Adobe says it has developed an iPhone workaround that brings Adobe Flash to the phone despite Apple's reluctance to do the same. Adobe demonstrated the tool Monday at the Max Conference in Los Angeles. A brief review of Apple's App Store reveals there are eight apps built with Flash available today. The key phrase is "built with Flash," because Adobe falls short of having Flash run natively on the iPhone.
There's no easy way to get Adobe Flash content working on an iPhone. Actually, there is no way to get Adobe Flash on the iPhone (See Related: 3 Reasons Why iPhone Won't Get Adobe Flash ). So Adobe found a way to work around these limitations and is preparing to launch the next version of Flash (CS5), which will allow developers to export Flash apps as native iPhone apps.
Adobe Flash CS5 (a beta expected within the coming weeks) will allow developers to create applications in Flash and then export them as native iPhone applications, which can then be submitted to the App Store, like any regular iPhone app. As a proof of concept, there are eight apps built this way in the App Store right now (see full list).
The Flash-based iPhone apps created with Flash CS5 can use native features of the iPhone such as multitouch input, screen rotation or copy/paste, but to be clear -- they were only created in Flash and then converted into iPhone OS 3.0 code.
Also, Adobe's Flash workaround for the iPhone is quite limited. Traditional Flash capabilities such as browsing Flash Web content from the iPhone Safari browser (or any app whatsoever) are not available, nor is loading Flash (.swf) files. In other words, still no Flash for the iPhone.
Only the fact that Adobe tried so hard to build into Flash CS5 the iPhone app export capability is not exactly a good sign for those still waiting for native Flash support on the iPhone. But the lack of such support will put the iPhone behind Palm, Research In Motion, Nokia, and Google Android phones, which are set to fully support Adobe Flash technology by the beginning of next year.