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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Walt Mossberg answers a number of common iPhone questions but also suggests that a Flash plug-in will be coming soon from Apple.

At launch, the iPhone version of the Safari browser is missing some plug-ins needed for playing common types of Web videos. The most important of these is the plug-in for Adobe’s Flash technology. Apple says it plans to add that plug-in through an early software update, which I am guessing will occur within the next couple of months.

Adobe's Flash plug-in is required to play Flash content which is commonly used in certain aspects of web design and web-hosted videos. Apple managed to get around this requirement with Youtube by converting Youtube content into h.264, which the iPhone supports natively.

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Yankees 4 Life

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2007
526
0
College Station, Tx
This would be awesome, now i cna actually watch my espn movies and such. Now if they could add a windows media player add on, that would be truly amazing because i cant listen to internet radio...
 

dr_lha

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,610
56
That would be great, I hope that they can do it without majorly affecting the battery life.
Unless Apple themselves are working on a super optimised version of Flash for the iPhone I doubt it. Full Flash is pretty bad at eating CPU cycles, especially if your CPU is <1Ghz.
 

Fwink!

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2002
86
0
Earth
Wait, so it was a better plan to get YouTube to re-encode it's whole library, than for Apple to get a flash plug-in working in the first place?

I will venture a guess that this is mostly to enable small beans developers to get into the game. Flash is a lot easier to work with than WEB 2.0. Especially for simple games and such.
 

Rojo

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
1,328
241
Barcelona
While cool, it seems odd they would suddenly do this. Apple seemed adamant that Flash was a drain on battery life, and they went out of their way to get YouTube to recode all their videos to not be Flash.

So why suddenly add Flash now? Why not have it there all along?
Something doesn't seem right with this rumor -- unless they're just caving in to all the complaints of the iPhone not supporting Flash. But Apple doesn't seem like the kind of company to cave in...
 

slffl

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2003
1,303
4
Seattle, WA
Apple wasn't trying to 'get around' having a flash plugin. It's the fact that h.264 looks A LOT better than flash video!
 

Yankees 4 Life

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2007
526
0
College Station, Tx
While cool, it seems odd they would suddenly do this. Apple seemed adamant that Flash was a drain on battery life, and they went out of their way to get YouTube to recode all their videos to not be Flash.

So why suddenly add Flash now? Why not have it there all along?
Something doesn't seem right with this rumor -- unless they're just caving in to all the complaints of the iPhone not supporting Flash. But Apple doesn't seem like the kind of company to cave in...

i agree, normally they cave in to nothing, but i think they make a special exemption because people complain too much...

HOWEVER LOOK AT MY APPL STOCK SHOOT THROUGH THE ROOF!!!

I love :apple:
 

joelk

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2007
114
0
While cool, it seems odd they would suddenly do this. Apple seemed adamant that Flash was a drain on battery life, and they went out of their way to get YouTube to recode all their videos to not be Flash.

So why suddenly add Flash now? Why not have it there all along?
Something doesn't seem right with this rumor -- unless they're just caving in to all the complaints of the iPhone not supporting Flash. But Apple doesn't seem like the kind of company to cave in...

or perhaps a revamped leaner flash wasn't ready for production at the time
 

crees!

macrumors 68000
Jun 14, 2003
1,932
50
MD/VA/DC
Wait, so it was a better plan to get YouTube to re-encode it's whole library, than for Apple to get a flash plug-in working in the first place?

I will venture a guess that this is mostly to enable small beans developers to get into the game. Flash is a lot easier to work with than WEB 2.0. Especially for simple games and such.

Flash uses software/cpu to run. h.264 is hardware-based and consumes less power.

Apple wasn't trying to 'get around' having a flash plugin. It's the fact that h.264 looks A LOT better than flash video!

For video, yes, but for interaction and programming, no.
 

Fwink!

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2002
86
0
Earth
Flash uses software/cpu to run. h.264 is hardware-based and consumes less power.

Well, I still think this is about 2 issues.
1. Ad's not rendering on web pages.
2. Games

And not so much about video, we all know h.264 is high Q.
 

dicklacara

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2004
973
1
SF Bay Area
I hope that Apple and Adobe work together to implement an efficient Safari/Flash plugin tailored to the iPhone... it would be to the advantage of both...

