Anyone who uses an iPad or iPhone knows that they can’t run Flash applications. In fact, Steve Jobs famously called out Adobe last year in an open letter explaining why iOS would not support Flash. In the same letter, Jobs appealed to Adobe to step up its game and move beyond Flash’s processor and power hungry ways. Adobe has responded with the announcement of Flash Media Server 4.5 at the 2011 IBC in Amsterdam. This new technology promises bridge the gap between Flash and iOS powered devices.
If you are about to click over to the Apple App Store to find a Flash app, then you need to stop right now. Flash Media Server 4.5 does not use a Adobe Flash application on the device. The content is streamed from the server in such a way to allow for the browser to treat it as HTML 5 content, thus cutting out the need for a dedicated Adobe Flash app.
While it is not clear from the press release, it seems that while Apple users will be able to view streaming content, the new server will not completely replicate the Flash experience. Nor will sites automatically start having iOS friendly Flash streams as content providers will have to purchase and install the upgraded server software. However, there will probably be a rapid deployment for any site that wants to attract the attention of iPhone and iPad users.