Is Apple working on iPhone Flash rival?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs disappointed many iPhone fans Tuesday when he said that Flash just wasn't suited to the device. The reason? Flash Lite is, well, too lightweight, and regular Flash (Flash fat) is too unwieldy. "There's this missing product in the middle," Jobs said during Apple's annual shareholder meeting.

It's hardly subtle, but Jobs is master of the nuanced phrase. He starts off by dissing a technology out of hand, moves to saying "that it hasn't been done right, yet" and then suddenly springs Apple's take on an unsuspecting world - the decidedly PDA-like iPhone being a case in point.

Quick as a Flash?

Steve's Flash comment is so wide open you could drive a coach and horses through it. He could be doing one of three things here:

  1. Telling Mac laggard Adobe to pull its finger out and actually develop an iPhone-friendly version
  2. Hinting that Apple might look to a rival source - like Microsoft's fledgling Silverlight, for example (possible, but unlikely); or
  3. That it's quietly cooking up something of its own - perhaps as part of the iPhone SDK which is being launched later today.

There is, of course, a fourth option - no Flash at all - but we'll come back to that in a minute.

Adobe / Apple = love / hate

The relationship between Apple and Adobe has long been a fractious, but interdependent one. Much of the Mac’s fanbase is made up of creative professionals, the kind of people who use Adobe Photoshop CS3 and InDesign on a daily basis. When Adobe launches a new version of its software, Mac sales spike – creatives prefer Macs and so it goes around.

The problem is that both Apple and Adobe are inconstant lovers. During Apple’s worst years in the early 1990s, Adobe set about wooing the Wintel world. Its Mac releases have often lagged behind those of its Windows rivals, and Adobe along with Microsoft were among the last to make their apps Intel Mac native. Much to Steve Jobs’ chagrin.

Apple too isn’t afraid of stomping all over Adobe’s turf either. Adobe was forced to abandon the Mac version of Premiere in 2003, following a string of movie editing apps from Cupertino, including iMovie and Final Cut Pro. Premiere was revived last year. Apple’s pro photo management app Aperture is also a direct rival to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

iPhone needs Flash

So where does this leave us? As Graham Barlow, editor of our sister title MacFormat, puts it:

“Whether Steve Jobs likes it or not, there is a need for Flash or its equivalent on the iPhone.”

Jobs’ comment on Tuesday suggests he’d like Adobe to come up with its own, but if that fails Apple could conceivably license the underlying Adobe-owned technology and serve up its version. Apple’s powerful enough and rich enough to cough up the wonga or indulge in a spot of brinkmanship.

Or it could go for option 4 – stick to its guns and not do Flash at all. To MacFormat’s mind – and mine – that looks unlikely. However Daniel Diliger of Mac site Roughly Drafted saw plenty of reasons last July why Apple would do just that.

He cites the poor performance of the then current version Flash on Mac OS X, including memory leaks, frequent crashes, the poor design of much Flash web content, and Flash’s ability to rapidly drain mobile batteries.

Adobe had better up its game then – and soon – if it wants any piece of the Apple iPhone’s future.

What do you think? Does the iPhone really need Flash, or a semblance of it? Let us know below.

PS: This has just popped up on my RSS: Silicon Valley blogger Robert Scoble has reported an unsubstantiated rumor that Flash is already running on the iPhone - and that Jobs' rubbishing of it is just a negotiating tactic. We shall see.

Directly sourced from

Announcing: Hyderabad BarCamp6- I will be there

Here BarCampHyderabad6 is announced. Slated for March 28th at IIIT Campus, Hyderabad.

Theme is Product.  Join us for this event by registering yourselves here .

Hysea in conjunction with TiE and IIIT-H. March 28, 2008.

Hysea in conjunction with Barcamp-Hyderabad, IIIT and TiE is organizing a Product Barcamp and Workshop to showcase the intense product development work happening in Hyderabad- both, among Indian startups/technology companies and at the offshore development centers of MNC product companies.
The event will be an opportunity for the technology and products fraternity to interact and network as also to highlight the support eco-system available in Hyderabad for new products and startups. Apart from showcasing products being built out of Hyderabad, we will have leaders from Product companies and the VCs/academicians share experiences building IP and products. We will also be compiling and releasing a ‘Hyderabad Software Products Directory’. Below is the early announcement being sent out to our member companies.

