Adobe scraps Flash plans for iPad and iPhone

Adobe scraps Flash plans for iPad and iPhone

Summary: Adobe and Apple relations are at an all time low. Flash will no longer be used to develop for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices in a row over platforms


Adobe, which acquired Macromedia in 2005, the creator and developer of Flash technology, will no longer provide software to support Apple's iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices.

Though Safari and other Apple software, such as Mac OS X, will continue to support Flash technology, developers which create Flash content will not be able to port it to the newly released iPad, and existing or future iPhone's.

The iPad lacked Flash when it was initially released, but it was hoped and expected that Adobe would throw its cards on the table and attempt, at best, to release a version of Flash for these devices.

As the BBC point out, Creative Suite 5 released last month enabled developers to convert Flash code into iPhone applications. However Apple's developer terms and conditions change caused controversy amongst developers by limiting their scope of application function, and effectively banning them from using code translators such as CS5.

When considering mobile entrepreneurs and Generation Y developers a month and a bit ago, I knew and still know how powerful the mobile market is. Yet as Flash technology is an integral part of the Web and application power, regardless of whether HTML5 will negate the need for using the plug-in, it is also a major part of modern technology and creative design degree programmes.

All students from various countries and institutions who study programmes in multimedia design, electronics and computer science engage with Flash and Adobe technology, and passing code and design implementation is vital to their expansion of knowledge and portfolio building.

Not only will this move damage the reputation of Apple and developers as such, but harm the potential of younger developers exploiting the easy-to-use platform and knowledge base to generate revenue and self publicity.

Silverlight is thought to be released for the iPad, and therefore presumably the iPhone and iPod touch devices too; though at this point it is not clear when or whether the negotiations will yield any result. 

Will this have a significant knock-on effect to not only Apple developers but consumers also? Could this signal a shift from the almighty iPhone to Android or BlackBerry devices? Or will HTML5 completely trump all arguments and be a much needed shift from Apple and Adobe dominance on the web?

Have your say.

Topics: iPad, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Software Development

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  • Come on Zac. This is so yesterday. Get Twitter.

    Write something original--you know--your very own thoughts on a new topic.

    AKA 'Good content'.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
    • LOL

      "This is so yesterday."

      I had that exact same thought. Oh well that's modern news for ya ;)
    • I second that, it's so last week!

      not even yesterday!
      Linux Geek
  • RE: Adobe scraps Flash plans for iPad and iPhone

    Zack, pretty sure this has been done to death.

    First, we're not missing what we don't have. There are thousands of iP* apps already so I don't see a problem on the developer front.

    Flash is a desktop add-on only at this point - both because it requires the horsepower and because it simply does not have a run-time on any other platforms. (somebody said it runs on an Android 1.6 machine...??)

    Are the developers that create Flash applications for the desktop truly the same ones that develop for the iP* platforms (or any other mobile platform for that matter)? I doubt it. Really - they *can't* be because it doesn't exist! But also because I don't think it translates well to the size of a smartphone. Even advertisements would most likely need to be reworked.

    If we're talking movies only, well there is a work-around that doesn't require the Flash run-time.

    So, no - not missing it.
    • Flash runs on Palm Pre smartphone

      newsflash: Flash is not just for desktops, it's for smartphones. Check this out on YouTube and see if it crashes or hogs too much resources on a true multitasking operating system:

      Flash will soon run on the Palm Pre, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. Except for iPhone...Apple doesn't want to give developers any chance in making money without them. Ultimately, that's what web browser pluggins on a smartphone will introduce and what Apple fears!
      • Not totally discounting the statement of

        <i>"Apple doesn't want to give developers any chance in making money without them"</i>

        but could it be that it is more of quality control of content on a mobile device as opposed to some buggy translator or emulator trying to run on the device. I can't count the number of times flash advertisements have taken down a tab in my browser on this website alone.

        Sure flash sites are kind of neat, but so far in practice often times they suck. Occasionally I run into site that I can't view, but at the same time, I don't know that I would want to have to suck down all of that flash data down a 3g connection even if it is available.
        • quality control......

          dont make me laugh - have you seen some the crap buugy apps out there on the istore?
          Apple dont want flash because it makes it easy for good natured developers to create zero cost games and apps for the fun of it - not a business model apple ever wants to see. 95% of free apps are in my experience trailers for something you have to pay for. People develop free apps for windows all the time - true some are hoping you will pay for a premium version or try another piece of paid software but most of them are more fully functional than those you see on the iphone.

          Maybe apple should run a monthly competition for the best genuinely free apps uplodaded to istore - I guarantee it would attract more of the market that apple dont have and with their present practices wont ever get. It needent be a cash prize just an award page on the apple website - people will create apps for the kudos it brings them believe me
      • You don't have much faith in other platforms.

        [i]"Apple doesn't want to give developers any chance in making money
        without them"[/i]

        No wonder developers are flocking to Apple, if as you say they are the
        only one's giving developers any chance to make money.
    • Horse Power Needed? Hogwash Propaganda Flash10.1 is GPU Accelerated! lol :D

      In other words, it uses LESS CPU cycles.. not more you
      Apple Cult followers!

