Flash could overheat the iPhone, but is needed for a complete Web experience
Contrary to my initial belief, it appears that the first incarnation of the iPhone won't support Flash in the Safari browser.
According to TUAW, developers at WWDC have been told that Flash won't be available, and that they shouldn't serve video using Flash.
Having had Flash functionality in my desktop browsers for years, I temporarily forgot that it is, still, a plug-in. There's no native support for Flash in Safari.
Though Flash is supposed to be coming to the iPhone at some point in the future, there's no official word on this.
Does this cause a problem for web surfing on the iPhone?
Steve Jobs, backed up by Apple's fourth iPhone ad, has told us that the Internet on the iPhone isn't a "watered down version of the internet" or "the mobile version of the Internet" or the "'kinda sorta looks like the Internet' Internet." Rather, it's just "the Internet, on your phone."
So what about Flash?
Like it or loathe it (something that depends on a number of factors such as how powerful your computer is, and how many Flash elements a web designer clumps together on one page) Flash has become an integral part of many web sites (whatever Microsoft might prefer). Can Apple really claim to be able to offer a complete Internet browsing experience if Flash isn't supported?
It's going to make life hard for the likes of iGiki too. Where do their Flash-based games fit into the iPhone now?
One major problem is that Flash is a rather bloated technology. Sure, it runs fine on fast PCs, but even my two-year-old laptop really struggles when there are more than a few Flash elements on a single page.
Now how's that going to translate into a handheld metallic device?
Overheating iPhone anyone? Or at least, one with a piffle of a battery life.
The iPhone's CPU is not going to be anywhere near as powerful as a dedicated PC. Apple developers will have to work seriously hard on streamlining how Flash runs if they're to get a successful iPhone implementation.
Or leave it out and cut off a significant proportion of web functionality.
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