Apple bans Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone compiler, plus related applications

You've gotta hand it to Steve Jobs. When the man decides that he wants something to be removed (in this case, Flash) from a platform he created, he really goes the extra mile to make sure he does it right. With the release of the iPhone OS 4.0 beta today came an updated developer agreement, which featured an interesting paragraph: applications that link to documented APIs through an "intermediary translation or compatibility layer" are strictly banned, according to John Gruber, which means Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone compiler is out.

Section 3.3.1 of the updated developer agreements reads as follows: "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)." What does this mean for developers? Firstly, they'll have to use Objective-C + the Cocoa Touch frameworks to get an app out onto the App Store. The Adobe tool mentioned previously that'll be featured in Flash Professional CS5 won't cut it, nor will Unity3D or MonoTouch, tools used to convert .NET and C# based applications for use on the iPhone. Essentially, it spells bad news for Windows developers aiming to make a few extra dollars on the side (assuming they don't use Xcode, naturally).

Apple is definitely very controlling when it comes to its platforms, which is both good and bad for consumers. Whether or not Adobe will choose to include the Flash-to-iPhone ability in Flash Professional CS5 has yet to be seen, but now that this is out in the open, there won't be much use for it if they do.

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I'm a huge Apple fan, however, I believe they are asking for an anti-trust investigation in banning the use of Adobe's Flash-IPA converter tool and related development technologies. The isn't just spitting in the face of Adobe but all of the developers out there who don't have time in their busy work schedules to master Objective C just for one platform - there is nothing wrong with such code translators. My company (like many) has been building an iPhone/iPad app for months now in Flash for exportation with the Flash-to-ipa converter tool and, all of sudden, Apple renders it void out of spite towards Adobe. This would be like the US government banning the use of foreign language and interpreters in the US and only allowing citizens who speak native-level English to remain in the nation. Can you imagine the backlash? If a tech giant like Microsoft tried this on their platform, the courts would be all over this. Apple is taking it's ego too far in this decision and, for the first time, I hope someone steps in and slams them in court over their App Store approval practices (Adobe Converter Bans, Google Voice delay, Opera Mini delay, Web Albums HD pinch functionality, and many more). I don't understand how Apple has avoided litigation thus far.

tuxplorer said,
May sound silly but it's time for Adobe to discontinue Creative Suite for the Mac and give a good hard slap to Cr@pple.

+1

I totally agree, now that Apple have Aperture they don't need Adobe Creative Suite.

neo158 said,

+1

I totally agree, now that Apple have Aperture they don't need Adobe Creative Suite.


If I was a smacking my girlfriend around, would you also smack her around to convince her that I'm a jerk or that she should move on to the guy you think is right for her?

You're advising Adobe to forgo millions in revenue, crapping on a sizeable portion of their customer base, and make room for a strong competitor to enter the market? (Illustrator took hold because Quark took half a decade updating Xpress). What could Adobe possibly gain from all that?

The right thing to do is make a flash runtime and IDE that allows developers to make better applications much than they can with Xcode, with less effort, and to deploy those in more places. You 'get revenge' on competitor not by ****ing on your own customers, but by offering your competitions clients a better alternative.

Canning photoshop for Mac OS X isn't something the board of directors at Adobe could do without finding themselves replaced immediately. Either existing stock holders would remove them from their positions instantly because they walked away form a multi-billion dollar market, or Apple could simply buy Adobe and reverse the decision (several times over: Apple has a huge pile of cash).

Edited by the evn show, Apr 10 2010, 8:01pm :

Actualy i was expecting this and trust me this is a good thing for costumers. Flash apps overloads my laptop with 2GHz dualcore and 4Gig Ram, compare it to iphone hardware and make conclusion.

manijak said,
Actualy i was expecting this and trust me this is a good thing for costumers. Flash apps overloads my laptop with 2GHz dualcore and 4Gig Ram, compare it to iphone hardware and make conclusion.

You don't know how to manage your laptop then, but most consumers don't, so you have a point.

Edited by Minimoose, Apr 9 2010, 7:11am :

manijak said,
Actualy i was expecting this and trust me this is a good thing for costumers. Flash apps overloads my laptop with 2GHz dualcore and 4Gig Ram, compare it to iphone hardware and make conclusion.

Then it must be your laptop then, my netbook with a 1.6GHz Atom Processor and 1GB RAM runs Flash just fine, as does my WinMo 6.1 Smartphone.

The ploblem with all iPhone, iTouch and the new iPad. They all suffer from the same ploblem, applications regardless of using Flash; they have a huge drain on the battery. Also... There is the fact that Jobs hates Adobe and Flash which is probably the real reason for the ban. Stating it drained the battery. Well I have International Snooker and this is a none flash game, awesome game but after playing every single player; your battery needs recharging...?

It's just another moan at Adobe and the fact Jobs hates Flash. Get over it.

EVANK said,

It's just another moan at Adobe and the fact Jobs hates Flash. Get over it.

I think Jobs fears Flash invading the iPhone platform instead.

I just don't see what their problem is

The apps still have to go through the App Store approval process, and still make Apple money!

One day, some directors of that frim are going to get into trouble, as I do not believe this is in the company's best interests!

Doesn't this mean that loads of Apps will be removed from the store, and there will be fewer new apps being made? Tell that to the shareholders!

I for one am glad that Steve & co don't allow the abomination that is Flash anywhere near the iPhone. Adobe Flash (just like their PDF reader) is a big, fat, filthy, dirty, disgusting pig - oink, oink. It uses your system's resources as its sty and mud, creating all sorts of a mess and issues. The entire industry would be much better off if Flash would just roll over and die.

