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New app brings Flash to jailbroken iPhones

A developer of "jailbreaking" software has expanded its test product called Frash, which brings the exiled Adobe Flash to iPhones and iPads that have been already jailbroken.

An updated version of Frash, an app that permits the otherwise banned Adobe Flash technology on Apple mobile devices, has been released. At the moment, however, it's only capable of handling relatively basic Flash animations (including, for example, the cult-classic Flash cartoon "Trogdor the Burninator"). The device in question must also first be "jailbroken," or hacked to remove protections and restrictions put in place by the hardware or software manufacturer.

Comex, the development firm that created Frash as well as the JailbreakMe tool, initially launched the app in a limited test that was first only accessible via the Safari browser on the iPad. The updated Frash, Comex says, also works on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and third-generation iPod Touch.

Last month, the U.S. Copyright Office ruled that jailbreaking is technically legal from a copyright standpoint. Apple objected to the ruling, and has said that jailbreaking nevertheless violates its user terms of service, but at the same time there has never been an instance of the company pressing legal action against a customer who jailbroke a phone.

Will the wider ability to add Flash to an Apple mobile device through jailbreaking make Apple crack down on the practice? Apple's relationship with Flash manufacturer Adobe grew quite hostile this spring, with Adobe's Flash evangelist writing a blog post that read "Go screw yourself Apple" in the wake of Apple's decision to keep non-approved third-party APIs off iOS 4. That policy change had cut off a back-door approach that had let Flash, which Apple says it doesn't permit for security and performance reasons, onto Apple mobile devices without jailbreaking.