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8/9/2010
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iPhone Gets Unauthorized Flash Support

Jailbreakme developer releases hack that allows Apple users to access content created with Adobe's video software.

iPhone users who want to access Flash-based Web pages and graphics can now do so—if they're willing to download and use software that could void their device's warranty.

Comex, the developer who last week released a jailbreaking app for the iPhone, has now unleashed a hack, called Frash, that allows those jailbroken phones to run Adobe Flash, no doubt to Apple's chagrin. Apple has long refused to support Flash on the iPhone, as well as on the iPad and iPod Touch.

The company claims Adobe's multimedia software is buggy and unstable, while Adobe has accused Apple of wanting to control the Internet.

iPhone fans who aren't interested in that particular corporate dissing match and simply want to access interactive content on the Web, the majority of which is created with Flash, can now use Comex's tools to jailbreak their iPhones and install his Frash software, which is a port of the Flash runtime environment for Google Android.

The Library of Congress, which has authority over such matters, earlier this month ruled that jailbreaking does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Despite the ruling, Apple is still warning consumers that doing so is a violation of the company's terms of service and that it reserves the right to terminate service to jailbreakers.

"Apple strongly cautions against installing any software that hacks the OS," Apple says in a bulletin on its support forum.

"It is also important to note that unauthorized modification of the iOS is a violation of the Phone end-user license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software," the note states.

The stakes are high. Apple keeps about 30% of the revenue from paid downloads from its iTunes App Store, but obviously receives nothing from unofficial apps distributed by third parties.

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