Adobe: Flash-free iPhone is All Apple’s Fault

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Adobe Flash isn't supported on the iPhone and now it seems the company wants to make sure everyone knows it's all Apple's fault. iPhone users have begun reporting that they're seeing a new message from Adobe when they visit Web sites with Flash-based content, and that message tells them to look to Apple for answers.

Adobe's message to iPhone users says "Apple restricts use of technologies required by products like Flash Player. Until Apple eliminates these restrictions, Adobe cannot provide Flash Player for the iPhone or iPod Touch. [sic]"

Apple has previously said that Adobe's Flash Player provides an unacceptable user experience on portable devices because it's feature limited, power hungry and sluggish. Until Adobe can produce a version of its mobile Flash Player that performs up to Apple's standards, the likelihood that Flash content will be available on the iPhone is nill.

Adobe, however, has already developed mobile versions of Flash Player and would like to see the software on the iPhone and iPod touch. While many people see the Flash-free iPhone as a win, viewing Flash-based Web sites with the handheld isn't possible, leaving a portion of the Internet locked away.

This seems to be just the latest salvo in the Flash war between Apple and Adobe. Since the two sides haven't been able to come to terms on their own, Adobe may be trying get customers to pressure Apple into allowing Flash on its handhelds.

How well that tactic pans out remains to be seen, but Apple isn't likely to budge until Adobe shows off a version of Flash that runs the way Apple wants -- and even that may not be enough.

[Thanks to Gear Diary for the heads up.]

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Jeff Gamet

Adobe can say what it wants, but I just don’t see Apple relenting on Flash. Don’t hold your breath for it, either, or your lips will turn blue while you wait.


Nobody visiting a website I’ve designed will ever run into that petty message from Adobe. I stay away from Flash. There are other solutions to showing images and video and being interactive that don’t require the user to sit there and watch some little “please wait” message just to see a simple picture. Flash is frequently not a good experience on a desktop on a good network.


With Adobe’s recent lousy security record, I think that pointing at Apple is a bad idea. Why would anyone want such frequently-vulnerable software on their phone? Even on desktops I avoid it.


Apple decided they don’t want Flush on the iPhone because it hogs battery power and with the frequency it hangs in Safari anyway, who can blame them.

And it’s really just not necessary.

John H

Flash on a mac in general sucks.  If Adobe can’t get it to work right on the full MacOS, why would I want it causing my iPhone to crash?  Flash is going out and its mostly only bad designers that use it for critical page navigation anyway.  Adobe needs to stick to what it does best: Photoshop!


I agree with CJ.  There are many alternative to Flash, such as HTML5, which are open standards that can be and usually are supported by any modern web browser, except for Internet Explorer.  Those alternatives run better on all devices and perhaps won’t have the security problems that Flash has had. 

The real issue for Adobe is that with Flash and AIR, it thought that it had nice little toll both on the Web’s interactive media and graphics by which it would collect rent from either OEMs, developers or both any time movie or interactive graphic was shown on the Web.  Well, unless Adobe can get Apple and others to adopt Flash as a dominant proprietary standard on their devices, that dream won’t happen.  For a while it seemed as if there would be no alternative to Flash, but now that HTML5 has appeared, Flash and Microsoft’s Silverlight are threatened with obsolescence. 

I think that the handwriting is on the wall.  HTML5 means the end for proprietary media players, such as Flash, AIR, and Silverlight.  Apple and other powerful companies have thrown their weight behind HTML 5 by supporting it in their browsers and devices.  If developers of websites follow, it’s the end for Flash and other proprietary media players.  The only chance that Adobe has for Flash is to try and gain popular support for Flash, before developers switch to HTML5.  I don’t think that it will work, and no one who wants a more open and innovative web should want it to work.


Who wants steaming piles of Flash ads you can get rid of.  Thank you Apple.  Adobe has become evil in no small part because of Flash, and now even more because of it’s silly finger pointing.


I agree that FLASH is evil. OK, perhaps that’s too strong, but I’m with Apple on this one.

OK that said, I use it. I’ve struggled with Java and other technologies, trying to make a decent site that works in most browser flavors (our logs show that we have a fair number of IE6 visitors) and FLASH fits the bill. I don’t actually use any Adobe products, I use HAXE for development, but the end result requires FLASH. It keeps everyone here happy. I’ll be happier when we can turn to HTML5 for our dynamic content and dump flash for good.


Agreed on the final comment. Until IE has decent HTML 5 support, then we’re stuck with either offering IE users a second class experience (by using libraries that implement advanced functionality, like SVG, over a slower platform), developing and testing multiple versions (unacceptable to lots of firms) or using Flash as a ‘universal’ solution on the desktop.

I think Adobe are going to struggle to convince firms to use Flash for mobile development though, given that it’s competing against the already established WebKit platform - which to my mind is advancing faster than Flash.

That said, I understand the version due on Android has been substantially optimised for ARM based devices with ARM’s help.

(It’s also notable that if you read the small print on Adobe’s site they recommend against using Flex for building Flash apps that may run on mobile devices, which negates many of the advantages of the ‘Flash platform’ - and there are plenty of other restrictions, like Webkit mobile, as to how the mobile version will behave)


Flash already spins the fans up to full speed on my new, 64-bit 2.2 GHz dual-core intel chip.

I would not like the proverbial fans on my iPhone to spin up every time I use the internet, thank you very much.


Even flash on windows sucks, when I was trying to download flash for windows firefox it did the following annoying things:
1. As usual it’ll default to include mcafee…
2. Before you download it will try to install a firefox addon/plugin called downloadplusplus .... I simply say no, I just want flash
3. the downloaded file will also install a downloader app that I don’t want/need to run flash. That’s a Trojan as far as I’m concerned.
4. Removing that downloader app using uninstall causes an error message to appear whenever I reboot that machine!

And don’t get me started on flash for mac! I am thankful for flash blockers on firefox and safari for mac, the only flash I need is video and games

Adobe needs to repair what’s left of their bloated, insecure, glass wall.

Rant over


It’s not Flash using up all your CPU, but ‘applications’ written in Flash - I’ve seen complex 3D Flash apps that use < 20% CPU, and I’ve seen static adverts using 100%.

The problem is that it’s a tool used by people who are largely ignorant when it comes to performance. Those people are going to be just as poor when it comes to using HTML 5 / JavaScript / Canvas to do the same things - and it may have escaped your notice but Safari lacks the ability to disable or restrict animation (CSS 3 transitions, canvas tag, animated JPEG etc).

(Personally I don’t mind animations on a page provided they happen in response to something - it’s things looping outside my control that’s the problem).


Even flash on my 2.4 GHz dual-core intel chip Mac makes the fans go full speed. It’s ridiculous.


It would do the same on an 8.6 Ghz sixty-four core Mac - but see my comment above - it’s not that ‘Flash’ needs those resources to run, but that it is a tool used by non-programmers, who do not even think to look at performance.

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