And good on Steve for drawing the hard line with the Section 3.3.1 rule. If you want to make an app, do it properly or don't bother, this is Apple we are talking about. Go code for Windows Mobile or some other platform where they might accept rubbish.

As for the comments about how Adobe should just pull CS and Photoshop from the Mac, well I can tell you that despite the various creative people in the industry who use these products on a Mac, Apple *WILL* survive! And yes, if Apple did release something to replace Photoshop, then it *WOULD* be better.

TerrorSpawn said,
I for one am glad that Steve & co don't allow the abomination that is Flash anywhere near the iPhone. Adobe Flash (just like their PDF reader) is a big, fat, filthy, dirty, disgusting pig - oink, oink. It uses your system's resources as its sty and mud, creating all sorts of a mess and issues. The entire industry would be much better off if Flash would just roll over and die.

And good on Steve for drawing the hard line with the Section 3.3.1 rule. If you want to make an app, do it properly or don't bother, this is Apple we are talking about. Go code for Windows Mobile or some other platform where they might accept rubbish.

As for the comments about how Adobe should just pull CS and Photoshop from the Mac, well I can tell you that despite the various creative people in the industry who use these products on a Mac, Apple *WILL* survive! And yes, if Apple did release something to replace Photoshop, then it *WOULD* be better.

Maybe you need to read the article a little closer, this isn't about Flash, it's about Jobs banning the Flash to iPhone Compiler and all other related programs.

Just shows that Steve Jobs is an arrogant *****ole.

Now would be the right time for Adobe "retire" the entire Creative Suite for the Mac.

Edited by neo158, Apr 9 2010, 1:59pm :

neo158 said,

Maybe you need to read the article a little closer, this isn't about Flash, it's about Jobs banning the Flash to iPhone Compiler and all other related programs.

Just shows that Steve Jobs is an arrogant *****ole.

Now would be the right time for Adobe "retire" the entire Creative Suite for the Mac.


What makes you think that cross-compiled Flash is going to run any better than straight up Flash? If anything, cross-compilation just makes things run worse.

I think this is a good news for Android and a bad news for all iPhone developers. Jobs just did not realize that he made a big mistake here and he will probably pay it. Flash can work well on mobile devices, I've seen it working fine on a Nexus One phone, beating every HTML5 application you can imagine. So, Jobs doesn't like Flash, okay. But then, why ban every other framework and language, like MonoTouch which is so great? Don't buy these Apple products: appart from displaying nice UIs, they will not make the mobile world evolve anymore.

I don't really care for Flash and don't really care for Apple much these days but.. isn't this anticompetetive or illegal or anything?

A company are basically being forced away from releasing their product on a specific platform. Aren't there any legal issues around doing things like this?

Chicane-UK said,
A company are basically being forced away from releasing their product on a specific platform. Aren't there any legal issues around doing things like this?

That's not what's happening.
Apple is saying "use language X and framework Y or you can't ship applications through our store". There's probably not a good consumer-friendly reason to do this but Apple's allowed to make those restrictions if they want to becauseâ€"and this is the key pointâ€"businesses are allowed to decide what products they place in their store.

The fact that Apple run store is theâ€"more-or-lessâ€"the only realistic way to get applications onto the iPhone isn't going to be relevant.

There could be an issue if Apple said "if you write an iPhone application you are forbidden to release versions for other platforms" but they haven't done that. Even then, in order to make restrictions like that fall foul of anti-trust litigation Apple would require a much larger segment of the market. Until Apple has >90% market share the rules that Applied to Microsoft aren't going to apply to Apple. Even in microsoft's case: the illegal activity was leveraging a monopoly in one market (operating systems) to gain leverage in another (browsers). Microsoft would be free to the exact same thing Apple has with their Zune (use Visual Studio or you can't make zune games), they wouldn't be allowed to do something like "In order to get an OEM volume license for Windows you cannot ship a phone that runs Android".

I never used/had an iPhone; neither developed any app for it; although I was thinking to develop a few and buy one to test 'em;
well, this is really going to save me a lot; cause I certainly won't buy something like iPhone; neither would I waste my time developing such restricted apps.
Talk about platforms & developer tools coming together for better world !! iPhone doesn't belong to this world.

I fail to see your point. Why do people always pull out the "if microsoft did this" card? Apple isn't Microsoft. They'll get what's coming in due course.

iPhone is Apple's hardware - iPhone OS is Apple's software - they have every right to set the rules they want.

They don't want to run Flash on iPhone? They have right do it.
They don't want application that aren't written in their own framework? They have right.
They don't want your app in THEIR App Store? They have right to reject it.

It's their platform - they have right to do whatever they want.

And Adobe will not abandon Mac version of Photoshop or other software because if they do that Apple will come out with something better... It would be a win-win situation for Apple...

ADvert said,
And Adobe will not abandon Mac version of Photoshop or other software because if they do that Apple will come out with something better... It would be a win-win situation for Apple...

Haha, funny it's exactly what I said above.

And Photoshop brings loaaaaaaads of $$$ to Adobe. And Photoshop CS5 is out in just a few days already. They can't just throw it away now.
Flash doesn't bring that much money, I don't know why Adobe defends it so much.

ADvert said,
iPhone is Apple's hardware - iPhone OS is Apple's software - they have every right to set the rules they want.

They don't want to run Flash on iPhone? They have right do it.
They don't want application that aren't written in their own framework? They have right.
They don't want your app in THEIR App Store? They have right to reject it.

It's their platform - they have right to do whatever they want.

And Adobe will not abandon Mac version of Photoshop or other software because if they do that Apple will come out with something better... It would be a win-win situation for Apple...

My goddddd, you are the biggest Apple ass kisser in the existence of humanity. You have two iPads, right?

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