Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been very clearly and fairly adamant that Adobe Flash is fraught with too many issues to be allowed on the iPhone or iPad platforms. No worries. Adobe has partnered with Greystripe to implement a solution that circumvents Apple's ban on Flash and enables mobile advertisers to deliver Flash content on the Apple devices.
The Greystripe approach to delivering Flash ad content is similar to the Brightcove solution for delivering Flash video content. Greystripe detects the platform requesting the content, and automatically converts Flash to HTML5 in real-time for the Apple Safari browser used in the iPhone and iPad. Flash-enabled devices like Android 2.2 smartphones, however, will simply receive the native Flash content.
A Greystripe press release announcing the Adobe partnership explains "The ad solution is comparable to Apple's recently introduced iAds unit; however, unlike iAds, they will be authored with Adobe Flash authoring tools, priced at a fraction of the cost, and come in both expandable banner and full screen interstitial formats. Since Flash is the standard for developing rich media digital advertising, these solutions will give brand advertisers and digital agencies the ability to retain full control over ad development, reduce costs by preserving existing workflows while enabling support for HTML5, provide advertisers reach across all major desktop and mobile platforms, and decrease the time between ad concept and delivery."
"We are committed to providing agencies the best tools and a consistent and ubiquitous Flash runtime to create digital ads and deliver them across desktop and mobile platforms," said Ricky Liversidge, vice president, Product Marketing, Flash Platform at Adobe in the press release. "By working with Greystripe, a leading provider of Flash authored advertising for mobile devices, we enable agencies to benefit from the power of the Flash platform while also targeting devices with HTML5."
The concept of a Flash workaround, or automatically converting Flash to HTML5 in order to deliver it to specific platforms is a Band-Aid approach with a limited lifespan. Even if Apple and Adobe never arrive at any sort of agreement to bring Flash natively to the iPhone or iPad, HTML5 will continue to grow as a standard and advertisers will eventually wean off of the reliance on Flash by attrition.
For now, though, solutions like those offered by Greystripe and Brightcove enable businesses to maximize their existing investment in Flash video and marketing content and reach the massive iPhone and iPad audience without having to recreate it all. And, the Adobe alliance with Greystripe lets Adobe circumvent the Apple ban on Flash and enable Flash developers to make the most of current skills and content to market to the Apple audience.