By Chuong Nguyen | April 12, 2010 9:04 AM
With the announcement of iPhone OS 4.0, users found that Apple has implemented new language in its SDK that bars developers from using compilers for third-party development environments that would make it quick for developers to create multi-platform apps with ease. A big player that got shut out of the iPhone with OS 4.0 is Adobe, which had hoped to leverage Flash and Adobe Air as part of its Creative Suite 5 engine to allow developers to cross compile and create apps for multiple platforms.
The latest language change states:
This latest battle between Adobe and Apple is waged on a different front. The first battle was over the Flash browser plug-in. Now, Apple is not allowing apps created using third-party development platforms and this war is about apps.
While Adobe isn’t the only one targeted–Java, Silverlight application ports, as well as Flash app ports are affected–the latest move by Apple seems to incite and fuel a long battle already being fought in Silicon Valley. Adobe, which has hoped to get its Flash browser plugin onto the iPhone, has instead been met with rejection from Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In addition to citing poor performance of the desktop version of Flash and that the mobile version of Flash is limited in potential, Jobs also accused Flash of taking a toll on battery life.
During the iPhone 4.0 keynote, Jobs also introduced HTML-based ads, called iAds–a product of Apple’s foray into mobile advertising–that takes a lot of the way interactive Flash ads are based, but are built using the open HTML5 standards. Apple has also been courting developers and content providers, including the ABC television network, YouTube, the popular Ted.com website, the New York Times, and others to make their videos for the company’s iPad tablet available in HTML5 rather than the Flash plugin.
Jobs recently also defended his move in the language change of the iPhone 4.0 SDK stating that the move is to create a common set of APIs for multitasking to be effective on the iPlatform. According to Jobs, “We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform,” referencing the multitasking efforts that Apple is rolling out.
On the other side of the battle is Adobe, which has been vocal and displeased with Apple’s move on its Flash blog–you can read Adobe’s passionate outcry there. According to Adobe’s Flash evangelist,
Adobe and Apple has had a long relationship and each has helped the other get where they are today. The fact that Apple would make such a hostile and despicable move like this clearly shows the difference between our two companies. All we want is to provide creative professionals an avenue to deploy their work to as many devices as possible. We are not looking to kill anything or anyone. This would be like us putting something in our SDK to make it impossible for 3rd-party editors like FDT to work with our platform. I can tell you that we wouldn’t even think or consider something like that.
The Flash evangelist summarizes his post best in saying, “Speaking purely for myself, I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple.”
Whether the move will hurt Apple in the end with developers migrating to other platforms–such as webOS, Android, Symbian, or Windows Mobile–is still unclear. Apple stated during its keynote that it has 85 million iPhones and iPod Touch devices sold. In addition, the company is ramping up its iPad platform, which is cross-compatible with iPhone apps, creating a greater market for apps and more incentive for developers to remain within the iPhone ecosystem.