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Flash Comes To the iPhone Via App

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the doesn't-seem-very-convenient dept.

Iphone 182

An anonymous reader writes "While the HTML5 and Flash standard debate rages, Apple, a major promoter of HTML5, has allowed its iOS devices to run Flash videos. Apple has given approval to an app developed by Skyfire that translates Flash code into HTML5. According to CNN, when a user clicks on a Flash video the Skyfire app downloads the Flash video on Skyfire's server where the video is decoded and then encoded in HTML5 and is delivered to an iOS device. The app is embedded in the Safari browser."

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182 comments

Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34112938)

High School Principle: Hello, Mr. Timmerman?
Mr. Timmerman: Yes, speaking.
High School Principle: This is the principle at Luther High School and I am calling about your son Frederick.
Mr. Timmerman: Why what has Fred done?
High School Principle: Are you aware your son owns and operates an iPhone on school grounds?
Mr. Timmerman: Yes but he is not to use it during class hours, it's just for security. I'll have a talk with him when I get home ...
High School Principle: Are you aware that sometime today an app called 'Skyfire' allowed iPhone users to access Flash video.
Mr. Timmerman: Oh. My. God. Where is Fred, is he okay? You confiscated the iPhone, right? Please just hold him in a locked room and I will leave work right now and come pick him up.
High School Principle: I'm afraid we don't know where he is, Mr. Timmerman. It was not discovered he had access to Flash materials until he sat down during first period, continually grinning at his phone. The instructor noticed and asked him to put it away and at that point your son snarled and knocked the teacher out of the way exhibiting some super human strength -- possibly hepped up on caffeine pills [youtube.com] .
Mr. Timmerman: No you don't understand, we're good Christians, my son hasn't been taught any sex education yet, if he's exposed to porn he ...
High School Principle: Again, I'm so very sorry Mr. Timmerman, according to our counselor's estimates it's now noon and your son escaped at the beginning of the day so he is probably in Tijuana right now so strung out on heroin that he has to mainline it under his eye. If you don't get to him soon, he will certainly be dead before the weekend.
Mr. Timmerman: *gasps*
High School Principle: Also, there's one more thing. A few of the other kids heard your son extolling Skyfire ... some of them own iPhones that are now being confiscated but should another incident occur the parents may have a negligence suit brought against you.
Mr. Timmerman: My God. All this ... all this because of ... FLASH VIDEO! Damn you, Adobe, damn you all to hell!
High School Principle: I'm sorry Mr. Timmerman, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family but especially your son. The poor poor victim of FLASH VIDEO.

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113132)

Oh dear.

The word you are looking for is principal.

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (2, Insightful)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113542)

this is /. you either do a first post or you do a grammatically correct post

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34114008)

In most cases people do neither.

FR1ST P0sT

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113880)

The word you are looking for is principal.

You've never talked to a principle before? They're very set in their ways.

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113964)

Oh dear.

The word you are looking for is principal.

And the Google search term "Frederick" already knew about was "iPhone porn".

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (2, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115190)

PrinciPAL (he's your pal, well she/he should be :P) is how you remember it. Yeah, I learn its differences back in elementary school this way. :)

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113156)

Would have been funnier if you spelled "principal" correctly. Just sayin'.

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (4, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113200)

High School Principle: This is the principle at Luther High School and I am calling about your son Frederick.

A talking principle? In my day, they were just conceptual. My how things have advanced.

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (1, Troll)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113220)

i for one applaud and welcome your use of "Principle" as irony.... bra-vo

Re:Steve Jobs Warned Us About This Horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113498)

Principal*

has anyone tested it? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113010)

do all the porn tube sites work with this?

Re:has anyone tested it? (4, Funny)

MagicM (85041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113316)

My guess is that the answer is "yes". Everyone who tried it hasn't reported back yet because they're, um, busy.

Re:has anyone tested it? (2, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113606)

Sorry, the following video could not be displayed. Reason: Porn on the iPhone is illegal, you have violated the app store user agreement. Apple black ops will be descending on your house shortly to exercise Apple's right under page 26994 of your contract, and confiscate all your iPhones.

P.S. No. This does not allow you to cancel your ATT iPhone wireless agreement or data plan without an early termination charge.

