashion to Gordon will not be available on Apple’s app store. Still, this opens opportunities for other programmers to get around this issue as the source code is also freely available to everybody.

Response:

This topic between Apple and Adobe Flash has been going on every since the smart phone boom. I personally think Apple’s decision to deprive their products of such things as Flash is unnecessary as Flash still is a significant part of the internet. Then again, Flash in itself limits mobile devices with touch capabilities proving it difficult or even impossible for Apple’s mobile products to function correctly as Flash, when created was designed for PC’s with mouses. Regardless if Apple’s reason for not supporting flash is to standardize the market and rid it of 3rd party software, Apple should not bitterly ostracize 3rd party software because it will not fit perfectly into Apple’s image of the ideal future of the internet.

This article is important not only because it highlights the re-occurring issue between Adobe and Apple, it highlights the capabilities of Javascript. Javascript runtime could be used to emulate more than just Flash for browsers. I feel that developers could use Javascript to be an emulator for anything – for example a javascript emulator for cable box so our computers would be able to act as a cable box through the internet so we don’t actually have to have a cable box to get channels – just a thought.

 

Sorrel, Charlie. (2010, January 14). Javascript hack enables flash on iphone.

Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/hack-enables-flash-on-iphone/