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.