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  • JavaScript Hack Runs (Some) Flash on iPhone


    Many users have complained about iPhone’s lack of support for Flash, claiming that it's a fundamental flaw with the phone's ability to access Internet content. Others have maintained that Flash itself is fundamentally flawed, a CPU hog that will crash AT&T's already strained network. Now, however, a developer has come up with a JavaScript workaround that will allow the iPhone to run Flash content, though only that which has been heavily modified.

    The script is called Gordon, in an homage to the Thirties sci-fi hero. Tobias Schneider, a programmer from Munich, developed the clever workaround,which is a runtime Flash emulator written in pure JavaScript. Since it's a script rather than an app, it doesn't run afoul of the iPhone SDK EULA section 3.3.2 prohibition against apps executing code... though Apple may have something to say about the project.

    The script does not provide true Flash support to the iPhone, as it only enables Flash files to be displayed within the iPhone’s Safari browser. And in order for the script to work correctly, the Flash must be embedded in HTML, and must incorporate Schneider’s code on every animation they want to display correctly on the iPhone. Only a subset of SWF tags are supported, and, as noted by TheAppleBlog, it's very CPU-intensive and a battery killer. Sill, if you want to see Flash on your phone, you can point your Safari browser to Paul Irish's site and take a look.

    It's a demo project, not a viable Flash replacement, obviously, and it's unlikely that the workaround will inspire many Flash developers to modify their content to run with this script. It is, clever, though, and it brings to light many of the up and downsides of Flash on this iPhone. By many people's estimation, Flash is the defacto standard for video on the Web, and the exclusion of it from the iPhone is a significant weakness. On the other side, the platform is inherently CPU-intense, and as John Gruber notes, Apple has little incentive to bring Flash support to the iPhone if it's not hurting sales... and it doesn't seem to.

    Adobe will include the ability to compile Flash animations as standalone apps with Adobe Flash Professional CS5. For the foreseeable future, at least, that functionality may prove more popular than a script workaround.

    image via @digitalgravy
    This article was originally published in forum thread: JavaScript Hack Runs (Some) Flash on iPhone started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      Very cool indeed!!

      But really now, guys, come on, when I can copy and paste at random into google one paragraph and find your story nearly word for word, you should really quote a source for it.
      Code:
      http://www.google.com/search?q=The+script+does+not+provide+true+Flash+support+to+the+iPhone%2C+as+it+only+enables+Flash+files+to+be+displayed+within+the+iPhone%E2%80%99s+Safari+browser.+And+in+order+for+the+script+to+work+correctly%2C+the+Flash+must+be+embedded+in+HTML%2C+and+must+incorporate+Schneider%E2%80%99s+code+on+every+animation+they+want+to+display+correctly+on+the+iPhone.+Only+a+subset+of+SWF+tags+are+supported%2C+and%2C+as+noted+by+TheAppleBlog%2C+it%27s+very+CPU-intensive+and+a+battery+killer.+Sill%2C+if+you+want+to+see+Flash+on+your+phone%2C+you+can+point+your+Safari+browser+to+Paul+Irish%27s+site+and+take+a+look.&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      thats awesome, always good news to give apple to get their heads out of there asses
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      hopes this scares/shames apple into letting adobe give us full flash support
    1. adsonjustin's Avatar
      adsonjustin -
      interesting...
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      im pushing for flash. hopefully they release it on a friday
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Nice! good news. I can't wait around for apple forever.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      What's the big deal with Flash? Ok, now if it's incorporated doesn't that mean every website that has flash advertisement will run EVERY TIME you load the page? So webpages on the phone will take longer to load. The only way this flash will be good if there is a on/off switch. If not than i won't care for it. I'm not going to sit here and wait for safari to load every flash ad for every webpage i visit.
    1. High_Voltage's Avatar
      High_Voltage -
      I would rather have flash to view on itouch. Reason being maybe because the YouTube app won't show why you want like music videos or news content, like what I want. It would probably be wise to add this feature, more people would buy and their company would get the profit they want. So while I wait I hope they don't make it Of what H0ll0w describes it to be. So I say make it suitable so people don't get pissed off of the horrible effort they put into it.

      I also agree with Holl0w if it doesn't work right, idc about it.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      It is an interesting POC but that's as far as it goes.
    1. KoozyK's Avatar
      KoozyK -
      Can someone explain how I actually use this? How do I install it? I assume it's just a bookmark code similar to the 'Find in a Page' hack for Safari. If someone could explain, that would be awesome!
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      ooh woooow...
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      What's the big deal with Flash? Ok, now if it's incorporated doesn't that mean every website that has flash advertisement will run EVERY TIME you load the page? So webpages on the phone will take longer to load. The only way this flash will be good if there is a on/off switch. If not than i won't care for it. I'm not going to sit here and wait for safari to load every flash ad for every webpage i visit.
      good point. maybe a popup blocker? or on/off switch like you said. someone would just incorporate into SBsettings if apple didn't do anything about it. so either way.