Flash Out: Adobe Kills iPod/iPhone Development

When Apple released a new version of its iPhone developer program last week, it included new eligibility requirements that have serious implications for both advertisers and programmers. Adobe and Apple have been less than chummy in recent months, but the content creation company has always maintained it would bring Flash to the iPhone one way or another—until today. As of now, Flash for the iPhone is dead.

Mark Chambers, Adobe's product manager for Flash, gave some insight as to why on his personal blog. One of the sections of the iPhone developer agreement that's causing problems for a number of companies is 3.3.1, which essentially states that app developers are only allowed to use approved programming languages in approved ways without the use or function of any code that functions in a non-approved way (or that's written in a non-approved language.). Chambers writes that these new terms restrict "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."

He continues: "To be clear, during the entire development cycle of Flash CS5, the feature complied with Apple’s licensing terms. 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."

The upcoming Unity 3 engine. Browser gaming is starting to look sexy.

We've talked about the Unity 3D engine in the past, so we got in touch with the company after reading Chambers' remarks. It turns out Unity's CEO, David Helgason, recently wrote about the new requirements and the company's response. From April 10:
This is certainly not the first time that developers of all types of apps have faced sometimes confusing changes in rules, or their interpretation. It’s a risk we all run in basing parts of our businesses on Apple. Here at Unity, we are working hard on getting good information, and working to understand whether – or how – the new changes could affect the developer community and others.
On April 14, Helgason added:
Unity learned of these changes with the rest of you just last Thursday and today, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about these changes being final and what we may need to do to comply. We’re meeting with Apple next week to discuss the matter, and our engineers have been discussing possible technical solutions as well...Though any uncertainly about Unity’s future on this platform is unpleasant, our feeling is that we’ll be okay.
Adobe's decision to focus on Android is far more significant for the future of mobile content delivery, but it's Unity's situation that's more troubling. Apple, after all, has made no secret of its dislike for Flash—but if you look at Unity's upcoming Unity 3 engine, or read over company blog posts, it's very clear that iPlatform support was high on the developer's list of priorities. As recently as March 9, Helgason wrote that Unity would add support for the iPad and was currently engaged in porting core assets to the iPhone. This is the sort of enthusiastic developer you'd think Apple might warn before yanking out the rug.

If Chambers' comments about Flash's sudden non-compliance were specific to Adobe, that'd be one thing; the two companies aren't exactly on good terms these days. Unfortunately, they aren't. Hopefully the vast majority of developers will come out of this unscathed and Cupertino will make a few phone calls before dropping its licensing bombshell on world+dog the next time it makes a major update.
Via:  Adobe
rapid1 4 years ago

As I had commented on the iPhone 4G article I see no point of releasing a 4G phone when your only partner will be the last cellular provider to the market. Then making developers have difficulties porting to your device, then of course the great statement if your looking for pron get an Android.

Then you consider that while the iPhone may have had the largest sales percentage of a commercial cellular device to aforesaid market things like this are heard. In many cases it reminds me of a pretty ancient time in Apples history when many of there statements were the same regarding personal computer's, but directed at IBM and the PC brethren (clone makers of the IBM platform).

In this scenario though Google would take the place of IBM, with just as it was then M$ playing second fiddle to them. In this case there are more players in the market than in that case. It looks like an almost direct comparison though. Not only did Apple (run by Steve Job's no less) do the exact same thing and almost go out of business. Mister Job's was also at that time told his services were no longer necessary (and he went and started or directed PowerPC).

Devhux 4 years ago

The iPhone "4G" everyone is talking about is not using a 4G cell network (LTE) - that one won't be out until sometime next year at the earliest. People just started calling it the 4G because it's the 4th iPhone. The rumored name is iPhone HD (although I'm even less of a fan of that one. Of course, Apple could really get on my nerves and call it the iPhone Xtreme. :(

Joel H 4 years ago

I'll take iPhone HD provided it comes with a scaled HD display. Calling it an iPhone 4G would invite a lot of confusion when actual 4G/LTE phones start using the moniker.

Xylem 4 years ago

May be its the beginning of the death of the iPhone , thanks to more and more andriod powered options including those amazing looking phones from DELL. I think Apple is pushing the envelope little too much here.

3vi1 4 years ago

Wonderful move, Apple. Now you've just made Flash support a selling feature exclusive to android every other tablet PC.

Hey, it's not like very many people play FarmVille or Cafe World, right? Oh wait, you're boned.

infinityzen 4 years ago

I'm wondering if Apple implodes. Oh, nice warm feeling in my belly with that thought.

rapid1 4 years ago

Well it just seems that Mr Jobs always get's that higher than thou thing going on in his head. For some reason this also (from past evidence with both Apple and PowerPC) comes at just the right moment. Then he starts making brash statements about there superiority, and peoples levels of intelligence (specifically those who use there equipment), and therefore knocks them down again.

I still say the only reason Microsoft is where it is at least to a very great amount is due to this same thing. This is also not to mention Apple itself and everything else. I remember and will readily admit back in the day Apple (IE: Apple II,IIE) had the IBM PC beaten hands down. Yes there were many players in that, but basically brash thought, events, and statements by Mr. Job's played a very large part in it, not to mention decisions relating to his company.

animatortom 4 years ago

Back when they were doing the II and IIE they still had the WAZ! Like I have said before he was the really driving force behind Apple. Jobs is just a glorified spokesman (srcsm). This type of behaviour might also be reminiscent of the reason Jobs got fired in the first place. He is a very good opportunist who happens to be at the right places at the right time.

They probably really fired him because he was so pretentious and egotistical back then, that he didn't want porn on the Macintosh when things were just getting started. I'm sure he feels just as entitled as Tiger did, yet instead of women he is going after peoples lives. That is also probably the reason behind them not being able to come to any kind of discussions with Adobe. Kinda ridiculous since Adobe is probably the biggest market for Apple computers.

Imagine if Adobe said OK, well we are no longer going to allow CS5 and other Adobe products to be supported on Apples!

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