I did some measurements, a while back, and the Flash plugin for Safari sucked from a performance standpoint-- often using over 10% CPU while doing nothing, and in the 60% CPU range doing simple tasks (on an iMac G5 2.1 GHz).

It was so bad that I suggested that they (then MacroMedia) change their Flash promotional from "Rich and Reach" to "Rich, Reach and Retch":)
 

michelle21

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
196
0
yes this is what I suspected, if you read the flash player licensing agreement there is specific language on what platforms require additional licensing.

When I saw the safari limitation I suspected Apple was negotiating with adobe but would not have it in time for the release.

Here's some other stuff I would not be surprised/hoping to see..

rstp streaming

native itunes client

Bonjour support
 

NightStorm

macrumors 68000
Jan 26, 2006
1,859
63
Whitehouse, OH
A lot of people aren't realizing that it isn't as simple as using the existing Safari Flash plug-in; the iPhone uses an ARM CPU that would require Adobe to port their code to run properly, and Apple ensuring that it does so with as little impact on battery life as possible.

It'll happen eventually, I'm pretty sure of that, but it isn't something that can happen overnight.
 

iStrat

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2007
96
0
New York
Months away?

The quote says they are expecting it in an early update within the next couple of months. I wouldn't get too excited just yet. It might be a long way off. At least that gives them plenty of time to perfect the implementation.
 

SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
Yea, I'm not entirely sure I want a flash plugin.

I've seen newegg banner ads that suck up 100% of my CPU because they're flash and done poorly. Why bother run my battery down because some jerk cant use flash.
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,528
255
While cool, it seems odd they would suddenly do this. Apple seemed adamant that Flash was a drain on battery life, and they went out of their way to get YouTube to recode all their videos to not be Flash.

So why suddenly add Flash now? Why not have it there all along?
Something doesn't seem right with this rumor -- unless they're just caving in to all the complaints of the iPhone not supporting Flash. But Apple doesn't seem like the kind of company to cave in...

I think Apple was playing a game of chicken with Adobe over the flash player licensing fee. Adobe wants a pretty penny for the player on embedded devices.

[Dramatic reenactment]
ADOBE: So, you want the flash player on your new phone, eh?
STEVE: Yep.
ADOBE: OK, that'll be 5% of retail sales.
STEVE: Ah, no
ADOBE: OK, 2.5%, bottom line.
STEVE: Look, we can release this device without the Flash player at all.
ADOBE: No way, we rule dynamic content on the web--if you want to give people the "real web" you've got to play ball.
STEVE [to the public]: Develop using Web 2.0, Flash Player will suck your battery so it's really better that you don't have FP. [applies RDF effect].
PUBLIC: [Buys 100,000 x ? phones in the first week]
ADOBE: Ah, Steve? Steve? Are you there?
STEVE: Hmm, oh it's you. Can I help you with something?
ADOBE: Ah, how's about 5$/unit.
STEVE [Applying RDF]: you think it would be strategic to offer the Flash Player for free on the iPhone.
ADOBE: Ah... We've decided it would be strategic to offer the player for free on iPhones... [blinks a few times, regains focus] But you've got to pay for the development and maintenance.
STEVE: Already done.
 

Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,454
88
London, UK
Flash will come, but it won't have Flash video support.

The CPU in the iPhone simply isn't powerful enough to decode it on its own ... although it does have a vector floating point unit that might help. The iPhone is optimised for decoding H.264 without eating battery too quickly, and flash video simply wouldn't be able to do that. Maybe if the decoder was rewritten specifically for the hardware in the iPhone...

The flash plugin will do all of the classic flash stuff though - the games, adverts, etc.
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,528
255
Yea, I'm not entirely sure I want a flash plugin.

I've seen newegg banner ads that suck up 100% of my CPU because they're flash and done poorly. Why bother run my battery down because some jerk cant use flash.

Yeah, Ideally, the player would not be active on a page until you the user taps the flash movies area. And perhaps it could stop when you tap elsewhere or maybe it's paused even if its just scrolled off screen.
 
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