Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Latest iPhone Flash rumors

This week brings the latest iteration of the Flash-coming-to-iPhone rumors (based on an analyst question to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen). Adobe is allegedly developing its own implementation, despite Apple’s longstanding antipathy to the platform. Of course, the rumors of Flash on the iPhone were rampant in March, February and even last July.

Another rumor is that Apple is developing its own Flash competitor called “SproutCore.” It appears that SproutCore is an JavaScript/Ajax framework and a way to access Mobile Me (née DotMac). The rumors seem tied to a WWDC session last Friday, and claim that the solution brings Cocoa APIs to Windows and the Web using JavaScript.

This seems more plausible, given Jobs’ history. NeXT opted to bypass a licensed implementation of Adobe’s Display Postscript to develop its own. OS X has shipped its own version of a PDF reader so that Acrobat is largely superfluous for Mac owners. (Apple has also sought to bypass Microsoft implementations for its file formats).

I have no horse in this race: I dislike Flash but am also unlikely to buy a SBC-provisioned iPhone. Still, if I had to bet, I’d bet on Apple bypassing Adobe again to provide its own mechanism for playing all those confounded SWF files.

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