• All Aboard for Flash 10.1... With One Exception

    image via psyked.co.uk

    As noted in multiple online forums, including our very own, Apple remains aloof from the Open Screen Project, an Adobe-sponsored initiative to ensure access to "rich Internet experiences seamlessly across any device, anywhere."

    Research in Motion, Nokia, Palm, Google and Microsoft, among others, announced their support for the effort to bring Flash 10.1 to their mobile devices. "We are excited about the broad collaboration of close to 50 industry leaders in the Open Screen Project and the ongoing collaboration with 19 out of the top 20 handset manufacturers worldwide," said Adobe's David Wadhwani, in an amusingly fat shot across the bow of handset manufacturer #20: Apple, Inc.

    Apple's own terms of service for the iPhone SDK prohibit self-executing code, as revealed by WikiLeaks:
    An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise... No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).
    So as much as the industry may be moving in a Flashy direction, Apple has pretty much locked itself out by its own actions. However, one thinks it unlikely that this is keeping them up at night in Cupertino: in addition to the often aggressive independence we have come to expect from One Infinite Loop, there are engineering reasons to be cautious.

    Flash introduces a whole potential slew of vulnerabilities, from memory leaks to security holes and draining the already leaky iPhone battery. Developers will continue to use other open standards to deliver video and rich content to the iPhone. It will remain to be seen how much business is lost by this decision, either to other platforms or to non-authorized apps running on jailbroken phones.
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