Flash *video* comes to iPhone (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113042)

Why do so many articles ignore the fact that there is more to Flash than video? Granted, most games aren't going to play well on a mobile device but there are lots of Flash based sites that work just fine. Being able to access those sites or not is a pretty big deal if your out and about and need to look up information on a nearby business.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113078)

Is there actually anyone that uses Flash more something *else* than video?

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (2, Informative)

pjfontillas (1743424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113118)

I can think of one use, but it's not something that's common (yet). Sound Manager 2 makes use of Flash and when done right it can be used to add sound to the UI. It's not done right, if at all usually, but sounds that represent interactions with the UI can do wonders for the user experience and intuitiveness.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113538)

Sound Manager also works with HTML5.

sounds that represent interactions with the UI can do wonders for the user experience and intuitiveness.

Really? I tend to just find them hella annoying these days. Back when I was 8 I loved playing through the silly sound effects in the Mac OS control panel, but in OSes since then I enjoy listening to my media collection rather than all the beeps, clicks and whooshes.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113246)

Is there actually anyone that uses Flash more something *else* than video?

Have you not seen the really annoying spate of web sites that use Flash for site navigation?

Fuck, I hate flash -- mostly it's a cue that the site is a piece of shit that I don't want to use. I've yet to encounter a single Flash-based website I cared enough to use.

And don't whine to me about your damned badgers ... we don' need no steenkin' badgers.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (3, Interesting)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113604)

There are millions of sites authored in Flash (ActionScript) that have nothing to do with video. In many cases, sites that really would work just dandy in normal HTML/CSS. But that doesn't make it a non-problem for end-users who simply want the full web on their smartphone. Before I had Flash on my Droid, I had to go to a PC browser to see Mini-Circuit's web site (they make RF components) or check-out on J.C. Penney's e-commerce site. Nothing whatsoever to do with video. And no more a battery drain or other issue than JavaScript.

The reason is simple: Adobe's authoring tools are very nice. They allow a content person to author the kind of site you'd need real programmers for in JavaScript.

This is how you know Apple wasn't serious about killing off Flash. If you wanted to get rid of Flash effectively, you don't target end users, you find out why people use it, and make them want to change. An authoring tool that does what Flash does, as well as Flash, in HTML4/5 + CSS + JavaScript, given away free, would solve this problem. And in fact, Adobe's tools are moving toward this anyway... they are going to support authoring in HTML5, some day (given HTML5 isn't quite really real until 2012 or so, there's time).

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (4, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113658)

My industry (rapid e-learning and software simulation training) is nearly 100% Flash. There really is no other option. Even the rapid e-learning powerpoint plug ins are all Flash based.

And this isn't even a bad thing, because it's a great tool for this use.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (2, Informative)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113688)

Only video?

Depends on your field of work. There are many web-based monitoring applications which use Flash to display graphs (moves the burden of transforming values into graphics to the client, freeing up server resources in the process).

Name one (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113292)

Odd that you should say that, because the only flash site I ever use is youtube. So, what flash do I absolutly need yet that I am not aware off?

Here is a hint, promo-sites for games/movies etc I do NOT need.

What amazes me is that so many people claim that Apple has made a mistake and that people NEED flash, they MUST have flash, yet the iPhone and iPad sell like... well like an iPhone/iPad... they sold MILLIONS. Apple with 1 phone is among the biggest phone makers. Yet apparently all these people are buying the wrong phone because their flash needs are not being met... poor suckers... that is why I see so many iPhone users fuming everytime they use their iPhone! "DAMN", they say, "STILL no flash! This sucks! I am going to return it and NEVER BUY another one!"

This explains why the next generation iPhones completely failed to sell... oh wait NO THEY DIDN'T.

Your needs do not seem to be the same as million of iPhone/iPod/iPad users. To bad. Don't buy an iPhone, buy a Windows 7 phone. Be happy.

Re:Name one (3, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113348)

I can't agree more. I haven't found a single instance in 3 years for requiring flash. It is only now gaining support on Android, which is funny in itself. Folks slamming Apple when it wasn't even out of beta for Android.

There is simply no need, as any site worthy of a mobile device, offers a mobile version, which never uses flash.

Re:Name one (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113624)

I much prefer to browse the full versions of sites even on my Android device. None of the sites I browse really need Flash though. There's the occasional YouTube video on Facebook, but I can open those videos in the YouTube app..

Re:Name one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34114472)

Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation. His site is flash based and not posted to youtube.

