Adobe CTO Defends Flash, Downplays HTML5

On Tuesday, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch fired back, claiming that Flash is plenty capable of running on the iPhone and suggesting that Apple hasn't shown interest in supporting the technology.

As evidence of Flash's versatility, Lynch noted that Adobe's impending release of Flash Player 10.1 will run on smartphones from every major manufacturer except for Apple, as well as on tablets, netbooks and internet-connected TVs. Lynch also pointed to Flash-based standalone apps that are currently being sold on Apple's App Store as proof of Flash's ability to run on both the iPhone and iPad.

"We are ready to enable Flash in the browser on these devices if and when Apple chooses to allow that for its users, but to date we have not had the required cooperation from Apple to make this happen," Lynch wrote in a blog post.

It's no secret that Jobs isn't a fan of Flash. In a town hall meeting with employees last week, Jobs reportedly described Adobe as "lazy" and said Flash is a primary reason for Mac crashes. Jobs also suggested that the arrival of the open standard HTML5 will render Flash irrelevant.

Sponsored post

Lynch disputed this in his blog post and raised the specter of chilling HTML5 related implications. "Even in the case of video, where Flash is enabling over 75% of video on the Web today, the coming HTML video implementations cannot agree on a common format across browsers, so users and content creators would be thrown back to the dark ages of video on the Web with incompatibility issues," Lynch wrote.

The iPhone's lack of Flash support was one of the first complaints that came flooding in after its launch, and in March 2008 Jobs explained that the PC version of Flash ran too slowly on the device, while the mobile version, Flash Lite, wasn't powerful enough.

Since last November, iPhone users who visit Adobe's Flash Player Download Center have been greeted with the message: "Apple restricts use of technologies required by products like Flash Player. Until Apple eliminates these restrictions, Adobe cannot provide Flash Player for the iPhone or iPod Touch."