Having a plug-in API to Apple's Safari browser isn't the only thing Adobe needs to offer a Flash Player for the iPhone, he said. Apple also restricts programs that execute code at runtime, he said, and Adobe needs help optimizing Flash Player for Apple's hardware, as device makers such as Nokia have provided.
In fact Adobe has worked hard to get its software running well on other devices. It announced Monday that it will release beta versions of Flash Player for Windows Mobile and Palm webOS before the end of the year, and for Google Android and Symbian next year.
"One of the biggest challenges was smartphone memory," Lynch said during his keynote speech Monday, when he demonstrated a pre-release of Flash Player 10.1 running on several smartphones.
Adobe did some work in Flash Player 10.1 to reduce the amount of memory required for applications. Adobe's Flex photo album will require 25MB of RAM, down from 69MB with the prior version of the player, while a typical Yahoo ad will require 4MB, down from 13MB, according to a slide he showed.
"As you build your content, keep an eye on how big your RAM is, it will make it easier for us to do our job," Lynch told developers.
The demonstrations didn't always go smoothly, either because of the wireless network in the Nokia Theater or because the software still needs work. When Lynch tried to show some roll-over content pop up on a device, it didn't work, and the screen froze while he showed Google Finance running on another device.
But he was able to show how Flash Player 10.1 should provide a similar experience on phones as on the desktop, including running HD video, using touch-screen controls to switch to full-screen mode, and using the accelerometer to switch a video to landscape mode when a phone is turned sideways.
One of the big benefits for users of Flash Player on phones will be the ability to run video sites such as Hulu. Flash Player 10.1 will be able to run 3.5 hours of video on a typical smartphone battery, or 6.5 hours of animation, Lynch said. "Now you can watch a full feature film on a smartphone," he said.