Re:Name one (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113770)

Well you did say name one so here [navypier.com] is one. And yeah, when I was on vacation in Chicago, without easy access to a computer, it was quite handy to be able to pull it up on my droid.

Re:Name one (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113798)

You seem to have completely missed the point of the complaints - it's not that Apple won't allow Flash on, it's the Apple picks and chooses third party apps that are blessed with being allowed to run on their device.

I can kinda see that making sense for a phone, but iOS now covers iPads and iPods, where it makes absolutely no sense. Except for Apple's bottom line.

So, here's the question you should be answering: If I want Flash on my phone, why doesn't Apple allow me to install it?

Keeping in mind that you can replace Flash with anything. For example, say, an Ogg Theora or WebM video player.

Re:Name one (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114762)

You seem to have completely missed the point of the complaints - it's not that Apple won't allow Flash on, it's the Apple picks and chooses third party apps that are blessed with being allowed to run on their device.

That's okay, you've missed the point too. And it isn't that Apple gets to pick and choose what runs on the iPhone, it's that they did in a very smart and profitable way. Every single software or hardware maker does what Apple does. Apple's just better at it, apparently.

Re:Name one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34115032)

And you've missed the point too!!

It's apples marketing that's good, not their products. See the difference?

What happened was you were seduced by the marketing and the appearance of Apple kit (you tasteless little monkey you) and soon you had so much invested into the brand that self-deception became easier than objective decision making - thinking may hurt more, but it's a good pain and its worth it.

Re:Name one (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114174)

Did people actually say that? I remember the iPhone selling spectacularly well back when it was 2G, lacked copy & paste, MMS and multitasking, had a piss poor camera, and the only "application support" was fucking javascript and HTML. Apple doesn't need anything to sell: it will sell no matter what.

Re:Name one (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114732)

It may have sold well in the USA but it was a complete flop in Europe and the Far East. Later releases have been much more popular.

Re:Name one (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115548)

Correction: hardcore Apple fans in Europe had already bought their iPhones in the U.S. before it launched here. Of course, later iPhones were also much, much better, making it a reasonable option in its own right and getting all the early adopters to upgrade at first opportunity.

Re:Name one (1)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114192)

I was gonna say www.thermalright.com but it appears they've ditched flash! Hallelujah! :D

Actually, they still have a flash animation on their frontpage, showcasing their products, but at least, now you can navigate on their website without having to use flash.

Re:Name one (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115460)

No one has ever said that they NEED flash on there phone. Most people don't even say that they NEED a mobile phone. People WANT flash, and they don't WANT the phone manufacturer telling them that they cannot have it because the manufacturer wants to protect their non-hardware profits. Yes, Apple sucks for doing their best to prevent people from running the software they WANT on the hardware they OWN.

Apple has made a mistake. They are replaying the Mac/PC battle all over again on cell phones, and they don't seem to have learned their lesson.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (5, Insightful)

mikestew (1483105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113296)

Being able to access those sites or not is a pretty big deal if your out and about and need to look up information on a nearby business.

If your business site requires Flash to view (specifically, the "no Flash==blank page" type), you're not getting my business whether I'm "out and about" with my iPhone or sitting in front of my quad-core desktop. It's not 2002, go back to web design school.

Games and video; any other uses of Flash I've seen have been pathetic attempts at custom UI that suffer from usability problems and general annoyance.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113586)

I'm sure businesses the world round are in utter panic because a basement-dwelling Slashdotter is not going to give them his business. Please reconsider! The global ramifications will be stupendous!!!

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113662)

If your business site requires Flash to view (specifically, the "no Flash==blank page" type), you're not getting my business whether I'm "out and about" with my iPhone or sitting in front of my quad-core desktop. It's not 2002, go back to web design school.

I've tried to tell this to my manager and the company who are redesigning our website, but they won't listen. Even with the popularity of the iPhone/iPad and 1% of our website visits actually being from iPhones, they still insist on having a flash banner on each page. *sigh*

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113752)

Fine with me. I'd much rather that they had something that renders as a grey click-to-enable box in my browser than some animated crap. Please don't tell them about the canvas tag or animated GIFs.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113898)

Do you also want all your page layout done with pointless blank images that increase download time rather than using the relevant HTML and CSS code..?

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113832)

"you're not getting my business"

according to this you and your iphone touting pals make up less than 2% of the market
http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=9&qpcustom=iOS,Linux&sample=36 [netmarketshare.com]

i don't want to make you look really stupid but...

