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Apple may be bringing video chat with the next generation iPhone.  (Source: Tuaw)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken another swipe at Adobe's Flash restrict apps developed in a Flash environment. The move comes at the expense of app developers.  (Source: AFP)
Developers can no longer use non-C language development platforms

Apple fans received a bit of good news, when observers studying the newly aired iPhone OS 4.0 SDK used the utility iStat to reveal a new Apple app called "iChatAgent".  Most observers say that it's unlikely that Apple would just release another instant messaging app; most believe the app will be a video chat app, and that the upcoming fourth generation iPhone will have a front-facing camera to support it.  An Apple patent hints at this development.

Developers, on the other hand received some bad news from Apple.  The new SDK license agreement states:
Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs
(e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

What does this mean?  What might seem like an innocuous addition is actually another swipe at Adobe by Apple.  Adobe last October released an iPhone-ready Flash CS5 development environment that took apps written in Flash and then converted them to an iPhone-ready binaries using linked Apple APIs.

Apple has been rallying to promote a proprietary video codec-based version of HTML5 to combat Adobe's proprietary Flash format, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs accuses of "crashing Mac computers" due to it being, in his opinion, buggy and insecure.  The good news is that HTML5 is an open standard and could support other video codecs.  The bad news for open software advocates is that Apple is pushing for the web to exclusively use a proprietary video codec with the new HTML version.

For developers the battle is bad news as well.  On top of restrictions on programs that execute their own code, apps the overlap the iPhone software's functionality, and certain adult-themed apps, developers now will have a much harder time porting their Flash apps to the popular platform.

For small developers, it might be less of a deal.  Its unclear if Apple could detect the subtle differences in compiled code between a binary made with the Flash development environment versus a C development environment.  Small devs might be able to ignore the restriction, at their own risk, and get away with it.

For big developers, though, like Condé Nast, who were banking on using the Flash development environment to port their Adobe Air apps to the iPad and iPhone, they are now forced to scrap those efforts and resort to a full port if they want to get approved.  That may tempt some to switch over to Google's Android, which has a soaring number of apps and much fewer developer restrictions.


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Also a swipe at Android
By Abrahmm on 4/9/2010 4:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
This could also be a swipe at Android. He is trying to limit the developers from writing Apps in one language and compiling them to both iPhone and Android. I hope these developers get some sense in them and they just stop developing for Apple all together. It amazes me that these developers put up with this crap when there is money to be made else where.

How is Apple not being sued for anti-competitive behavior yet? Can you imagine the public and legal backlash decided that Windows wouldn't allow flash to run on it? Wow. It's not like Apple has a direct competing product, they are trying to run Adobe into the ground so that they can maintain complete control over all of the content flowing to their products. That is completely anti-competitive. I'm amazed people support this company by buying their products.




RE: Also a swipe at Android
By cmdrdredd on 4/10/2010 4:34:08 PM , Rating: 1
Screw you Communist Apple. I just bought 3 droids and gave up on my iPhone which they refuse to fix because I didn't buy the apple care bullshit.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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