  • Have two parts in the event- Demos and a Seminar.
  • Get all the 32 nominations to demo their products. Publicize the event and enlist get some more demos.
  • Have a specific showcase of successful products from Hyderabad.
  • CEO Speak- where we have successful Product entrepreneurs/leaders from Hyderabad sharing their experiences and views on specific facets of startups.
  • End with eco-system presentations- VCs, Hysea, TiE, IIIT/ISB, hardware vendors and others that have some support system/offerings for startups.
On the whole a comprehensive event that will both highlight the products and successes from Hyderabad (important for someone deciding to venture in) and also talk about the eco-system available. We will have talks from other MNC product dev orgs and established local product companies (like Pramati, SDG, Zustek, FourSoft, Yasu).

About Me


This is Krishna Raj, technopreneur, virtual capital portfolio manager and avid blogger too based out of Hyderabad, India, having started E-Delve CrossMedia Solutions in late October 2005, in BengaLooru.   My official website is  I have moved my family to Hyderabad in early February, 2006.  Prior to this startup, have been working Interaction Designer in various Tech firms in India, where I had worked on mainly on Adobe Flash Platform to quote few works like RIA's as well as several desktop applications and quite a few Flashlite applications.

Now I have also decided to take a plunge in capital markets. My another weblog is about capital markets .  These days, things are going great except few initial glitches (it happens always). I planning to add some more topical blog issues which are dear to my heart.  I plan no limits in the topics.  Rantings, news, comments on news, photos, rumors, anything might come.  I’m also planning to invite friends as co-authors to this blog.  Hopefully we will all enjoy this experiment.  Everybody is welcome to add comments to any posts. But spams are rigorously moderated.

In case, you would like to get in touch me for any professional engagements, I can be reached at krshnaraj [‘AT’] gmail [‘DOT’] com or krishna[‘DOT’]raj[‘AT’]e[‘HYPHEN’] delve[‘DOT’]com


The Battle Today for What You Can Do on Your Phone Tomorrow

UPDATE: Edited to incorporate comments from readers reminding me about YouTube video on the iPhone. Also see note at end from Google

There are a couple of announcements Tuesday that point to a major technological battle: the race to become the platform for mobile applications. This is happening at two levels. There are mobile operating systems like Symbian, Windows Mobile, Apple’s mobile version of OS X and Google’s forthcoming Android. And there are environments that live above the operating system that are meant to allow applications to run on multiple operating systems.

Sun’s Java is the leader in this area now. Adobe’s Flash Lite is a contender. Microsoft said Tuesday that that it was developing a mobile version of Silverlight (its answer to Flash). And Google is creating a mobile version of Google Gears, its software that lets online applications work when they are not connected to the Internet.

For these companies, there is potentially real money at stake. With 1 billion phones made each year, even a tiny licensing fee for software on each one can add up. And there is also money to be made selling development software as well.

For consumers, the stakes are much higher. This jostling will determine what your mobile phone will be able to do, and who will control it. These rich environments have the potential to offer capabilities that bypass the control of the carriers who want to charge fees for features that might otherwise be free. See our discussion of how Verizon blocks Google’s mobile mapping software from getting data from the GPS system built into some phones.

Apple, so far, is limiting the iPhone to applications that can be run on its Safari browser and that use its own development environment, which will be introduced Thursday. It does not support Flash, which is how most free online video is published. The effect of this is to drive people who want video on the iPhone to use Apple’s iTunes store to buy it. (UPDATE: The iPhone does link to lots of YouTube video and other video in Apple’s Quicktime format, there is a great deal of video, especially from professional sources, only in Flash that it can’t play.)

Microsoft’s Silverlight, which is just emerging in the market, is meant to allow for a variety of online applications, but it has particularly deep capabilities for video. Nokia said Tuesday that it would include Silverlight on its high-end S60 smart phones that use Symbian and on its midrange Series 40 phones. This is, of course, a big win for Microsoft, as Nokia is the world’s top cellphone maker. But it is not an exclusive deal: Adobe’s Flash Lite also works on many of these Nokia handsets.

An interesting test of the market will be to see how Microsoft treats Windows Mobile, which is second to Symbian in the market for smartphone operating systems. Right now, there are versions of Flash Lite that ship on many Windows Mobile phones. (The carriers have a say in what actually goes on many phones.) Will Microsoft make it harder for Adobe to support Windows Mobile once its Silverlight is available for that platform later this year?

The news from Google Tuesday is much smaller, but still intriguing. It is software that is meant to support applications that run on mobile browsers, initially Internet Explorer running on Windows Mobile. Google Gears was initially introduced for general Web browsing. It lets you load crucial pieces of online applications onto your computer, so you can use them when you are not connected. Google’s first use of this for its own services was a version of its Google Reader newsreading site that can load a bunch of articles so users can read them on an airplane or anywhere else.

Now Google will offer the same for mobile devices. So uses of the Zoho office-in-a browser package on their cellphones will be able to read their documents when they are not connected. Microsoft, never one to leave a feature uncopied, says it will develop a system to use Silverlight when offline. (On computers, offline use has been a major thrust of Adobe, which is promulgating its AIR system as a superset of Flash.)