  98% of Internet connected PCs have Flash Player
  85% of the top 100 websites use Flash Player (Alexa)
  75% of web video is viewed using Flash Player (Comscore)
  98% of enterprises rely on Flash Player (Forrester)
  70% of web games are delivered using Flash Player (Evans Data Corp.)
  3.5 million developers use the Flash Platform
  19 of the top 20 device manufacturers worldwide have committed to shipping Flash technology on their devices

now maybe you need to tune the amp settings on your RDF...?
(what is it about apple users that makes them not just cocksuckers but such deluded and self-important little cocksuckers...?)

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (1)

mikestew (1483105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114204)

Wow, it's like The Manchurian Candidate; one trigger word, and they step into action, clipboard buffers filled and ready to paste into a post.

I wonder what happens when I mention that the "quad-core desktop" in my post is an iMac?

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114378)

They would suddenly sympathize. As a quad-core Mac user, I'm well aware that any Flash at all on a page in Firefox can drive a single core to 100% for no real reason.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34115118)

Oh there is a reason all right - your quad core machine is a complete piece of shit, a fisher price computer, if you will.

Just because you paid a lot more cash for the "PRO" label doesn't mean it's not a toy.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115564)

Could you point me to a flash site that does this? I keep hearing this repeated, but I have never once had that problem. My son has had the problem of slowdown when he has 15 pages each with their own flash game running, but I'm pretty sure that he would have the same problem if he had 15 native games running on his PC at the same time.

I'm not sure if people are just lying about the 100% CPU usage, whether they are wrong but believe it, or whether everyone in my family is just supernaturally lucky to not have ever run into this.

We do all use Firefox, and we are on modest machines using on-board graphics.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113942)

You have a great point. I think that if Adobe hadn't coopted needlessly all the n00bs running video sites in the early 2000's, such that 99.9% of the Flash internet share wasn't videos, perhaps flash wouldn't be as hated. If Adobe had pushed it as it was, a platform, rather than shoehorning media into it as though it was a wrapper, perhaps Flash would be respected. As it is, though... no one cares... Flash is for video, now. Blame Adobe. They're idiots.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (4, Informative)

nashv (1479253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114190)

Because if you just factor in the traffic to YouTube, you'll realise that video IS the most used application of Flash. And just making video work without Flash will cause a huge drop in Flash usage.

Re:Flash *video* comes to iPhone (2, Informative)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114212)

Why do so many articles ignore the fact that there is more to Flash than video?

Probably because, for most users, the deal-breaker is not being able to access video content on news and, er, other types of site. There are plenty of casual games and other apps in the App Store - but not many non-Flash sources of video.

Being able to access those sites or not is a pretty big deal if your out and about and need to look up information on a nearby business.

Perhaps the pundits who write these articles would avoid those sites on principle anyway. Plus, what are the chances of those sites working with a touch interface?

The really amazing part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113046)

The really amazing part is that someone was given permission to hook into Safari. Converting a Flash video into an H.264 video is a small feat considering that the majority of videos are already encoded in H.264 in the first place, the Flash player just streams it.

Lot of trouble (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113048)

That's an awful lot of trouble go to through to keep flash off the iPhone. Jobs must REALLY not want flash on the phone.

Re:Lot of trouble (4, Informative)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113354)

It's actually not a bad idea for video - and from Apple's point of view it helps gain traction for their supported flavour of codec - but unfortunately some of us still have to use Flash for non-video related functionality, whether it's building/maintaining sites that "those upstairs" insist have to have Flash embedded, or even using certain config/CMS tools that require Flash (one of the ones I regularly work with uses a Flex front-end). It's a bit misleading to say this is "Flash on the iPhone", by any stretch, it's not even Flash video on the iPhone, since the entirety of the conversion is handled by a third party before it even reaches the iPhone.

iOS can't play Flash videos (1, Informative)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113056)

Apple, a major promoter of HTML5, has allowed its iOS devices to run Flash videos

No, Google has allowed YouTube to serve the MP4 format to iOS devices, and other sites serving videos have done similar things more recently. Flash isn't involved, and Flash videos could not and still cannot be played on iOS devices. Apple has always had the same stance in regards to iOS and had never made any special exceptions.

Re:iOS can't play Flash videos (1)

cforciea (1926392) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113374)

I always get a grin from comments are so bad that not only did they not RTFA, they didn't even bother to finish reading the 4 line summary.

