Last week I spoke to Adobe’s Erik Larson, director of product management for Acrobat.com. Acrobat.com is a conferencing and document collaboration site which is built almost entirely in Flash. Apple does not allow Flash on the iPhone, so my ears pricked up when I heard Larson promise iPhone support for Acrobat.com from the Autumn.
We’ll be adding mobile access via smartphones, so the iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile. You’ll be able to access your documents, share them with other people, and do some other interesting things that we’ll talk about later this year.
said Larson. Naturally I asked him to expand on this promise. Will Apple be allowing the Flash plug-in in iPhone Safari, or is this some other approach?
You will be able to access and do work from your iPhone using Acrobat.com. It’s more than just the Acrobat.com access, it’s pretty interesting. It will be an application. You won’t have to go to your web browser. Beyond that, I don’t want to spill the beans.
I speculated earlier that this meant bringing Flash in some form to the iPhone, for example as a runtime outside the browser. In his comment though, Larson says that is not the case. A shame, since many developers would welcome the opportunity to deploy AIR applications to the device, for example, even it if meant going via Apple’s App Store.
Unfortunately this also means that the iPhone access will be somewhat less than what I would describe as “do work from your iPhone using Acrobat.com”. Larson said on Twitter:
You will be able to access, share and manage docs…plus a little nifty-ness I can’t tell you about…but no editing at first.
Post updated in the light of his comments.