Adobe has finally figured out how to deliver Flash video to Apple’s iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad. The company announced on Friday the release of Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5, which makes it possible for content providers to use Flash to deliver video streams to many platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, and more.
We should note right at the top that Adobe is not announcing (or delivering) Flash support on iOS devices. Apple has chosen not to support Flash on its mobile devices, citing a variety of issues centered around performance and battery life. Instead, Apple supports HTTP Live Streaming, which is what YouTube and other video streaming sites use to deliver their content to iPhones and iPads.
What Adobe has done with Flash Media Server 4.5 is add in support for HTTP Live Streaming so that content providers can use the software to deliver their video streams in whatever form the user’s device supports. If a Mac or PC with Flash installed calls up the video stream, it will automatically be delivered via Flash. If an iOS device calls up the video stream, Adobe’s software will deliver it via HTTP Live Streaming, all without the content provider having to worry their pretty little heads about it.
This is significant for Adobe, because it removes a reason for its customers to leave Flash behind entirely as the needs of iOS device owners increasingly dictate online standards. The company has simultaneously increased the relevancy of Flash, but has done so in a way that keeps the burden of supporting the technology on the server side.
Please note (again) that this is not the same thing as “Flash on your iPhone.” Today’s announcement has nothing to do with playing Flash games on your iOS device or viewing other interactive Flash content. It is instead about delivering streaming video in a format that is already supported by iOS.