Re:iOS can't play Flash videos (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113706)

You didn't understand his point then. This is not playing Flash videos on the iPhone. This is converting the flash to another format on an external server which then is sent to the iPhone. No actual Flash is being run on the iPhone.

Re:iOS can't play Flash videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113938)

His 'point' is spelled out quite clearly in the summary. Are we going to start posting comments consisting of nothing but rewording the summary now?

Re:iOS can't play Flash videos (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113592)

Flash videos could not and still cannot be played on iOS devices.

This is not true. You can run Flash videos on all iOS devices, just not in a browser:

We do want to point out that Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.

However, you can run Flash on the iPhone with the Air packager using any Flash project written with Action Script 3.0:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/packagerforiphone/ [adobe.com]

Re:iOS can't play Flash videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34114368)

However, you can run Flash on the iPhone with the Air packager using any Flash project written with Action Script 3.0:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/packagerforiphone/ [adobe.com]

It's not technically Flash. All the packager does is convert your AS3 code (It doesn't need to be AIR, it could be Flex or normal ActionScript) to byte code that makes it an iOS application. This is a similiar thing that happens when you create an application through Xcode. It's not like running an AIR application on Android, because that is actually the Flash runtime. I'd say its as Flash as this post about HTML converted code is Flash.

Re:iOS can't play Flash videos (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113600)

I hate to break it to you but Flash video nowadays (and for a while now) is H.264 in MP4.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34115292)

No no, I always welcome constructive criticism, especially when reciprocation is encouraged. So it is in this capacity that I must point out to you that Flash video involves a container format that iOS does not recognize.

Or... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114024)

Or, this method of playing Flash video doesn't breach Apple's App Store rules.

Apple doesn't care about letting people watch videos on iOS (which, despite the frothings of the iTunes conspiracy theorists, happily plays non-DRMd videos in several standard formats, somewhat restricted because the CPU doesn't have the horsepower to handle software-only codecs and relies on the available hardware decoders).

What Apple does care about is limiting the potential number of security holes in Safari by not having third party scripting/VM plugins like Flash Player.

Flash is a pretty bizzarre way of doing "just" video - requiring a proprietary VM, which then runs a (possibly custom) player applet provided by the video site which, in turn, streams and displays the video. (If the Flash VM had the cojones to download and run custom codecs then it might make sense, but it relies on the VM having the correct, native codec.) People used it because it got the job done and was less annoying than RealPlayer.

Of course, Flash has other uses and is actually great for applets and casual games - although how much existing Flash content can cope with a touch interface is questionable.

Download today? As in now or later? (1)

pjfontillas (1743424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113062)

This must be an early announcement because as of 11AM central time I can't find it in the app store. I think they jumped the gun a bit.

FLASH CODE to HTML 5 != FLASH VIDEO to HTML 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113082)

This product refers to the ability to translate flash video to html video. Still no FLASH APPS I would think based on the article.

Re:FLASH CODE to HTML 5 != FLASH VIDEO to HTML 5 (2, Informative)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113678)

More correctly, they're reformatting a Flash/AVC "wrapper" and HTML tag (or at least those they can detect, since flash players usually involve other code) into the very same video in an MP4 wrapper with a tag. Conceptually trivial, if all you're after is playing flash video. A far cry from supporting all of flash, particularly since the video sites are the first to offer HTML5 alternatives (YouTube, for example).

Re:FLASH CODE to HTML 5 != FLASH VIDEO to HTML 5 (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113754)

Flash apps are ok, Flash video in a browser plug-in is the only thing Apple won't allow. I have several Flash apps that I've developed and sold to customers. We used Air packager to turn our existing training content into an app that you can run on the iPad. (The design is too big to run on a phone, but we're reworking that now).

http://labs.adobe.com/technologie/packagerforiphone/ [adobe.com]

This came in to be from one of 2 ways: (4, Insightful)

spammeister (586331) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113090)

This one slipped under the radar and now that the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field (TM) has been notified, this app will be hit with the ban stick very soon.

OR

Steve Jobs now likes flash, or finally realized that most of the internet does indeed use flash, and has succumbed to the reality of reality.

Re:This came in to be from one of 2 ways: (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113456)

neither - this is just Apple allowing a company to do the same thing that it let YouTube do - but this time they are acting as a trans-coding proxy rather than trans-coding their own content.