If you are not a programmer or wireless executive, I don’t blame you if all this makes your head spin. But the impact of how this shakes out will be important, and not just for mobile phones. The same environments that drive phones are likely to also power interactive features on television sets and all sorts of other devices. The Chumby, for example, is meant to replace a clock radio, and it delivers application written in Flash Lite.

We can all get behind the idea of software environments that will let us do what we want, on any device we want, without asking anyone’s permission.

UPDATE: A Google spokesman wrote in to point out that Google Gears is open source and thus doesn’t earn Google any license fees.

Sourced from

HCI Hyderabad Chapter,January Meet up

After travelling since Feb 1st morning, I came here yesterday evening.  I did lose one important project related to video presentation for IT investors meet in Belgaum, Government of karnataka being held during last week of this month.  The client has not informed me yet, that means I have lost one project after having held close to my heart after many weeks. So now back here in Hyderabad. NO REGRETS either. 

Oops, I did forgot to update about the HCI Hyderabad Chapter (I did join them recently) January Meet up was organized at CA office, Hitech city Madhapura, Hyderbad.  The meeting started at 6:30 PM.  The meeting was attended by professionals from various organizations including CA, Satyam, Innominds Software, Nuevora,  Kern Communications, ThinkDesign, Semantic Space etc.

Afshan Kirmani, Usability Analyst from Kern Communications presented on “Quantifying Usability Analysis”. She talked on how quantitative analysis is employed as part of heuristic evaluation, preceded by an introductory note by Raman Saxena, UCD Architect, CA.

Members also discussed on activities that can be taken by HCI-Hyderabad in this year. Many ideas and suggestions were put forward by the participants and many volunteers came forward to take up various activities/responsibilities.

There I did get to talk with Raman, Victoria(both from CA, hyderabad). Atul and I had a pep talk over my HR related problem.  Finally I did spoke to Rama Brahmam Aleti from  We discussed our design related queries.

Finally meeting was concluded by informal chat over snacks. I saw participants interacting and exchanging ideas and discussing their interests and approaches.

Thanks to Raman and Victoria for hosting this January Meet up of HCI Hyderabad Chapter at CA.

  • Current Mood

Barcamphyderabad3 on December 16th, 2006 (Saturday), 1pm

Barcamphyderabad3 has arrived as soon as Barcamphyderabad2 finished with great expectation with focus on Mobile Applications and Infrastructure.

Barcamphyderabad3 has focus on Consumer/Enterprise software opportunities around Web 2.0 communities.

Its URL is - and you can register here. It is being held in INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES, Hyderabad on  December 16th, 2006 (Saturday), 1pm.

I will posting the route map later this date

Software biggie Microsoft launches web design tools

MS has announced a range of products targeting web designers. The product set would see the Redmond OS maker directly taking on design software powerhouse Adobe.

Available as both a fully integrated software suite and standalone packages, Microsoft has themed the new products ‘Expression’.

Expression Web will enable the creation of standards-compliant websites, and is currently shipping as an upgrade to FrontPage. Expression Blend, available in Q2 2007 will be a tool for designing Windows-only rich interactive “experiences”, while Expression Design will be used for designing visuals – logos and the like – for both the Web and Windows operating systems. Rounding off the company’s announcements was Expression Media, a tool for digital asset management and unifying team workflow.

All will be available separately, or as an integrated product called Expression Studio, earmarked for Q2 2007. Trial versions are currently available at the Microsoft Expression website:

Said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp: “Our goal is to enable designers to collaborate like never before with development teams so that together they can raise the bar for user experiences and deliver compelling, rich, immersive, highly usable applications and content across the Web, the Windows desktop, mobile devices and the digital home."

Expression Web is available for an estimated retail price (ERP) of $299, or $99 for the FrontPage upgrade. Expression Blend will retail at an ERP of $499, Expression Media, $299, and Expression Studio, $599.

The company also released the “community technology preview” (CTP) of Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), a cross-platform plug-in to be used to view Windows Media and Expression-authored content.

The announcement is a major offensive for Microsoft in a market sector it now sees as crucial to its future. It has launched a series of sites designed to woo the interactive creative community. It has been testing creative applications for some time, but it now has a nearly finished product to roll out. It remains to be seen whether the company will manage to win the battle of hearts and minds that was partially responsible for the proliferation of Flash across the Web. Adobe met with less than spectacular success with its own vector-based tool, Livemotion, in the not so recent past, for example.

Find out more about Microsoft’s designs on design, at

Download the WPF/E CTP at

PS: This article is sourced from
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