Good news for advertisers: Adobe’s new Wallaby application will be able to port some Flash functionality, including Flash banner ads, to Apple’s iOS devices. Until now, Apple has been blocking Adobe’s attempts to bring Flash to the iPad and iPhone.
Now it is possible for web developers to create iOS-compatible Flash content before the iPad 2 is released on Friday, March 11.
Wallaby is an application that runs on Adobe AIR, a runtime environment for creating rich web applications. Wallaby converts the Flash files to regular HTML using CSS and SVG specifications to make them usable on Apple mobile devices. The early version of Wallaby was created specifically to enable Flash-based banner ads on iOS, Adobe’s Tom Barclay told GigaOM.
Apple’s Steve Jobs has said that Flash is not necessary for the iPad or iPhone, and it will become obsolete with the development of HTML5, the next-generation of HTML that Apple is backing heavily. Nevertheless, there is much Flash-based content that cannot be seen on Apple’s mobile devices. It’s not the 75 percent of web content that Adobe suggests, but content like games and web animations are completely inaccessible on Apple devices. And of course, badly designed sites that rely on Flash for navigation are completely useless in iOS.
There are still many limitations with Wallaby, including the absence of some high-end Flash features. It will also use HTML5 to handle audio and video files. There will likely be new features in future releases, but don’t count on it letting you play Flash games on your iPhone.