Adobe Reminds Us Flash Isn’t Out of the iPad Game
In response to Apple’s iPad product announcement Wednesday, Adobe has posted a message to its Flash Platform blog assuring developers they’ll be able to use Adobe’s Flash authoring tools to build iPad apps.
Developers are currently able to publish almost any project built using ActionScript 3 into a native iPhone or iPod Touch application using a cross-compiler called Packager for iPhone. Adobe is tweaking Packager for iPhone, which will ship as part of Flash Professional Creative Suite 5, to work with the iPad SDK and support behaviors specific to the new device.
The biggest change is the difference in screen size. Adobe says it will first concentrate on getting ActionScript 3 apps to translate to the iPad properly, then build in support for the device’s larger screen size.
Keep in mind, this does not mean that Flash apps, AIR apps or the Flash Player are going to work on the iPad. There seems to be some confusion about this — probably because Adobe’s communications are purposely vague about this fact, and bloggers are unclear as to what Packager for iPhone actually does. When you export a Flash app to the iPhone, you’re not getting a Flash app, you’re getting an app that was built in Adobe’s ActionScript 3 programming language using the Flash authoring tool, then translated into iPhone-native code.
Flash and AIR apps don’t work on the iPhone or the iPod Touch and they won’t work on the iPad. Apple’s mobiles currently use hardware-embedded decoders to render YouTube videos, but we can expect that scenario to change soon, now that YouTube is moving towards HTML5 video playback using h.264, which Apple devices use as their native video codec.
In fact, during Steve Jobs’ announcement Wednesday morning, many attendees (including our own Gadget Lab team) noticed when a “plug-in missing” icon popped up on the New York Times homepage as Jobs was demonstrating the iPad’s Safari web browser.
Adobe was going to release a full beta of Flash Professional CS5, but the company decided against it so it could get the final app out more quickly.
Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com