Adobe to Launch Tools to Build Flash-Based Apps for iPhone

Software developer Adobe Systems announced on Monday that its next version of Flash Professional, which is due to hit beta next year, will allow developers to export their Flash code in a format that allows it to run as a native iPhone application. The company also stated the solution was developed without the help of Apple, though it hopes the iPhone maker will be glad of its efforts. Per Macworld, the fix is designed as a workaround that will prevent developers from having to rewrite their applications from scratch for the iPhone.
“We believe these apps are good for Apple and good for the iPhone,” Adrian Ludwig, a product marketing manager with Adobe’s Flash Platform group, told reporters on Monday. “We have no reason to believe that Apple won’t love this.”

The fact that Adobe doesn’t know the answer to that question already suggests there is some tension between the companies, and that a Flash Player for the iPhone will probably not be appearing imminently.

Asked if Adobe worked with Apple to create the new tools, Ludwig said they are “entirely based on technologies that any other developer would have access to.”

The company is still hopeful it will get a Flash Player on the device eventually, however. Adobe and Apple are close partners in other areas of their business, particularly with creative tools for designers. Observers have speculated that Apple is concerned that Flash Player will offer less than optimal performance on its device.

Adobe submitted seven applications to the App Store that were built with a pre-release of Flash Professional, and all were accepted, Ludwig said. “They all got approved without modifications.”

Having a plug-in API to Apple’s Safari browser isn’t the only thing Adobe needs to offer a Flash Player for the iPhone, he said. Ludwig went on to state that Apple also restricts programs that execute code at runtime and Adobe needs help optimizing Flash Player for Apple’s hardware, as device makers such as Nokia have provided.

In fact Adobe has worked hard to get its software running well on other devices. During the press event, Adobe announced that it will release beta versions of Flash Player for Windows Mobile and Palm webOS before the end of the year, and for Google Android and Symbian next year.

“One of the biggest challenges was smartphone memory,” Lynch said during his keynote speech Monday, when he demonstrated a pre-release of Flash Player 10.1 running on several smartphones.

Adobe did some work in Flash Player 10.1 to reduce the amount of memory required for applications. Adobe’s Flex photo album will require 25MB of RAM, down from 69MB with the prior version of the player, while a typical Yahoo ad will require 4MB, down from 13MB, according to a slide he showed.

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