Apple Mobile: Jobs vs Ad Industry, Adobe, Microsoft & Developers?

Apple Mobile: Jobs vs Ad Industry, Adobe, Microsoft & Developers?

Summary: Ipad and iPhone developers look set to be trapped in a sea of Cocoa by Apple for the foreseeable future if the language of the latest iPhone OS 4 SDK proves to be enforceable by Apple.The only drink on the menu for developers are the Cocoa frameworks that consist of libraries, APIs, and runtimes that form the development layer for all of Mac OS X.


Ipad and iPhone developers look set to be trapped in a sea of Cocoa by Apple for the foreseeable future if the language of the latest iPhone OS 4 SDK proves to be enforceable by Apple.

The only drink on the menu for developers are the Cocoa frameworks that consist of libraries, APIs, and runtimes that form the development layer for all of Mac OS X.

"By developing with Cocoa, you will be creating applications the same way Mac OS X itself is created. Your application will automatically inherit the great behaviors and appearances of Mac OS X, with full access to the underlying power of the UNIX operating system. Using Cocoa with the Xcode IDE is simply the best way to create native Mac applications"

Says Apple.

The 'Cocoa Touch' api is a subset of the overarching architecture, and Apple undeniably do a terrific job of hanging features together to provide a cohesive whole for end users. ZDNet editor Larry Dignan detailed Steve Jobs genius in presenting features already present in other mobile application OS's as shiny new Apple creations and discussed quarterly statements from both Apple and Adobe here about competitive stances.

I wrote about html 5 and 'Adobe's creative legacy & the proprietary aspirations of Apple & Google' back in early February, and on the eve of the launch of Adobe's Creative Suite 5 - which I have seen and will write about on Monday - it's worth considering what Apple's 'any color you want so long as it's Cocoa' attitude means to mobile computing.

It's not just Flash that is being nixed from Apple's idea of what's good for you but also MonoTouch, which "allows developers to create C# and .NET based applications that run on Apple's iPhone and Apple's iPod Touch devices, while taking advantage of the iPhone APIs and reusing both code and libraries that have been built for .NET, as well as existing skills".

...what Apple really wants to prevent is people releasing multi-platform compilers. So taking Flash as just one example, if I can build one app and the compiler can make me an iPhone executable, an Android executable, and so forth, Apple don't want that...

quoting raganwald's comment on Daring Fireball.

Apple don't have a stellar reputation in the developer community for sustaining third party tools: way back in the mid nineties at the height of the multimedia CD Rom boom they put money behind the 'Apple Media Tool' in direct competition to (now owned by Adobe) Macromedia Director, which was the foundation of that boom. Media Tool faded into obscurity as Apple increasingly focused on the web. Not a particularly complementary way to treat a partner company that was helping sell a lot of Apple computers to multimedia developers (the 90's version of 80 hour week 2.0 zealots) back in those days.

Today's iPad exuberance is somewhat similar to that era: a new way of presenting interactive rich media in mobile devices. The difference today is summed up in one word: advertising. The ads you see around this post on ZDNet are running through your browser's Flash plug in, enabling everything from digital video to sophisticated interactivity.

It's fashionable to bash Flash because people often don't like complete sites presented in Flash by ambitious designers, but the reality is that Flash web page components and banner ads are a foundation stone of the advertising industry, along with Microsoft's newer SilverLight.  Money talks: Apple sells consumer products that are an important channel to influence through advertising.

It should be possible to create sophisticated multimedia in any authoring tool - the new Flash Pro, the new on April 13 Silverlight 4, or whatever tool a developer is familiar with - and then save the files out to comply with Apple's Cocoa Framework. Apple are effectively banning this 'cross-compiling' and locking users inside their Cocoa world.

Apple is a huge, deep pocketed company, but this smacks of the arrogance of Sony in their glory years, and my suspicion is that advertising revenues will influence the outcome of this latest hubris. This also has huge implications for mobile development of enterprise computing and unified communications applications. We are talking about a lot of developers livelihoods and skillsets here, this isn't about unwrapping a shiny new consumer toy on launch day with Steve Jobs playing Father Christmas.

Topics: Software, Apple, CXO, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software Development


Oliver Marks & Associates provides seasoned, technology agnostic independent consulting guidance to companies on effective Digital Enterprise Transformation business strategy, tactics, infrastructure & technology decisions, roll out and enduring use models and management.

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  • What if...

    Adobe applied similar reasoning towards Apple
    in regards to advertising displayed via Flash...
    "Adobe licenses the end user to use the software to create ads for their customers,
    as long as the customer allows Adobe products
    to be supported on their platforms."
    Since Apple is not supporting Adobe Flash,
    no Flash ads for Apple products!
    Sounds crazy, doesn't it...but not outside
    the realm of possibilities...Adobe would have
    to adopt an "Apple style content review" of
    any media produced via their tools...hmmmm.
  • the only positive experience for iPhone is

    the lack of pesky and resource hungry flash adds.
    Linux Geek
    • Depending on platform, HTML5 and SilverLight can be slower.

      I'll help you:

      Amongst oodles of others.

      And if Google can trust Flash, or Microsoft for that matter given access to APIs for faster performance, why can't Apple? That's the real question. I'm not particularly buying into "security" as the reason.

      Besides, we'd all complain "pesky and resource hungry HTML5 ads" if you could. And no AdScript or no AdBlock would save us with HTML5. Food for thought.

