Will the Android Market suddenly see an influx of Flash-based apps?

Apple won't let Flash apps in but Google will. Could this be the shot in the arm that the Android Market needs?
Written by Joel Evans, Contributor

It's no secret that Apple and Adobe have had their differences. They started with the iPhone's inability to support Flash and then escalated with Apple changing its iPhone developer program license to restrict applications built with technologies outside of the Apple SDK, including Adobe's own Flash CS5. If you're not familiar with Flash CS5, of particular note is that it offers the ability for Flash developers to target the iPhone and iPad and have their apps run on those platforms.

It was unknown what Adobe would do next … until yesterday. That's when Mike Chambers, Adobe's principal product manager for the Flash platform, blogged Adobe's decision to no longer invest in the ability for its Flash CS5 product to target iPhone or iPad:

We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5. However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.

What I find most interesting about this latest turn of events is that people are forgetting to focus on the positive. For one, there are plenty of other mobile operating systems that are embracing Flash. For example, even before Adobe announced its decision to not wrestle with Apple, the company was demoing a number of games running on Android that had been created with Flash.

I mentioned the other day how Google is courting iPhone developers. Now it's only a matter of time before we see Google going after Flash developers, too. After all, if Adobe is focused on making Flash target more platforms, there are plenty of Flash developers out there dying for another platform to play on--especially one that already has a distribution system in place that will make them money for their hard work. Just imagine how fast the Android Market will grow if Adobe's solution allows effortless porting to Android-based devices?

One thing I still would like to see Apple and Adobe settle on is the ability for the iPhone and iPad to play Flash. There's plenty of content on the web that's Flash-based, and not just videos either. It makes for a sub-standard browsing experience, and one that's definitely doing a disservice to Apple's own customer base.

For now, though, I'll settle on a growing Android Market, provided Google and Adobe can make it all work seamlessly.

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