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Thread: Smokescreen Brings Flash to iPhone OS… Slowly

  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar
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    Default Smokescreen Brings Flash to iPhone OS… Slowly
    [ame=]YouTube - Smokescreen - iPad demo[/ame]

    The Adobe/Apple wars have made it impossible for iPhone OS users to run Flash content on their devices. Regardless of what one may think about the platform - it's buggy, runs slow, uses up battery life quickly, etc. etc. - the fact remains that there is a lot of content out there that simply cannot be accessed by iPhones and iPads. That is about to change. Chris Smoak is previewing Smokescreen, a plugin-free way of viewing Flash content as an SVG animation via javaScript. Though it's still slow, Smokescreen will be released as open-source, which should aid in development.

    Flash came to prominence as a way to get animated content onto the Web…. those of us old enough to remember when animated GIFs were the state of the art may also recall that it was a great innovation. Amusingly, Flash was originally written to run on the PenPoint OS-powered tablets of the early 1990s. But time has rolled on, and as embedded video and JavaScript have become more universally supported, and mobile devices are increasingly the primary way many people access online content, the weaknesses of Flash have become more pronounced. Add to that Steve Jobs's personal antipathy for Flash and Apple's decision to completely prohibit Flash support either natively or through Mobile Safari plugins, and as a result a significant amount of Web content is inaccessible on any iPhone OS device.

    So, Smokescreen. Simon Willison (cocreator of the Django framework) explains that the JavaScript library "reads in SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded audio and turns them in to base64 encoded data:uris, then stitches the vector graphics back together as animated SVG." Chris Smoak is an ad designer, and so his intention was to create a way for Flash ads to be viewed natively on browsers. It does that, but little else right now: try any more complex Web content with Smokescreen and you'll see. Willison and others have pointed out the potential for much more to be done - Smoak has also implemented an ActionScript interpreter. Smoak says that Smokescreen works for Firefox 3.6, Chrome 5, Safari 4, and MobileSafari and that "there are known, fixable issues with Opera 10.5." There's no support for Internet Explorer at this time, though he says that "IE9 looks promising."

    The weaknesses are apparent - Willison notes the size at 8,000 lines of code and wonders about performance - but as an open-source project it is bound to improve. With a demand apparent, based on the amount of Flash content out there, developers will likely find and fix many problems.

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  3. #2
    One small step for us
    One giant leap for flash on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
    Last edited by RonHC; 2010-05-31 at 08:24 PM.
    Owner of: iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, 3G, 2G
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  4. #3
    Sound promising. Maybe if it becomes more popular and people start jailbreaking just for it, apple will listen to the users and not them self.

  5. #4
    iPhone? More like MyPhone Excel Wiz's Avatar
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    Steve is going to kill himself.

    MacBook Pro 15" Core i7|4GB|500GB|HiRes
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  6. #5
    Jobs has already sent the police to the guy's house...

  7. #6
    iPhone? More like MyPhone ifonemaniac's Avatar
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    *crosses fingers*

  8. #7

  9. #8
    iPhone? More like MyPhone CMOSlabs's Avatar
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    Default Flash on iPhone
    Every little bit helps. Wish Apple would just give us a choice.

    Here is a other way to get flash on a iPhone or iPad using cloud computing.

    Flash comes to the iPhone … sort of | CMOS Labs
    Last edited by CMOSlabs; 2010-05-31 at 09:05 PM. Reason: TimeWarp infusion

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jawcl View Post
    Dude what the heck?!?

    What's wrong with this forum?
    Weekend news gets ignored.

    I might as well post this here too...

    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    I went ahead and made this:
    YTMND - YTMND iPhone OS App plzkthx

    In case it isn't obvious, YTMND barely works on iPhone OS / mobile Safari. The vast majority of YTMND sites use synced audio with video or some other trick that is usually accomplished with Flash.

  11. #10

  12. #11
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Any reason why my Twitter is flooded with a sudden surge of MMI posts?

  13. #12
    this is probably gonna come to jailbreak and when apple comes to their senses 5.0
    Name? whereswaldo
    iDevice + Firmware? 32GB Black iPhone 4 iOS 5.0
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  14. #13
    Funny how in one second when Steve "Jesus" Jobs says that Flash will never come to the iPhone, everyone is going "YEAH! **** FLASH! ALLLRIGHT STEVE!" and now that there may be a snowball's chance in hell that some form of it is coming, everyone is excited.
    Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
    Don't you love all this willy waving?

  15. #14
    iPhone? More like MyPhone Eagleye's Avatar
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    This is a much better idea and execution of flash on iDevices than Cloud Browse or the like. Something like this has real potential to be great if everyone jumps on board.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SquareWheel View Post
    Any reason why my Twitter is flooded with a sudden surge of MMI posts?
    I was wondering the same thing.

  17. #16
    iPhone? More like MyPhone Antman217's Avatar
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    The only thing I would need flash on the iPhone for is ceratin video sites like G4 or Hulu but I'd rather watch it on my computer anyways so no flash on my iPhone is not a prob for me. It's like when MMS finally came to the iPhone I was really excited and then I realized I barely text pictures anyway. I recently downloaded CloudBrowse which lets you see flash content and I rarely open it. Flash is laggy and it drains battery on the iPhone. So basically **** flash... on the iPhone lol.

  18. #17
    There there GIF. He didn't mean it :P

  19. #18
    Livin the iPhone Life sziklassy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Success.Is.Sweet View Post
    Funny how in one second when Steve "Jesus" Jobs says that Flash will never come to the iPhone, everyone is going "YEAH! **** FLASH! ALLLRIGHT STEVE!" and now that there may be a snowball's chance in hell that some form of it is coming, everyone is excited.
    Not everyone, but most people who post on this forum do so to bash things. Very little of it is actually constructive LOL. I do agree Flash sucks on Apple's OS's (who's fault that is is irrelevant, it sucks and that is all that matters to me), what I don't agree with is Apple deciding for me what I can and cannot have loaded on my devices.
    I once prayed to God for an iPhone, but quickly found out He didn't work that I stole an iPhone and prayed for His forgiveness.

    A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. - Josh Billings

  20. #19
    Green Apple iphoneraz's Avatar
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    Thank goodness people are working on this since apple tried to kill flash.

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    CaryDude (2010-06-01), jdacus (2010-06-12)

  22. #20
    killall Terminal[]

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