Flash War – Adobe Hands Win to Apple

A war between Apple and Adobe was declared long ago over whether Flash should be on mobile devices. Apple took a stand that proprietary Flash would cause slowdowns and drain batteries and the future was delivering video using HTML5. Apple mobile devices powered by iOS continue to fly off the shelves in record numbers. Even though they can’t run Adobe Flash content and Apple device owners are still able to enjoy playing online games and video. Other devices such as the BlackBerry Playbook have bragged about their ability to handle Flash content, but it looks like Adobe has admitted defeat to Apple – at least on delivering mobile video.

To remain relevant in the world of mobile video, Adobe announced its new Flash Media Server 4.5 on Thursday. For the first time, Flash Media Server now enables same-source video delivery to both Apple iOS devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone) and Adobe Flash-compatible destinations.

The updated version of Flash Media Server delivers Flash content or repackages content for Apple’s mobile products and delivers the content without Flash (using HTTP Dynamic or HTTP Live Streaming). Adobe is hoping these changes to its Flash Media Server will continue to make it an appealing option for online publishers.

This is good news for website owners, since delivering video to all mobile devices is that much easier. I’d guess that this move might be too late for some publishers who have already moved to their own solutions for getting video to HTML5 friendly devices/browsers.