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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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RE: Drop support for OSX now also.
By Tony Swash on 4/21/2010 5:53:49 PM , Rating: -1
Reuters reports:

Beijing: Chinese government attacks human rights record of Apple

The Chinese government today released a statement strongly condemning the human rights record of Apple because of the following practices:

a) Apple's ongoing attack on the international not-for-profit philanthropic organisation known as Adobe. In particular the report noted Apple's ongoing suppression of Flash (the well known deoptimization and content delivery tax utility published by Adobe). The report noted that "this attack was particularly reprehensible given Adobe's record of support of Apple - an example being the very quick ten year development programme Adobe undertook to produce a fully native cocoa version of Creative Suite for the macintosh platform".

b) Apple's continuing overt control of the App publishing system for its own mobile platform (commonly known as the App Store). The effect of this has been to artificially raise the stability and attractiveness of Apple mobile apps far above the industry standard. A Chinese government spokesman said "its is clear that Apple's strategy of offering five times as many Apps as its nearest competitors seriously reduces the freedom of choice of consumers".

c) Apple's ongoing exercising of a monopoly business model. In particular the report notes Apples two most significant monopolies:

- a nearly total monopoly of computer and smart phone systems designed with good taste.

- a total monopoly of Microsoft-free, hassle-free personal computers.

In response to these findings the Chinese government has urged Apple to act immediately to hand control of App development to third parties by allowing cross platform development packages (thus lowering the quality of Apple's iPhone apps and ending its unfair and unique advantages over its competitors) and to immediately install Flash on all its mobile devices (so that it can destabilise and slow them down so that its competitors can catch up).

The Chinese Government urged Apple to work with YUCK (the International Association for the Promotion of Ugliness in Computing - currently chaired by Microsoft's Steve Balmer) in order to rapidly reduce the aesthetic pleasure enjoyed by users of Apple products. YUCK is in the process of referring the case of Jonathan Ives, the infamous employee of Apple, to the Hague International Tribunal to face charges of crimes against humanity.

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, was unavailable for comment.

By karlostomy on 4/21/2010 9:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
@ ^^^

Cripes dude, that sounds like a direct copy of one of those sarcastic and arrogantly smarmy Mac advertisements.

Kudos for trying to be funny, but maybe you could try getting some new ideas, or at least a new angle for selling your Mac fervour. It's just that we've seen and heard it all before.

You're Steve Jobs aren't you?

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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