iPhone still missing support for Flash

iPhone Flash supportWe now know that third-party developers wanting to make software for the iPhone will be limited to building browser-based apps (see my post ‘ iPhone’s support for 3rd party apps won’t please everyone‘). And according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, that’s not a bad thing as anybody who knows how to write modern web-standards-based apps can develop for the iPhone. But what he didn’t say is whether that would include support for Flash, the technology that powers many interactive web sites as well as online video found on sites like YouTube.

My assumption is that Flash won’t work on the iPhone, otherwise Jobs would have surely mentioned it in order to further address the concerns of the developers gathered in San Francisco.

MacRumors has all but confirmed this. The site also republishes quotes from a conversation between Tech journalist John Markoff and Jobs, following the original iPhone announcement.

Markoff: “Flash?”

Jobs: “Well, you might see that.”

Markoff: “What about YouTube–”

Jobs: “Yeah, YouTube—of course. But you don’t need to have Flash to show YouTube. All you need to do is deal with YouTube. And plus, we could get ‘em to up their video resolution at the same time, by using h.264 instead of the old codec.”

Since that interview was published, Apple has agreed a partnership with YouTube which will see the video sharing site re-encode its catalogue of content into the AppleTV and iPhone’s preferred video codec, h.264 — lessening the need for either device to support Flash (for video at least).

What isn’t clear is why Apple would choose not to include a Flash plug-in with the iPhone. The device has plenty of horse power to drive all sorts of video and other media playback, so I can’t imagine it’s a technical issue.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

3 Responses to “iPhone still missing support for Flash”

  1. Noah Everett says:

    Missing flash and MMS support has actually turned me off a little bit towards the iPhone, but I will probably still buy one…maybe =).

  2. David Smit says:

    A full blown Safari Browser will surely support flash. Especially if its running in a sandbox on the iPhone…

  3. Steve O'Hear (editor) says:

    Many blogs are reporting that Apple staff at WWDC have confirmed that the iPhone won’t support Flash, at least not *yet*.

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