Last week, Adobe unveiled Flash Media Server 4.5 and Flash Access 3.0. With these products, content providers can finally stream Flash video to iOS on the fly without having to manually re-encode. While this doesn’t necessarily equal Flash content on the iPhone and iPad, it does mean that providers have a faster and easier way to deliver video in a Flash wrapper to iDevices.
This doesn’t mean that Flash-based games can run on iDevices, only video…
While Adobe isn’t overstepping Apple’s rules against Flash on iOS, Flash Media Server sidesteps the restriction. The video is embedded in a HTTP stream, so content providers can use the same video stream across different platforms without having to worry about re-encoding a compatible version for iOS.
Due to the nature of Flash Media Server, all of the encoding and heavy-duty processing happens on the server’s side, meaning that our iPhones and iPads don’t have to do all of the work. This means that battery life and speed will be greatly improved when playing back Flash video on an iDevice.
Most of the bigger and more influential content providers on the web have already begun to move away from Flash to more modern formats, like H.264. It’s nice to see Adobe introduce a streamlined, unified solution for Flash playback on iOS, but in this case, it might be too late for Flash.