31 Comments

Summary:

UPDATED So much for Adobe trying to provide a workaround for Flash developers to create iPhone and iPad applications. Apple today fired its latest salvo in its war against Flash, with an update to its iPhone Developer Program License Agreement that specifically bans the use of […]

UPDATED So much for Adobe trying to provide a workaround for Flash developers to create iPhone and iPad applications. Apple today fired its latest salvo in its war against Flash, with an update to its iPhone Developer Program License Agreement that specifically bans the use of third-party compilers for creating apps that will run on the iPhone OS.

As pointed out by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the language in the license agreement has become much more aggressive, if not downright antagonistic, against applications not written in Objective-C, C, C++ or Javascript. It states:

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed 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 prohibited).

That will come as a big blow to Adobe, which was pinning its hopes on its upcoming Packager for iPhone — an important piece of its Creative Suite 5 that was meant to allow developers to create apps in Flash which could then be re-compiled for use on the iPhone. Since the iPhone and the iPad don’t support Flash, Adobe saw this as a way to keep its developers coding for Flash while still being able to reach Apple’s mobile devices.

We’ve contacted Adobe for their take on the new language in the license agreement, and what it will mean for the future of the Packager for iPhone. We will update this post with any official word from the company as soon as we receive it.

Update: Adobe issued the following statement regarding the change in Apple’s license agreement:

“We are aware of the new SDK language and are looking into it. We continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in Flash CS5.”

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Can Anyone Compete With the iPad? (subscription required)

  1. Apple is declaring war on all Python, Ruby, JavaScript, Java, C#, Lua as well as Flash ActionScript developers and any other cool language you can think of that’s not Objective C. No problem? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

    Share
  2. I think Unity 3D just got caught in collateral damage.

    That REALLY sucks.

    Share
  3. Unity is written in C++ though, so maybe that means it’s exempt?

    Share
  4. Apple has overtaken Microsoft in the “evil” department. And like battered housewives, developers will keep on pumping out iPhone apps.

    Share
  5. A few points:

    Apple is protecting and fostering the expansion of its own brilliant proprietary intellectual property – its hardware and software. I have great respect for them by doing this.
    Let’s not forget, Adobe built its fortunes on the back of Apple’s innovation for over 20 years, geared toward the same creative demo as Apple.
    Adobe then bit the hand that fed them by turning Flash into a developer tool, to create apps which compete with Apple head-to-head.
    Despite Apple’s clear warning shots over the Adobe bow, Adobe bit again.
    Hammer time.

    Am I surprised that Adobe’s naive-as-a-college-freshman strategy backfired? Uh, no. Am I cheesed off at Apple for protecting themselves? HELL no.

    It’s Adobe I take issue with. They’re the numbnuts jackin’ the neighbor’s cable!

    Now, WE’RE PAYING FOR IT!

    Share
  6. Just helps to accelerate the inevitable fate of Flash. Probably not a bad thing…

    Share
  7. Poor Adobe I thought it gonna end like this. It happened….

    Share
  8. This is really just the tip of the iceberg….
    Seriously this is pathetic and if you’re still holding on to iPhone development You’re just playing for the wrong team.

    This has to be the biggest slap in the face to the developer community I have ever seen.

    Apple You SUCK!!!
    YOU KNOW THIS MEANS WAR!!!!

    Share
  9. Business is business. Cutting your competitors off at the knees is the stroke every business relishes.

    Share
    1. True be that.
      Except when it is illegal and anticompetitive AND hurts your platform … But illegal and anticompetitive is for the powers that be to decide, and by the time they act it is too late …

      Share
  10. With Apple it’s all about user experience. This is a good move.

    I will not miss all the converted-Flash garbage apps that would have resulted from Packager.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post