Just a little more than a week after an Adobe employee told Apple to go screw itself over its new restrictive developer policies for the iPhone 4.0, Adobe has now officially come out and announced plans to move on and focus Flash at competing smartphone platforms such as Android.
Just a little more than a week after an Adobe employee told Apple to
go screw itself over its new restrictive developer policies for the
iPhone 4.0, Adobe has now officially come out and announced plans to
move on and focus Flash at competing smartphone platforms such as
In an April 9 blog post
Lee Brimelow, a platform evangelist at Adobe focusing on the Flash,
Flex and AIR development communities, in response to the now infamous
clause in the Apple iPhone developer program license known as Clause
3.3.1, Brimelow said:
"Speaking purely for myself, I would look to make it clear what is
going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple."
Now, in an April 20 post
, Adobe product manager Mike Chambers made it official. Said Chambers:
"We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad
in Flash CS5. However, we are not currently planning any additional
investments in that feature."
Apple's Clause 3.3.1 reads:
"Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed
by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must
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
According to Chambers, Apple's goal here is clear:
"Essentially, this has the effect of restricting applications built
with a number of technologies, including Unity, Titanium, MonoTouch,
and Flash CS5. While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the
terms, it is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they
apply to content created with Flash CS5. Developers should be prepared
for Apple to remove existing content and applications (100+ on the
store today) created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store."
Brimelow was a bit more direct, saying:
"This has nothing to do whatsoever with bringing the Flash player to
Apple's devices. That is a separate discussion entirely. What they are
saying is that they won't allow applications onto their marketplace
solely because of what language was originally used to create them.
This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than
wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly,
wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe."
Brimelow went on to compare Apple's actions to a bad shopping
experience. "But this is equivalent to me walking into Macy's to buy a
new wallet and the salesperson spits in my face. Chances are I won't be
buying my wallets at Macy's anymore, no matter how much I like them."
Gripes over Apple's restrictive policies vis-a-vis developers are
nothing new. Yet, this has taken on a different tone. Al Hilwa, an
analyst and program director for applications development software at
market research firm IDC, said:
"From a developer perspective the new legal language is bad news.
The application development field is very diverse and many platforms
are inherently layered with API's often stacked on top of one another
as application platforms evolve. Apple's legal language to preclude
even Apple evolving its own platform down the road when new languages
or interfaces become more popular as computer science evolves. What is
puzzling and bothersome about this legal language is that it seems
arbitrarily aimed at cutting a whole swath of existing languages and
cutting off the developers skilled in them. Aside from the difficulty
of actually implementing it, it seems somewhat arbitrarily
discriminatory, analogous to scrutinizing the genetic code of person
and saying you can't get into this club. While this restriction can be
seen in the prism of the Apple and Adobe relationship around Flash,
this is not just about Adobe, but potentially a problem for every
developer runtime or language that wants to hold on to developers and
maintain its longevity. It is about programmers maintaining their
livelihood. Probably even more importantly, it is about the flexibility
to evolve computer science and software development."
Chambers said: "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."