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Apple's new developer license terms simply leave no other option, says Adobe

Its been a bitter couple weeks between Apple and Adobe.  While the pair's relationship has long been icy due to Apple's lack of desire to support Flash on the iPhone, in recent weeks Apple vocally attacked Adobe and more.  

Apple's latest SDK version -- 3.3.1 -- add terms prohibiting developers from porting Flash apps to iPhone binaries.  Reads the terms:

3.3.1 — 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).

That prohibition appears to ban the ports made with Adobe's CS5 iPhone linking tool.  That tool replaces Flash calls with iPhone OS X calls that yields a binary that looks almost identical to a C-language app, but was originally written in Flash.

Yesterday Adobe's Mike Chambers, Principal Product Manager for developer relations for the Flash Platform at Adobeannounced that the company would be officially dropping support for iPhone ports after CS5.  

Chambers makes it clear he has little respect for Apple's moves mentioning many examples of Apple's App Store restrictions and censorship.  He writes, "However, as developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at anytime, and for seemingly any reason."

Chambers expresses his frustrations as he comments about the reasoning behind Apple's move.  He writes, "The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross browser, platform and device development. The cool web game that you build can easily be targeted and deployed to multiple platforms and devices. However, this is the exact opposite of what Apple wants. They want to tie developers down to their platform, and restrict their options to make it difficult for developers to target other platforms."

He warns developers to prepare to have their apps developed in Flash to be kicked out of the iTunes store.  Many developers mention on their sites or promotional materials that they use the Flash porting tool.  That indiscretion could make Chambers prediction come true in many cases.  After all, it's hard to recognize a port via the binary, but if the developers itself has talked about porting it, it's an easy catch.

Chambers concludes, "Personally, I am going to shift all of my mobile focus from iPhone to Android based devices (I am particularly interested in the Android based tablets coming out this year) and not focus on the iPhone stuff as much anymore. This includes both Flash based, and Objective-C based iPhone development. While I actually enjoy working in Objective-C, I don’t have any current plans to update and / or maintain my existing native iPhone applications (including the AS3 Reference Guide, and Timetrocity). As I wrote previously, I think that the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers and ultimately consumers, and that is not something that I want to actively promote."

Steve Jobs has defended his stance on Adobe several times.  He say it's "buggy" and virus-prone and crashes Macs.  He's dodged the question of ports, but has alleged that the Flash platform in general leads to deficient code.

Updated 4/21/2010 @ 2:48 pm

According to CNET, Apple has responded back to Mike Chambers' comments regarding Apple and Flash. "Someone has it backwards--it is HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and H.264 (all supported by the iPhone and iPad) that are open and standard, while Adobe's Flash is closed and proprietary," responded Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller.



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Gimme a freekin break
By xler8r on 4/21/2010 9:43:21 AM , Rating: 0
I despise Apple just like any other guy who does... but gimme a break, how about catering to your customer being your primary concern. Put aside this bickering and just support each other!




RE: Gimme a freekin break
By MPE on 4/21/2010 10:10:06 AM , Rating: 5
Welcome to Fantasyland. Enjoy your stay.


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By jRaskell on 4/21/2010 10:14:48 AM , Rating: 5
That support NEEDS to be two way. Adobe has jumped through hoop after hoop trying to provide iPhone combatible versions of their products, and Steve Jobs has done everything in his power to block them at every turn.

Pretty much everything Chambers has said about Apple is completely true. Apple does NOT want cross platform development. In Apples ideal world, apps developed for their products are ONLY developed for their products and no others. They don't want consumers to have a choice. Never have wanted them to have a choice. They are the epitome of an anti-competitive company and their tactics make virtually everything Microsoft has ever done look downright benign in comparison. The fact that they have even an appreciable market share in any market, nevermind dominant market share in any of them is absolutely astounding to me.


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By xler8r on 4/21/2010 10:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
You know... all this talk about Apple's divine knowledge of whats best for their customers makes me think of how South Park always has to "Censor" the image of Mohammad... Should we start doing this for Steve Jobs? He is magical after all!


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By MrBlastman on 4/21/2010 10:52:42 AM , Rating: 5
Make fun of Jobs and they'll try and kill you. They'll take a bite--right out of your head.

Diddn't you realize that is what the divine symbol of Apple is?

Oh, and I commend Matt Stone and Trey Parker for taking on Islam and the hypocrisy that it is.


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By aegisofrime on 4/21/2010 12:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
200 was freaking awesomeness condensed into 20 minutes.

I have always felt that Trey Parker and Matt Stone will make good Presidents. That is, if the politics don't corrupt them first.


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By Sazar on 4/21/2010 4:17:56 PM , Rating: 3
Well, picking between a Turd Sandwich and a Douche Bag is the only choice right now, so having the 2 of them as presidents would be a step-up regardless.

Or, just have an animated character for President.

Cartman and his big stick of authoritay anyone?


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By Ard on 4/21/2010 12:29:48 PM , Rating: 2
Someone give this man a 6. He's absolutely correct.


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By bhieb on 4/21/2010 11:01:35 AM , Rating: 1
If ever I was FOR government intervention on anti-competitive suits, this is a sure fire one IMHO. If this is not Apple abusing it's dominant position in the market, then I don't know what is. God I hope it backfires.


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By bhieb on 4/21/2010 11:08:27 AM , Rating: 1
Just to clarify a bit. I don't care if Apple wanted to ban Flash ports from day one. But clearly they wanted a rich app store at launch until their product was the defacto standard, then change the rules and basically shite on all the developers that made your product great.

Let's face it, as a phone the iPhone is bleh at best, it is all about the apps. This is a slap in the face of all the folks that made the iPhone great.


RE: Gimme a freekin break
By Motoman on 4/21/2010 11:32:52 AM , Rating: 2
...why would they do that? The mindless Apple drones will buy ANYTHING that Apple makes. Regardless of what obvious features are missing, regardless of how wildly overpriced it is, regardless of how unreliable it is, so on and so forth.

With their zombie customer base, consisting of people utterly incapable of thinking for themselves, what incentive does Apple have to take customer wishes into account?

They're going to sell everything they make anyway. No point in worrying about whether or not you're making a piece of crap if it's a guaranteed sell-out anyway.


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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