iPhone will/won't support Javascript and Flash

iPhone will/won't support Javascript and Flash

Summary: I got a little concerned earlier when David Pogue posted in his Ultimate iPhone FAQs List, Part 2 that the Safari Web browser for iPhone would not support Java or Flash.

TOPICS: Open Source

iPhone minus Flash and JavaI got a little concerned earlier when David Pogue posted in The Ultimate iPhone FAQ that the Safari Web browser for iPhone would not support Java or Flash.

This got my heart racing, and not in a good way. What good is a Web browser that doesn't support Flash and if not Java, at least Javascript? It reminded me of the hobbled browser that shipped with the T-Mobile Sidekick I & II which didn't support Javascript (For the record, the SKIII supports Javascript).

Just about any Web site with a drop-down menu navigation system wouldn't work without Javascript. And without it, you can pretty much forget about doing any kind of ecommerce. A huge percentage of sites these days rely on Flash and Javascript and leaving these off the iPhone could kill the product.

German magazine MacWelt came to my rescue when they asked Apple Germany about iPhone and they stated (English translation) that the Safari browser on iPhone will offer Flash and Java:

Which Internet technologies run on that iPhone?
Apple wants to us according to own data as much as possible Plug into for safari to support, did not want however opposite not to commit itself, which will be. Flash and Java will belong to however surely.

Pogue has since updated his FAQ with the exact text of his interview with Steve Jobs:

Markoff: “What about all those plugins that live within Safari now, like Flash or like Java or like JavaScript?”

Jobs: “Well, JavaScript’s built into the Phone. Sure.”

Markoff: “And what are you thinking about Flash and Java?”

Jobs: “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.”

Markoff: “Flash?”

Jobs: “Well, you might see that.”

Markoff: “What about YouTube–”

Jobs: “Yeah, YouTube—of course. But you don’t need to have Flash to show YouTube. All you need to do is deal with YouTube. And plus, we could get ‘em to up their video resolution at the same time, by using h.264 instead of the old codec.”

So the DEFINITIVE answer now is: NO Java, MAYBE Flash.

Clearly this hasn't been worked out yet. How important is Flash and Javascript to you in a smartphone? 

[poll id=23] 

Topic: Open Source

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  • Java ? JavaScript

    First of all, Java and JavaScript are two completely different things and are only
    tangentially related. From the Wikipedia page on JavaScript: "Despite the name,
    JavaScript is only distantly related to the Java programming language, the main
    similarity being their common debt to the C syntax." In other words, if the phone
    doesn't support Java, it will have nothing to do with whether the phone can
    support JavaScript.

    More to the point, Jobs specifically said that JavaScript would be built directly into
    the phone. So why does this entire article center around complaints of the phone
    not being able to support JavaScript-related functions?

    Again Java ? JavaScript. You ask at the end our opinion of whether we need Java,
    JavaScript and Flash, but don't give us the option of saying we don't care about
    Java (which I don't).
    • Oops

      The question marks in the post above should have displayed as "does not equal"
      signs. My apologies.
    • nice catch

      Nice catch! Java would be nice, for playing games and such, but not as important as Flash.

      I'm scared that Steve Jobs himself shows such little interest in either of them.
  • Someone should tell Steve about Google/Java

    I love Gmail - it uses Java on my Nokia phone to interact with the service. Same with GoogleMaps. Yahoo just announced Yahoo!Go - using Java. If the phone doesn't run Java, it's DOA. Someone should tell him his comments might apply to the desktop, but on the phone, Java is *the* gold standard. On something like a billion phones.

    If Steve thinks his competition is Windows Mobile, he's right on track. If it's Nokia or Samsung, he looks like he's building for the 90's definition of a PDA.
    • Why?

      [i]"If the phone doesn't run Java, it's DOA"[/i]

      Nope, don't need either JavaScript or Java. Maybe it works better with JavaScript, but it's not essential. It just needs a reasonable browser.
      Fred Fredrickson
    • Googlemaps

      Well, since the iPhone runs google maps your argument is meaningless.
    • Um, none of the google applications runs on java.

      In case you don't know - google maps, google mail, and all the other google web-apps, use Javascript and NOT Java. Java and JavaScript have nothing in relation - and not even the same in terms of syntax.
  • no...

    no need to be "concerned"... all we know is that the iphone is a PRODUCT PROPOSAL of a very inventive company that sells good ideas in a package that does not suit everyone.

    until that phone hits the market, cards will be mixed again and other phones may offer interesting options. no need to jump to any conclusions right now, and certainly no need to be "concerned"?!
  • I guess Jobs has been caught in a LIE!!

    [i]# OS X - not some watered-down, made for mobile device operating system. A full sized operating system is available like on your Apple computer or laptop.[/i]

    Wow, you mean you can't install applications on your Apple computer or laptop? Why pay twice as much for 1/1000th of the functionality?

    [i]# Safari - a full browser application that let?s you see websites as you would on your computer. Just zoom in with your finger![/i]

    If by "full", Jobs means "crippled", then I guess he isn't lying.
    • Oh look, a Troll...

      Now where did I put my fishing pole...
      • Ah, I see you can't refute anything I said

        Call me a troll if that is what Jobs the Overlord has commanded you to do. If you could think of even 1 inaccuracy in my post, you would have posted it. Very telling that you didn't. :)
    • I can't find your quote . . .

      Where did your quotes come from? I can't find the source . . .

      Not to mention the horrid logic. "Wow, you mean you can't install applications on your Apple computer or laptop?" - no such thing is ever said or even implied!!
      • Here is the link


        As for my horrid logic, the quote states that iPhone's OSX is just like the Mac's OSX and since no applications can be installed on the iPhone, it logically follows that no applications can be installed on the Mac. The logic is sound, it is the statement that iPhone's OSX is just like the Mac's OSX that leads to the wonky conclusion. The iPhone's OSX is [b]not[/b] like the Mac's OSX at all since the iPhone's OSX is severely crippled.

        And for those that want to complain that my quote didn't come from Apple, here is a quote from Apple's site that says the same thing:
        [i]All the power and sophistication of the world?s most advanced operating system ? OS X ? is now available on a small, handheld device[/i]

        All the power of OSX... except the ability to ever install any software!!
  • I'm glad Apple is so worried about us

    See my small cartoon:

    • Nice!! (nt)

  • If Jason knows nothing about technology, he shouldn't be writing this blog.

    As many readers have probably pointed out, Java and JavaScript are two completely different technologies. The article and the title are both misleading, and might be in fact, due to the author's lack of technical knowledge. In fact, at the MacWorld, iPhone has been demoed live with google map - which uses a tremendous amount of javascript.

    The title of the article is a horribly ambiguous title ("will/won't") which shows the author's lack of journalistic sense and an even worse technical aptitude.

    It's simply inexcusably pathetic.
  • Bad for Microsoft; it will have to be split up now

    If Jobs is correct and Java isn't relevant then it is proof that remedies have not worked regarding Microsoft. Judge Jackson was very clear in his decision that Microsoft viewed Java as a threat and the Netscape browser as a mechanism for distributing Java. He also argued that the only remedy was for Microsoft to divest into at least three companies.

    Judge KK can not ignore this. Microsoft will have to be split up now. If I ran Microsoft I would be paying Jobs to put Java into iPhone. This is a bigger blow to Microsoft than it is to consumers.

    Frank L. Mighetto CCP
    It took me days for the above analysis
    short and sweet? comments?
  • java in my iphone doesn't work.

    i have an iphone china 3G A1241!!when i select "installed java software", it turns off and start from the bigin
    Nidhal Saadi