iPhone will be able to run some Flash programs

BOSTON (Reuters) - The developer of the widely used Flash programing language has devised a way to translate its code to run on Apple Inc’s iPhone -- a move that could dramatically boost the variety of applications for the iPhone.

Slideshow ( 2 images )

Programs written with Adobe Systems Inc’s Flash programing language currently cannot run on Apple’s popular smart phone. Adobe has spent several years trying without success to persuade Apple to make technical changes to the device’s software that would make it possible for Flash programs to run on the iPhone.

In the absence of an agreement with Apple, Adobe announced on Monday that it will introduce a tool that lets computer programmers easily convert software applications that they write in the Flash programing language to code that will work on the iPhone.

Flash is designed so that programmers can write one set of code that run on multiple types of computers and mobile devices, including ones using software from Google Inc, Microsoft Corp, Nokia and Palm Inc.

The iPhone has been the only major handset provider that has declined to collaborate with Adobe.

The new option that Adobe announced on Monday will allow developers to create a second piece of software that they can distribute through Apple’s App store.

“It’s basically an export capability,” said Adrian Ludwig, a manager with Adobe’s Flash group.

He said in an interview that Apple has yet to agree to work with Adobe to clear two key technical hurdles that would enable Flash applications to run on the iPhone.

“The ball is in their court at this point. We’ve been very blunt about what we need and what we are requesting,” Ludwig said in an interview.

A spokesman for Apple could not be reached for comment.

Adobe said in a press release that it will release a public trial version of the tool for converting Flash programs into ones that will run on the iPhone later this year.

Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing Bernard Orr