Getting flash on the iPhone has been an ongoing struggle for Adobe. Put simply, it’s because Apple refuses to cooperate.
Allowing users to play free games while browsing the web would impact the number of sales generated from the Apple Apps store. From a business perspective, it’s kind of hard to brush that off. And so flash gets to sit in the corner, ignored and neglected, awaiting the day that Apple notices it.
Well wait no more!
Apple still hasn’t noticed flash, but Adobe got tired of holding their breath.
Adobe recently announced that Flash Professional CS5 is able to take ActionScript3 code and compile it as an iPhone app. There is no run-time interpretation, it is actually building a true native iPhone .ipa, following all of the guidelines Apple has set for their development community. The new Flash IDE comes equipped with tools geared specifically towards accessing the iPhone’s capabilities, including touch and tilt detection.
There are, of course, features in flash that the iPhone doesn’t allow, such as accessing the camera and microphone, or loading external .swf files that contain actionscript. But all in all, this is a huge score for the flash development community, allowing us to distribute our flash games and applications via the Apple Apps store.
So I guess flash is still technically on the sidelines, but its genetically altered clone gets to walk through the front doors without the bouncers even giving it a glance; which is the next best thing, really.
The public beta for Adobe Flash Professional CS5 will be released this month. So sign up to be notified and Adobe will let you know when it becomes available.
Many of the technical details haven’t yet been released, but here is a useful link if you would like to learn more.