On Flash and iOS

This topic has kinda run cold (thankfully), but something has been nagging me for awhile.  Expecially since Opera published a browser to the App Store (creating precedent), why doesn't Adobe roll their own browser?

If they were to do this, it's not a Safari or OS plugin; it is now it's own app.  iPhone users are accustomed to some apps chewing up the battery life.  If the app runs slowly, nobody will think that it is because of the OS.  There is still the potential for security issues from the app itself, but the iOS model of sandboxing apps provides some protection there.  The only place where I see the possiblity of it running afoul of Apple's policies (other than their 'we just don't like it' clause) is that it could then be considered a bytecode interpreter.  (You could argue that any JavaScript engine is too....)

If I were Adobe, I personally would have long since rolled my own browser quietly as a skunkworks project as soon as Apple made it clear that they weren't going to acquiesce to a kind request.  (Whether or not I would have continued with the back-and-forth he-said-she-said bickering about "being open" is another story.)  Any back-room talks I may have had, I can't speculate, but I may consider offering some encouragement to Mozilla and Opera (C'mon, guys...  Wouldn't it be cool if you had your browser on the iPhone?).  The second that you heard that Opera's was available in the App Store, I would very publicly submit my app to the App Store.  (I'm not saying that it's not a dick move, but I probably would have done it to push my agenda...)

So as to not push the issue of 'replacing Apple's builtin app functionality' (ostensibly the reason Google Voice was rejected is under review (cough -- in Gitmo -- cough) I wouldn't attempt to make it the default browser; that way lies rejection.  What I would do, however is add a "Send to Flash" bookmarklet in the same vein as Instapaper or Readability.  As I see it, you still use Safari for your standard web browsing, but when you encounter a page with Flash content that you actually want to see, two clicks open that page in Flash browser.

So, why hasn't Adobe rolled their own Flash browser?

(I personally have no direct financial stake in either Apple's or Adobe's success.  (Indirectly I have stake in Apple because I keep giving them their money and am learning to develop for their platforms when not doing things like occasional speculative blogging, family time, the day job, or sleep...)  I hate Flash because on Windows it's a performance hog (it's worse on Mac and Linux), and because so many people use it for awful things like advertising and accessibility-hostile content.)


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