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New Flash Builder eases development, but Flash still no-go for iPhone, iPad

Matt Hamblen, Computerworld | April 11, 2011
Adobe's coming updates to its Flash Builder and Flex cross-platform software development tools, announced Monday, don't do anything to address the exclusion of the Flash Player from Apple's iOS products.

 

Ball's in Apple's walled garden

Ultimately, it is up to Apple to decide if it will ever adopt the Flash player. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has objected mainly on the grounds that the Flash player is inefficient, drawing too many resources from a device's processor.

Apple has pushed for HTML 5 as an alternative to the Flash, although some developers continue to criticize Apple's stance.

Gruber would not comment on whether Adobe has an ongoing effort to persuade Apple to incorporate the Flash Player in iOS devices, but said that Adobe "likes anything that promotes flexibility."

News of the latest Adobe updates to Flex and Flash Builder are "great for Adobe apps," wrote one commenter on a Computerworld story. "But Adobe Flash is still NOT ALLOWED on iOS devices. "That is still a huge problem for Web browsing."

Hilwa said he believes there's "little [device] penalty to running Flash," even though Apple has staunchly opposed installing the player on its devices. "Perhaps, some day, Apple will change its mind," he added. "Things do change."

 

Adobe used its 4.5 update announcement with words that seem to gently nudge Apple for not adopting the Flash Player. In its official news release of the 4.5 update, Adobe noted that the launch "comes at a time when Adobe Flash technology is taking massive strides forward in the mobile market. With more than 131 million smartphones expected to have Flash Player installed by the end of the year, Adobe Flash brings rich browser-based content to desktops and devices."

Immediately following that sentence, Adobe noted all the devices that do include the Flash Player and the list did not, obviously, include iOS. Air, Flash Builder and Flex can be used to build and deliver rich mobile applications to smartphones and tablets, Adobe added in the statement, a number expected to reach 200 million smartphones and tablets by the end of 2011.

Gruber and Adobe have implied that greater ease in building installed iOS applications with the latest update could somehow reduce the need for the Flash Player on iOS, but that remains to be seen.

 

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