updated 01:45 pm EDT, Thu July 5, 2007
WSJ on iPhone Flash
Apple plans to add Adobe Flash support on the iPhone relatively quickly, says Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal. The technology columnist reports that Apple already expects to release a software update for the phone in the near future that will deliver at least part of the functionality through Safari, permitting the many web-based video sites and other pages that use Flash for animation or interfaces to display properly. No timeframe has been given, but the fix could occur within "a couple of months," Mossberg estimates.
The lack of a plugin has not been explained by either Adobe or Apple, but is widely believed to have stemmed from a need to tailor the code for the iPhone's touch interface and to optimize its performance for the mobile environment. The introduction of a custom YouTube program that plays web clips re-encoded in H.264 has been seen by some as a stopgap solution, meant to overcome complaints about features absent from the web browser.
Apple has to date kept quiet on what future updates will bring to the phone, with company chief Steve Jobs so far only alluding to full Exchange support and other hooks for corporate networks within the next few weeks.