Adobe announced that it has finally managed to provide Flash video to Apple’s iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad. According to Adobe, it is not possible for content providers to use Flash to provide video streams on multiple platforms including Android, OS X and Windows through Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5.
Now keep in mind that this does not mean that iOS devices will support Flash. Thus, you are not going to see an overnight shift in Apple’s policies and you still won’t be able to play Flash based games or interactive material. Keep in mind that Apple decided long ago to avoid Flash due to a variety of stability and performance related issues. Steve Jobs himself has explicitly made it clear that Apple wants a viable alternative to Flash. Hence, the amount of energy Apple and other major players have devoted towards HTTP Live Streaming. This technology standard powers sites like YouTube.
The Flash Media Server 4.5 is designed to add in support for HTTP Live Streaming. This way, content providers can use the program to provide users with video streams in any form they require. For instance, if a computer or other electronic device already has Flash installed, the content will be displayed through a Flash format. However, if the video stream must be delivered to a device that does not have Flash installed (e.g.: iOS X) then it will be provided via HTTP Live Streaming.
This is an important development for Adobe since it seems to have rescued Flash from the grip of obsoleteness. Not long ago, many analysts were ready to write-off Flash as major tech firms shunned it. This also goes to show how important iOS users are now in terms of determining technology standards. Adobe’s move is going to make things easier for both designers and users.