Remember when your old cellular phone had a blinking status light? Some models even flashed when there was an incoming call or text. These days the iPhone is capable of giving you similar visual alerts when you aren't looking at the display.
Accessibility options are designed to help make the iPhone more useful to those with disabilities, of course many of the features are useful to anyone who owns the device. The iPhone flash can be used as an alert notification all on its own. Incoming calls can transform the LED on the back of the handset into a flashing beacon.
It may be experimental and reference an animal you've never seen, but Adobe has released Wallaby to help developers convert Flash content into HTML5. In theory this allows the Flash content to be viewed on iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad. Apple has been clear about it's dislike for Flash technology, and will not allow plug-ins to view Flash content on its devices.
Steve Jobs claimed the technology was outdated and inefficient, and Apple has much to gain from its own App Store content. Adobe has been battling the Flash restrictions from the beginning. The company has been working on Flash app development tools, which were stalled temporarily when Apple changed the terms of its developer agreement to ban the tools.
Apple is set to approve the web browsing iPhone app Skyfire for release later this week. Although other third-party web browsers exist, Skyfire is unique in that it makes playing Flash content possible on iOS devices. The app works by downloading Flash content to its servers and converting it for display in an HTML5 pop-up window on the iPhone.
Don't get too excited just yet. Sites such as Hulu won't work due to licensing concerns, and you can't play Flash games with the Skyfire browser. These functions are still limited by Apple, although the video content alone will open up vast swaths of the Internet to iOS devices that until now appeared as a blank page.
Every time a new Apple patent goes public it sets off waves of speculation about the next iPhone. The latest round of patents is no different, and some features are already expected to debut on the iPhone 5 next summer. Two of these patents would make for some interesting changes in the next iPhone and beyond.
One patent shows a redirecting flash. Apple just added an LED flash to the iPhone 4 and the company is already looking to improve this feature. A redirecting flash would be capable of aiming and focusing light to specific areas in a photograph to help properly expose the scene.
Apple has relaxed restrictions on third-party software used to develop iPhone applications. Flash won't be coming to an iOS device anytime soon, however Adobe Flash Professional CS5 users can now submit apps created with the tool. Adobe has responded to Apple's change in policy by renewing investment in Packager, which converts Flash to iPhone apps.
There are over two million developers using Adobe Flash, and soon they will be able to convert their applications into iPhone apps automatically. Adobe is adding "Packager for iPhone" to its Flash developer tools.
Included in Flash Professional CS5 (Creative Suite 5), the software is currently in private beta testing. The iPhone does not support Flash, however ActionScript 3 projects will run as native iPhone apps after conversion.
How long have we been hearing about Flash coming to MobileSafari? Why is Flash installed on 98% of desktops and 800 million mobile devices, yet not one is an iPhone? Apparently it has been in development since June 2008. Apple was unhappy with the limited old Flash Lite, and the full version would suck up too many resources on the already battery-strapped iPhone.
We were expecting a release in September 2008, however somebody must have decided that version of the iPhone Flash wasn't good enough for release. Adobe's CEO, Shantanu Narayen said, "The onus is on us to deliver." What was billed as a collaboration between Apple and Adobe now sounds like an Adobe responsibility. Necessity is the word that comes to mind if you're an iPhone user.