Nothing changes for apple - BUT it will put this company in an interesting spot for copyright violations - as they are inherently making derivative works on the fly and distributing them, all without permission.

Re:This came in to be from one of 2 ways: (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113800)

Steve Jobs now likes flash, or finally realized that most of the internet does indeed use flash, and has succumbed to the reality of reality.

Most of the Internet? Really? I have a plugin installed that means that flash things need clicking on before they load, and it's quite rare for me to actually find something that I want to click on. Aside from YouTube, iPlayer, and Flash games, I've not seen much flash. Some big high-profile sites use it, but 'most of the Internet' definitely does not.

Re:This came in to be from one of 2 ways: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113968)

Once again sir it is my duty to inform you that you may not the "typical" internet user.

Quick question - why are so many apple users such self-centered idiots...?

Re:This came in to be from one of 2 ways: (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114716)

Yes, in fact I do have flash blocker installed and in my random wanderings of the internet, I see something along the lines of "the website has requested that the following plugin be run: Adobe flash" ON 95% of the sites I use.

Also, these so-called "self-centered idiots" also seem to stuck in the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field (TM), that everyone who isn't affected by it can plainly see does in fact exist.

Adobe v Apple is a longstanding battle about having flash work on devices that use iOS.

Of course now I'm blowing all my karma on this issue because every single post that is made that offends all these apple users gets modded down to the square root of jack squat.

Re:This came in to be from one of 2 ways: (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34116024)

Option 3:

Enough websites have started offering their video content in other ways that the Flash "monopoly" over video content is pretty much broken, and that having been accomplished, Steve Jobs/Apple doesn't really care about flash anymore.

Video streaming is NOT the same as Flash support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113198)

Flash support and turning a Flash video stream into a HTML5 video stream in-the-fly aren't the same thing.

Re:Video streaming is NOT the same as Flash suppor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113282)

Flash support and turning a Flash video stream into a HTML5 video stream in-the-fly aren't the same thing.

Someone's mind is in the gutter today!

No flash on the iPhone (2, Funny)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113240)

So, contrary to what the title and the summary say, this has nothing to do with 'flash on the iPhone' and everything to do with 'some company is transcoding flash video to h264 and sending it off to the iPhone.

Apple hasn't 'allowed' iOS devices to run anything new, someone is transcoding.

There is no 'app embedded in Safari browser'

Did I miss the memo that said slashdot was going to start accepting submissions from people who have no clue what they are talking about, and clearly have no idea what the fuck they are talking about from a technical stand point?

This isn't fucking new or newsworthy, what the hell is wrong with you CmdrTaco, why the hell did you approve such a retarded summary and story? Do I need to add you to the ignore list along with timothy and kdawson now?

Re:No flash on the iPhone (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113416)

It's a Taco Apple story so it's got to be either a troll or plain wrong (or both).

Re:No flash on the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113446)

Yes, you missed the memo. Maybe check your spam folder for it? The /. focus shifted to bandwagon sensationalism long ago.

Apple did approve it... (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113532)

Pretty harsh dude. Apple did allow the app, and even though it is a translator (which probably runs slower than snot), the fact that flash might work at all on the iPhone is newsworthy.

Re:No flash on the iPhone (2, Informative)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114688)

So, contrary to what the title and the summary say, this has nothing to do with 'flash on the iPhone' and everything to do with 'some company is transcoding flash video to h264 and sending it off to the iPhone.

Considering most "Flash videos" are H.264 encoded - what transcoding? More like "filtering out the skin for the video player build into the Flash Player".

Yes Virginia, Flash Player contains the evil H.264.

Lost in the Hyperbole (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113482)

Meanwhile buried in all the media hyperbole about anything iPhone, Adobe has released an updated Adobe Air packager for iOS4 that not only allows you to play Flash content on an iPhone/iPad, but is also sanctioned by Apple.

Granted, it's not a Flash video plug in player, but the myth that Flash content is not available on iOS is just that. Also granted that you have to attach the compiler to your content AND run it through the App Store goat-rope-circus...

HTML5 is a video format now? (2, Informative)

Mortice (467747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113514)

"the video is decoded and then encoded in HTML5"

I'm glad to see the standard of technical journalism around here is as high as ever, Slashdot. Please point me at the part of the HTML5 which describes its capabilities as a video container format and/or codec. Hint: the presence of a tag doesn't cover it.

