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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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RE: The part that bothers me
By darkblade33 on 4/9/2010 7:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
How would Apple be in control if we all used HTML5 ( an open standard ) ?? Apple is merely trying to get everyone away from a proprietary technology that Adobe controls and no one else.

Also, The HTML5 editor is Ian Hickson of 'Google'(!) who you obviously know is pushing open standard Android ..

Google didnt seem to mind removing flash from youtube.. a good step so i could watch youtube on my blackjack 2..

RE: The part that bothers me
By rocky12345 on 4/9/2010 8:22:49 PM , Rating: 3
HTML5 may be open but the line used in the article bothered me.
"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 ."

that if i understand it right is the catch 22 yes HTML5 is good but is Apple going to try to force websites to use a proprietary video codec if so first step get web sites onboard next step lock it down so most if not all videos become pay as you watch. This is a move that would not surprise me coming from a company like Apple.

RE: The part that bothers me
By darkblade33 on 4/9/2010 9:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, anything is possible, but the proof needs be stronger then speculation and sometimes questionable sources of information.

I have strong doubts that supporters of HTML5 ( which is growing ) will allow just one new apple video standard to take over when there are already alot of great video standards, in which most sites offer more then one format. If Apple does have a standard.. id think it would just be one more that would be available for iPhone, ipad, ipod users .. just as one might be for Windows Mobile users. Anything is possible though.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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