Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro Mobile is a piece of software recently released for iPhone/iPod touch that is rather interesting for a number of reasons. I noticed it because it largely overlaps with a product that we’ve been canvassing support for to release on the iPad (and likely still will), but there seems to be a lot more going on here!
Firstly, it’s worth noting that this free software is published by Adobe, developed using Flash, and is featured in the App Store.
For those who keep their head off the Internet/are apathetic towards Apple’s mobile platform powerplays, let me just briefly note that Apple and Adobe are hardly best of friends. Accordingly, while the approval of a Flash-based application is a little cheeky, the elevation of one to featured app store status is straight up devious.
We can only speculate as to whether pragmatic or political reasons motivated Adobe’s development in this way. Self-evidently, they have a lot of in-house competencies around Flash development, but they would also love to get a product approved insofar as it drives adoption of their Connect platform (which, unlike the App Store app, is anything but free).
There are many less sneaky ways of building a compelling tech demo. If I had to guess, I’d attribute the use of Flash to a substantial existing software investment for web-based clients that was largely portable to the mobile context. The impact this has on user experience is likely to be minimal, as they likely redesigned the frontend entirely — though obviously other performance concerns may apply.
At any rate, this is the first I’ve noticed of approvals of overtly Flash-based applications. If possible, this may open the App Store floodgates even further, while providing hope to many for whom the barrier to entry in terms of rewriting code was simply too high.
We’re excited about this as certain component parts of software we’ve developed depends strongly on Flash for data visualization and reporting. The prospect of being able to deploy this on the iPhone (and yes, the iPad) is a compelling opportunity that is, plainly, freaking exciting.