Adobe casts Flash lot with Android; Drops iPhone plans

Summary:Adobe's Mike Chambers, principal product manager for the Flash platform, said the company will halt future development on plans to bring Flash apps to Apple's iPhones.

Adobe's Mike Chambers, principal product manager for the Flash platform, said the company will halt future development on plans to bring Flash apps to Apple's iPhones.

In other words, Adobe has finally become tired of beating its head against the wall. The final straw was when Apple changed the terms of its iPhone 4.0 software developer kit license in a way that blocked Adobe's plans. Chambers in a blog post said that Apple's new terms were meant to single out Adobe and any content created with Flash CS5. Those terms read:

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).

Chambers continued:

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.

Chambers maintained that there's no technical reason why Flash can't run on the iPhone, but the battle just isn't worth the effort. As a result, Adobe's Flash efforts will focus on Android. Chambers said:

Android based phones have been doing well behind the success of the Motorola Droid and Nexus One, and there are a number of Android based tablets slated to be released this year. We are working closely with Google to bring both Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to these devices, and thus far, the results have been very promising.

There's also another key point here too. Adobe and Research in Motion have been getting cozy so there will be developer love too. Add it up and you're going to have Adobe-Android-RIM on one axis and Apple's iPhone on the other. The game isn't over, but those iPhone dreams are for Adobe's Flash.

Apple said told CNet News that Chambers has it backwards. Apple supports open standards and Flash is closed and proprietary.


Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones, Developer


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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