Re:HTML5 is a video format now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113804)

Encoded in HTML5? Thats a whole lot of

elements...

Re:HTML5 is a video format now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34114412)

Firefox may still think they have any hope of pushing anything else, but for the rest of the world, for all the hardware manufacturers, it's H.264 video with AAC audio in an .mp4 container file. And has been for the last three years. There's nothing to debate.

...And yet I still knew what they meant. (4, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114522)

I'm glad to see the standard of technical journalism around here is as high as ever...

The standard of any kind of journalism is explaining things in a manner in which your audience will understand it. Laypeople--and in the technical community that is Slashdot, I am referring to geeks who don't necessarily know or care about all of the technical intricacies of video codecs--see the headline and think, "Oh, a way for me to watch video I couldn't before on my iPhone!" Bingo.

Most people like myself probably thought, "technically, that's not what it's doing; it's probably transcoding something written in Adobe's proprietary Flash format into something that only uses standards in the provisional specification of HTML 5, likely by extracting the H.264 video and re-wrapping it into HTML 5 standard-compliant tags." Most of those people probably also thought, "...but I know what they mean. It's a way for people to watch video they couldn't before on their iPhones." Again, bingo.

Now, I'm really sorry if you were so confused, thinking that the line was being literal and expecting there to be some kind of, I don't know, web alchemy at work, but I assure you that you were in an extreme sliver of a minority. Most people "got it," and as such, I think it passes muster as far as technical journalism goes. If it really bothers you that much, how about considering reading the f****** article, looking for technical details and/or references that you can research yourself?

Incidentally, the submitter pulled that description directly from the article, which appears in International Business Times, not exactly a bastion of "technical journalism." If you want to whine about technicalia, how about writing to the editor there instead of here? Let me guess, is it because you're too busy explaining somewhere else that since there's no modulation/demodulation over digital channels, everyone should stop calling those boxes you plug the coax into "cable modems?" Or are you too bothered by people calling 2010 the start of a new decade instead of the end of an old one? Or how about those idiots who talk about the "dark side of the moon," the side that receives just as much light as the other side? Do you make such a fuss when someone comments on how hot the "middle of summer" is, when in reality, average temperatures are highest around the solstice, which is the beginning of summer?

Oh, right, I know why. Because here, you get modded +5 Informative, whereas in normal society, you'd just get called out as the tool you are. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to the bank to get some money out of the ATM machine using my PIN number.

Re:...And yet I still knew what they meant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34114884)

I'm glad you "got" the article, but I think you didn't "get" the post you replied to. The author of the article makes an attempt to explain how the app is a way for people to watch flash on their iphones and fails so that his statement is helpful to neither technical nor non-technical readers. Mortice, as a commenter of a technology focused website, chose to express indirectly his desire that the original submission include a link to a better, more technically focused/accurate article instead. Mortice likely feels such an article would be more appreciated by the target audience of this community.

Perhaps most confusing is the fact you think there are "geeks" who don't know that HTML5 is not a video codec.

Re:...And yet I still knew what they meant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34115554)

If you're going to engage in pedantry, go all the way:
 

Do you make such a fuss when someone comments on how hot the "middle of summer" is, when in reality, average temperatures are highest around the solstice, which is the beginning of summer?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_lag

Earth's seasonal lag is largely caused by the presence of large amounts of water, which has a high latent heat of freezing and of condensation. Its length varies between different climates, with extremes ranging from as little as 15-20 days (for polar regions in summer) to as much as 2½ months (for low-latitude ocean areas). Interestingly, in many locations, it is not "seasonally symmetric", that is, the time between the winter solstice and coldest time is not the same as between the summer solstice and hottest time. In low and middle latitudes, the summer lag is longer, while in polar areas the winter lag is longer. In mid-latitude continental climates, it is approximately 20-25 days in winter and 25-35 days in summer.

Re:...And yet I still knew what they meant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34115580)

Slashdot -- News for Laypeople.

I envy the Jobs & Co. marketing skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113558)

They have managed to reduce Flash to "Web Video" only by the means of relentless repetition of "Facts". Especially heroic since the replacement that they market - HTML5 is nowhere near Flash in terms of what it can do, in terms of ubiquity and in terms of development tools.

If Jobs and Co. were sent to Afghanistan - we all would be now believing... Nope, I don't want to go there.

What is the name of this app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113682)

What is the name of this app? Can't find it in store.

