By Ed Oswald | Monday, January 11, 2010 at 8:45 am
Apple has done all it can to keep Flash off the iPhone. It has used about every excuse in the book — too memory intensive, a drain on battery power, what have you — even though Adobe has pretty much addressed most of these issues. Flash is ready for the iPhone but Apple is not ready for Flash.
Either way Adobe is not going to wait much longer. It’s Creative Suite 5 product, now going through private beta, is going to include functionality that will automatically convert Flash applications to ones that are compatible with the iPhone.
This has the potential to be quite the step forward in iPhone development. TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld seems to even go as far as suggesting this as some kind of game changer. CS5 has the potential to expand the developer far beyond the 125,000 iPhone developers out there today, considering there’s about two million Flash developers worldwide.
I hate to rain on anyones parade, but not so fast.
For all that we know of this functionality, it appears to just be a port. Essentially the Flash code is translated into what the software believes is the closest match in iPhone code and goes with it. Like we’ve found out in the past with “WYSIWYG” HTML editors such as Microsoft’s popular FrontPage product, this isn’t always a good thing.
What’s the result? Bulky, slow running applications. In the dog-eat-dog world that has become the App Store, that’s just not going to fly.
I highly doubt that Flash developers that have gone to great lengths to create great Flash apps would allow these same apps to become subpar just to get on the iPhone. While no doubt there will be a subset of Flash developers that will use this feature, it’s not going to be as many as people think.
Bottom line? If these developers want to develop for the iPhone, then they should do it the right way.