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Apple and Adobe clash over Flash | Brendan Moran



Apple and Adobe clash over Flash

In this months Web Design­er (issue 171) there is good cov­er­age  of the bat­tle between Apple and Adobe. Basi­cal­ly Apple will not allow Flash to work on either its iPhone or iPad.

Old rival­ries con­tin­ue to colour the bat­tle between Adobe and Apple when it comes to get­ting Flash onto iPhone.

Back in Octo­ber last year we report­ed from the MAX event in Los Ange­les, when Adobe’s Kevin Lynch attempt­ed to con­vince the crowds that Flash was in fact on the iPhone. As it turned out, this relat­ed mere­ly to the abil­i­ty to export apps built with the forth­com­ing Flash Pro­fes­sion­al CS5 into native Cocoa/Objective‑C code. So in basic prin­ci­ple, design­ers could build with famil­iar Flash tools but effec­tive­ly pub­lish to a plat­form non-sup­port­ive of Flash Play­er, as we wrote in issue 164:

Adobe instead attempt­ed some­thing of a quick-change act (dur­ing MAX keynote) by sug­gest­ing that Flash was already on the iPhone, with a selec­tion of com­mer­cial apps list­ed and avail­able. In fact, what we were shown was a beta ver­sion of Flash CS5 pro­fes­sion­al com­pil­ing Flash con­tent as Cocoa appli­ca­tions – the native lan­guage for Apple’s cov­et­ed device. Agen­cies such as BlueSkyNorth, Bowler Hat Games and South Park Dig­i­tal Stu­dios have already start­ed pub­lish­ing apps using this very method.

Fast for­ward to April and the sched­uled launch of Cre­ative Suite 5, and Apple decide to drop a pret­ty hefty bomb­shell. It tran­spires, at Apple’s April 8th keynote that the new iPhone OS 4.0 would come with it the SDK caveat pro­hibit­ing any such third-par­ty tool from being used in the app devel­op­ment process. In oth­er words, you can’t use any­thing oth­er than Apple’s own tools pro­vid­ed as part of the offi­cial iPhone Devel­op­er Pro­gram… Cue some anx­ious Adobe faces sud­den­ly flush­ing as red as their logo.

The response? Well, Adobe ploughed on with the world­wide online launch last Mon­day with the ‘Flash CS5 Pack­ager for iPhone’ demo intact and the spokes­men quot­ed in var­i­ous sources seemed to sug­gest that they would “look for loop­holes” in order to pre­vent the fea­ture being ren­dered use­less. It now tran­spires that Adobe is con­tem­plat­ing legal action, along the lines of anti-com­pe­ti­tion most can only guess, while its prod­uct evangelist’s pre­fer (unof­fi­cial­ly) to tell Jobs and Co. where to stick it.