FOR MONTHS Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been telling the world that Flash is a cancer and needs to be replaced by HTML5.
True to his word he stopped developers from flogging Flash apps in the Itunes App Store and has not allowed any Apple products to show online Flash content.
Now it seems that Jobs woke up and smelled the latte, and realised that outside his reality distortion field people want Flash even if he tells them not to. He might also have started to notice that his attitude to one of the world's most popular web formats is costing him sales.
Many people who might have bought Apple's gadgets such as the Ipad and Iphone have not done so because they want to be able to view Flash content.
Apple has changed its App Store policies for developers, but you have not seen a press release from Apple saying it has changed its mind about Flash and so far few have reported the change.
However buried within the announcement loosening Apple's development rules for apps was a change to permit software developers to use cross-platform tools to develop apps for the Iphone, Ipad and Ipod Touch.
The previous ban on cross-platform tools had blocked several popular third-party toolkits but the most important of them was Flash.
Apple's statement did not mention Flash so technically it might not be a public climb down, but the way Jobs' Mob has worded its policy, apps (or ads) written in Flash that are compiled and don't require downloading any Adobe code should be okay.
Some pundits claim that if you build a browser app for the Iphone that has all the back-end code needed to run Flash in webpages already downloaded and packaged inside it you will get a full web browsing experience, complete with Flash, on an Iphone.
The good thing about this is that Steve Jobs does not have get down off his high horse.
Apparently Apple's changes still don't allow Flash to run in IOS. However Jeffrey Hammond of Forrester Research told CNN that Adobe had been targeting the Iphone by using the Air compiler to cross-compile Actionscript to directly target ARM chips through private, non-sanctioned APIs.
It seems Apple has allowed a method developers can use that will make it possible to view Flash on its mobile gadgets in the future. µ
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