iPhone OS 3.0 and Flash, Do We Care Anymore?Wednesday April 8th, 2009
With the upcoming release of the new iPhone operating system and software developer’s kit in June, Apple is ready to turn the mobile web-based development market on its ear. At least we can finally be sure of the definite inclusion of a cut and paste feature; it will even use the multi-touch functionality (much like... View Article
With the upcoming release of the new iPhone operating system and software developer’s kit in June, Apple is ready to turn the mobile web-based development market on its ear. At least we can finally be sure of the definite inclusion of a cut and paste feature; it will even use the multi-touch functionality (much like zooming in and out) according to Apple’s March 17th media presentation. After reading months of Internet blogs rife with speculation over the iPhone’s lack of Flash compatibility, we also know for sure that Flash capabilities will not be included in OS 3.0. While Internet chatter (and Twitter) has responded in distress to the obvious exclusion, I don’t think we have much reason to care.
Why? The Webkit development team, makers of the open-source framework on which browsers such as Safari are built, is already taking steps to render Flash nearly irrelevant. With the inclusion of CSS transforms, Webkit allows developers to build and render 3D models directly in the web browser. Taking it a step further they also built in the ability to animate the 3D models, making Flash and it’s 2 dimensional limitations seem a little silly. With further development this will allow for full web-based 3D design and animation without use of third party plug-ins like Flash. This opens a whole new world of possibilities in web design, where more engaging visuals and in-depth environments will drive a more interactive user experience. Imagine an online casino where you walk over to an empty spot at the blackjack table, or a web recreation of your company’s showroom for the website. These ideas aren’t here yet, but they may not be far away.
What’s interesting, however, is that this functionality has so far only been enabled for mobile devices such as the iPhone. When questioned as to why 3D was left out of the non-mobile version of Safari an Apple representative said “they didn’t really have a reason for it… they just hadn’t done it”. There are requests to open up this functionality for desktop systems, which if enabled could open up a whole new level of 3D animation and user interactivity for the web. This breakthrough in web development will show implications in all aspects of our Internet use as it becomes more widely integrated, allowing developers to create much more interesting, interactive websites.