Adobe to Support Flash on iPhone After All

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-10-05 Print this article Print

At the Adobe MAX 2009 developer conference, Adobe announced that Adobe Flash Professional CS5 will enable developers to create rich, interactive applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The move makes Adobe Flash applications available on the iPhone, but not Flash-enabled Web content.

At the Adobe MAX 2009 developer conference, Adobe announced that Adobe Flash Professional CS5 will enable developers to create rich, interactive applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Indeed, with this move, Adobe is enabling Flash to be compiled to run natively as applications on the iPhone. However, this move is not the same as the announcement Adobe made earlier on October 5 at its MAX conference, where Adobe announced plans to provide full Flash Player support on Windows Mobile, Android, BlackBerry, Palm webOS, and Symbian OS powered devices via Flash Player 10.1

During the Adobe MAX keynote address, John Loiacono, senior vice president of Adobe's Creative Solutions Business, gave a sneak peek of Adobe Flash Professional CS5 and demonstrated how Flash developers will be able to use it to create rich, interactive applications for the iPhone. A public beta of Flash Professional CS5 is expected to be available later this year. 

In his sneak peek, Loiacono demonstrated how developers can utilize Flash Professional CS5 to export applications for the iPhone, leveraging the same source code used to deliver applications across desktops and devices for Flash Platform runtimes - Adobe AIR and Flash Player 10. The new functionality opens iPhone development to millions of designers and developers who currently use Adobe's popular Flash authoring tools. 

"Adobe Creative Suite is essential for designers and developers worldwide, and touches virtually all the content and applications that enable products, brands and ideas to stand out above the clutter," Loiacono said. "This is a breakthrough for Flash customers who can now leverage their existing content and expertise to target the iPhone, along with other Flash-supported devices." 

Stefan Weasels, co-founder of Breakdesign, said, "Porting our existing Flash Lite games and creating new casual games for iPhone with Flash technology is a great advantage for us! For the first time, a small team can do mobile games for multiple platforms without re-coding from scratch."

"With the ability to create applications for iPhone in the Flash Professional CS5 beta, I don't need to learn a new programming language or the plethora of development tools that inevitably come with it," said Josh Tynjala, founder of Bowler Hat Games.  "Instead, I'm able to spend more time exploring ways to make my games like Chroma Circuit more fun on mobile devices like the iPhone and increase my business revenue."

At MAX, Adobe also showcased a series of new iPhone applications built using a beta version of Flash Professional CS5. Developers that created iPhone applications with the beta include BlueSkyNorth, Bowler Hat Games, Breakdesign, FlashGameLicense, Muchosmedia, PushButton Labs, South Park Digital Studios and others.

Adobe also announced that a number of additional applications are being submitted to the App Store including an iPhone application for Adobe's Web conferencing solution, Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro. Several of these new applications are currently available for iPhone users to download within the Apple App Store. For more information, visit

Meanwhile, Kevin Lynch, chief technology officer at Adobe, added, "The engineering teams at Adobe have succeeded in bringing the latest Flash technology to the iPhone, opening the way for the Flash community to deploy to the App Store. When Apple is ready to bring the full Web browsing experience to iPhone users, we'll be ready to bring Flash Player to Safari." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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