      Why are you trying your Fuhrer Steve Jobs worn out
      propaganda ploy? We all know it's about little
      Stevie Hitler throwing a fit over not having a
      complete monopoly yet! :D

      "Don't Be Evil, Dude"... your fearless leader is already
      the best at spreading propaganda and attempting Mobile
      Phone Genocide on his competition! ;)

      Can't wait for this all to sink into the moronic idiots
      that only prove they'd follow their leader into debt or
      worse into Credit Card Hell! ....maybe into realizing
      your iPhone and iPad will GAS you out of a full web
      experience, you morons won't have until 2020 when HTML5
      might actually be FINAL! haha..... Genocide? ...maybe
      Comrade Jobs will just die after he repeats "We Will Bury
      YOU" a few more
      times! lol
      • RE: Sea of cubicles - today's enterprise

        Will this have a significant knock-on effect to not only Apple developers but consumers also? | | Could this signal a shift from the almighty iPhone to Android or BlackBerry devices? Or will HTML5 completely trump all arguments and be a much needed shift from Apple and Adobe dominance on the web?
  • RE: Adobe scraps Flash plans for iPad and iPhone

    HTML5 will not succeed against Adobe Flash. HTML5 is nowhere close to the capabilities, flexibility, and simplicity compared to the Flash development environment. You'll find that most developers who have made applications in both HTML5 and Flash would agree.

    Flash is secure and so versatile, it's the engine behind the majority of web applications, animations, games, and streaming video. It's also one of the most popular pluggin for all web browsers. HTML5 is not a pluggin and requires installing unsecured code on a device such as the iPhone or iPad.

    Because Flash is a pluggin and instantly runs from within web browsers, it's in the best interest for Apple to deny Flash as Apple would lose revenue from developers. Many developers will realize that they could potentially provide Flash-based apps without having to pay Apple registration fees and other costs. And that's not good for Apple. So Apple's best defense is to promote HTML5 so developers will be convinced to walk through Apple's toll gate!
    • Nice one.

      LMAO. I thought you were serious for a moment, until I saw "Flash is
      secure" and "instantly runs from within web browsers". The rest of the
      comment made perfect sense then.

      Incase you were being serious, I just cant get enough of the "lost
      revenue" BS argument everyone without a clue uses. There are many
      FREE apps on the store. Apple receives NO revenue from these. Also,
      since Apple promotes HTML5, those apps would also generate NO
      revenue. Try again.

      But again, your comment was too good to be serious. Again, good one.
    • Flash is a steaming load of cr*p.

      How you like them apples, Mr Astroturfer?
      • and HTML5 is:

        A) Not a finished standard
        B) The type that Apple is hoisting is royalty-enriched and proprietary.
        C) Can pretty much only do video.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Adobe scraps Flash plans for iPad and iPhone

    All I can say is "Fuck Steve Jobs"..I'll be getting rid
    of my iphone and looking for a windows mobile or droid
    phone that has flash. I've been fighting these guys ever
    since the release of Slingplayer which was originally not
    capable of being used on a 3g connection. They lied to
    me repeatedly, as did AT&T. The companies are money
    hungry, greedy bastards.
    • I second that!!

      No more unsupportive and no fun iPhone and no more AT&T. Just one more year.......
  • Adobe should add HTML5 to their tools

    Adobe should modify their web development tools to generate HTML5 AND Flash runtimes (there is a demo of HTML5 in DreamWeaver here: Then, the customers of their software can decide if they want to deploy Flash, HTML5 or both, on their websites. Adobe will sell more software/upgrades, Adobe's customers will have more choices for their website design AND non-Flash devices will get access to more content. Win-Win-Win

    I recently installed FlashBlock plug-ins for Google Chrome and Firefox and the experience is amazing!

    - pages load faster.
    - you don't waste unnecessary CPU cycles, battery, etc., on Flash content.
    - if you want to see the Flash content, you just click on it.

    Smartphones that ultimately support Flash should enable FlashBlock by default. That way, a user won't inadvertently drain their battery by simply browsing a few websites.
    • Um I agree with,

      although you may want to adjust your last statement, I think you meant Flash should be disabled by default, right?

      Yes it is amazing how much faster sites load when you don't have to wait half a day for flash to load up, or other times when it crashes your browser.
  • Flash is the Future.

    I am a Art Director and Designer for a major
    advertising agency, I have grappled with how best to
    produce our campaigns to cross all web interfaces.
    Simply, our conclusion is this; Android, Blackberry
    and Windows 7 Mobile provide a far larger market
    segment than iPhone/iPad/iPod.. We simply cannot
    produce vivid multimedia experiences using
    html5/silverlight etc, and I can't see this changing
    for a very, very long time if ever. The answer to me
    and my agency is simple; we will support Flash and
    that is that.. Apple has lost the creative community,
    we will not learn new inferior languages just to
    please their whims, CREATIVITY is the centre of this
    industry, NOT idiotic business games.. The tide is
    turning, Google understand freedom allows expression
    and the creative community is on their side.. IRONIC
    considering it is this very community who helped Apple
    become the force they are today. 90's belonged to
    Microsoft, Noughties belonged to Apple.. Like it or
    not the non-restrictive ideology of the One-ders will
    prevail for Google. Full Stop.
    Jay Casa
    • business

      if your company is really ignoring soon to be 100 million ipod touch,
      iphone, ipad users only because you designers are to lazy to learn new
      tricks then good luck with your business.
      banned from zdnet again and again