Adobe will roll out a full-blown version of Flash on smartphones running Windows Mobile, Android, Nokia S60/Symbian and Palm beginning in 2010. The big omission remains Apple's iPhone, which remains in a stand-off with Adobe over Flash.
The company has worked for years on a lightweight incarnation of its Flash technology for mobile phones. Adobe executives said that about 40 percent of all phones that are shipped today use this version of its technology. But because Flash Lite doesn't allow for the same functionality as what's available on the Flash 10 desktop version of the technology, mobile users are missing out.
And as rich Internet applications continue to grow a full version of Flash will matter even more. However, there are no signs that Flash 10--or even Flash Lite--will make it to the iPhone platform. Officially, Adobe and Apple are working on Flash for the iPhone. However, it's Apple's call whether and when to introduce Flash. Translation: Don't hold your breath for Flash on the iPhone. Apple for whatever reason isn't going for it.
If you want Flash on the iPhone users will just have to start complaining to Apple. But given that Apple users aren't going to whine about the lack of Flash (nearly everything Apple does is perfection to these folks) this stand-off will continue indefinitely.
It's a good thing for Adobe that there are other options. It's a big smartphone world out there folks.
- Palm said it has joined Adobe's Open Screen Project, an effort to bring full web browsing across all screens. The big takeaway is that the Flash platform will work on Palm's new webOS, which will power the Pre.
- Nokia and Adobe created a $10 million Open Screen Project fund to encourage development on Flash.
- Adobe also unveiled that latest Flash Lite player.
- And separately, Adobe announced a software developer kit for Adobe Reader so mobile users can better download, manage and display PDFs. In addition, there's an XML-based eBook format.
Add it up and most of the focus will be on Adobe's ongoing effort to put Flash on the iPhone. All parties involved in this scrum stop short of assigning blame, but I have to wonder how Adobe can manage to work with every mobile phone platform on the planet and yet Apple refuses to use Flash. A year from now Flash still won't be on the iPhone. The big question is whether users will ultimately call Apple out.