I'll believe it when (2, Interesting)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113684)

the idea gets implemented as a PC browser plugin perfectly enabling the latest Youtube and flash games.
Who needs smartphones to just hate Adobe Flash's slowness?

Stated goals (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113694)

I'm glad this reaches Apple's stated goals of user experience speed, and universal availability. I'm sure the system will be completely stable, and the multi-server communications will be totally secure.

Now can we be treated like adults and just be told the real damned reason out loud?

Re:Stated goals (1)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115976)

Everything Apple has said about FlashPlayer has been totally practical and totally true. If you're not adult enough to see that FlashPlayer is impractical for about 100 reasons on a phone that has a consumer user, no I-T support, limited CPU and battery life, built-in hardware ISO video decoder, HTML5, and signed applications that can't run plug-ins, then that is your problem, not Apple's.

When Apple talks about the FlashPlayer user experience, they're not just talking about the fact that a lot of existing FlashPlayer content won't run in FlashPlayer for mobiles, or that when it does, it looks ugly and wears out the battery much, much faster than running that same video in hardware. They're also talking about expecting a consumer to monitor security bulletins and upgrade their FlashPlayer 5-10 times a year when a critical vulnerability is patched. Consumers do not know what any of that stuff is. You're forcing I-T work on them and they don't like it, and Apple is not going to be a party to that. They sell customers the exact opposite of that. For many iOS users, App Store is the very first time they installed a native app on a device because they couldn't jump the I-T hurdle that was put in front of them, even on a Mac.

Fundamentally, the Web has moved from being a PC/nerd Web to being a mobile/consumer Web. It's moved from being Mac/PC to being Mac/PC/iOS/BlackBerry/Palm/Android/Wii/Xbox/PlayStation/Roku and others. Web content absolutely has to run in a plain W3C HTML5 browser with ISO MPEG-4 audio video and no plug-ins because that is the only thing that is universal, because that is the only thing that is standardized. That is the only way the Web content can "just work" like CD/DVD because that is what consumers expect and demand. So if a Web publisher replaced the FlashPlayer content on their site with HTML5/MPEG-4 because of Apple, then Apple did them a favor. Adults publish in standardized technical formats like W3C HTML5 and ISO MPEG-4, they don't expect the end user to customize their system with plug-ins and add-ons or switch to another system just to see the content they've wrapped up in a proprietary binary. FlashPlayer presentations are made out of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and MPEG-4. They are fundamentally made of standardized content that devices can already play. It is not at all unreasonable to expect publishers to untangle their content from Flash and publish it on the Web.

Does this work for video with ads? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114112)

Many TV shows are now distributed through Flash player programs which load the video and play ads. The CW and CBS do this. These players are designed to prevent the viewer from viewing the show without ads. Will those work through this conversion mechanism? If not, there's not going to be consumer acceptance of this.

(Those players do not play well with high security settings. Some won't run if they can't store cookies. Others will show the same ad over and over. With Flashblock, about half the CBS ads don't appear, but there's a countdown timer you have to wait out before the show resumes.)

So very, very WRONG (4, Informative)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114218)

"Apple has given approval to an app developed by Skyfire that translates Flash code into HTML5."

NO IT DOES NOT. As others are pointing out, all this does is use a server to transcode Flash VIDEO and serve it to you. This will not do ANYTHING ELSE with Flash--it certainly DOES NOT "translate Flash code into HTML5 [code]". Better description here. [tuaw.com]

Also worth noting: "Hulu has also blocked Skyfire to guarantee that users who want to watch the streaming TV service on the iPad have to continue to pay $10 per month for Hulu Plus."

WWot 7p!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34114620)

outstrip`s '*BSD Sux0rs'. this

This could work in one of 3 ways none very good (1)

MarkH (8415) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114940)

1) a true swf to html5/JavaScript engine on the fly - believe that when I see it running

2) slurps out any rtmp url's it finds doing dynamic conversion to h.264 - won't work with sites using dynamic logic inside swf to assemble resource URL

3) virtual machine on server running flash which then streams result to iPhone - huge expense for app owner

Plus not sure sites using rtmpe like hulu would work

!rages !embedded in Safari (2, Informative)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115310)

The HTML5/Flash debate is no longer raging, it's very much winding down. Java and Silverlight in the browser have also been supplanted by HTML5 already.

The Skyfire app is not embedded in Safari, it has its own WebKit view, same as Safari and many other OS X apps.

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