      I'll stick with Flash and start reading up on SilverLight. I wish Apple would support Flash; realistically it's not going anywhere anytime soon. And there are enough detractors of all three camps to say "Sod this, I'll stick with what I know and avoid HTMLx due to how previous versions were fragmented and still are."
  • Apple strikes at the core freedom of developers

    This latest move by Apple is comparable to

    * Microsoft outlawing Java, Ruby, Delphi, Python,
    Prolog, LISP etc. on Windows. You could use VB.NET or
    C# or C++, but only if you use a MS compiler. No GCC
    or anything. High-level code generating tools? Forget

    * Microsoft outlawing browsers not based on IEs

    * Microsoft telling Phone 7 developers that they
    cannot use Ruby or Mono to develop Silverlight apps.
    Yes, the IL code would be the same, but MS feels that
    it may influence the quality.

    * Oracle outlawing anything Java not executing on Suns
    JVM. And no, you cannot even use another compiler even
    though it emits JVM bytecode. No JRuby, Jython or
    anything. High-level code generating tools? Forget it!

    * Amazon only allowing books to be sold if they were
    originally authored on old-style typewriters. Sure you
    can write books on other devices, but Amazon feels
    that they cannot control the quality if you do so. You
    could try to cheat authoring the book on a computer
    but printing it out using a 80-era electronic
    typewriter. But if caught Amazon would yank your book
    from the store in a second.

    * Washington Post only accepting articles if
    originally authored in Alaska. Sure you can write
    articles elsewhere, but the Post feels that they can
    only stand by articles authored in Alaska. And don't
    try to cheat and write an article from New York and
    have a friend submit it from Alaska. They will find
    out and scrap your article!
    • All vendors are evil?

      So, I think you're saying that really all vendors do "evil" things to get ahead, right?
      So really Apple (and Adobe!) are no different than any other... So really this is a non-issue.
      Agreed!! ;-) Or else, capitalism sucks and we should all give up now. :-)

      The fact that Apple wants Flash out is that it separates the user-experience from their API calls. This means Apple loses control of the user-experience. People: APPLE IS ALL ABOUT THE USER-EXPERIENCE!

      This is why they sell so well!! I really can't blame them for this.
      • Correction...

        Apple is all about THEIR INTENDED USER EXPERIENCE!! If they were genuinely concerned about the "users"-experience, they would allow the user to make informed decisions for themselves... not all of us drink the koolade!
  • RE: Apple Mobile: Jobs vs Ad Industry, Adobe, Microsoft & Developers?

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  • RE: Apple Mobile: Jobs vs Ad Industry, Adobe, Microsoft & Developers?

    This might be an illegal move from Apple, because they are restricting the developper's freedom to develop for multiple platform even more, and they also lock out developpers that don't use Macs OS to develop for the iPhone OS...

    Not that they will be sued, Job's Reality Distorsion field array prevents Apple to loose in court...
    • Not illegal....

      It's their device and then can do whatever they wish with it. It's not illegal. It would be illegal if the iPhone were a monopoly... but THANK GOD it's not.

      So unfortunately it's just a stupid, ridiculous and annoying decision... but illegal... not so much
    • ridiculous

      if you want to develope for the apple platform use c, c++ and javascript.
      if you don't like it or can't, don't develope for that platform. develope for
      another. simple. no big deal. get over it.

      the baseless apple-hatred around here is getting boring.
      • no different from

        the MS-Hatred which CONSTANTLY comes from your side! Remember all the soap-box rants when the EU took MS to the cleaners over their bundling of IE in Windows; the integration of previously 3rd-party functionality in Office applications, etcetera etcetera!

        If Microsoft even CONSIDERED pulling a stunt like this, you would all be cramming the boards with how criminal it was.... yet when we comment it is all "baseless apple-hatred". WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!
  • why are all the zdnet pundits loving...

    adobe's proprietary, resource-hogging, buggy, battery
    draining crap? is it only because of the deeply entrenched
    apple-hatred around here? or is there more at play. seriously
    why would anyone want a proprietary technology to succeed
    instead of the open html5. don't you all love "open"? i though
    you were obsessed with that word. shouldn't all be open? and
    now suddenly not so much anymore because apple is
    pushing for it?

    and by the way i don't see any of your beloved flash-ads.
    thank you clicktoflash ;-)
    • Oh my

      You really bought into Jobs lies, didn't you?

      It has been amply demonstrated that Flash is no
      more resource intensive than HTML5. What may be
      using CPU/Battery is the fact that
      animation/video playback is performed at all.

      Sure, a website without Flash is lighter on CPU
      than the same website with Flash
      animations/videos. But that same site with
      HTML5 video playback or JavaScript animations
      is equally or even more CPU hogging than Flash.

      Snap out of the Apple Reality Distortion Field,

      What Jobs told you <b>is a lie</b>. The reason
      he doesn't like Flash is that it tears down the
      wall he wants to build around his iPhone

      These latest restrictions are proof positive of
      that. Adobes Flash CS5 were going to produce
      native iPhone code, <b>not Flash</b>. There
      would be no Flash plugin executing, animations
      would be performed using Apples core
      Animations, video playback would be performed
      using Apples built-in engine.

      The <b>only reason</b> for blocking something
      like that are <b>commercial</b>. Trying to spin
      it like a "quality concern" is disingenuous and
      so obviously a lie that only the most fanatic
      Apple fans would buy it.
      • engadget's JooJoo tablet review : Flash sucks, video slow like a slideshow

        Engadget on supposed iPad Killer JooJoo with FLASH :

        "But what about Flash? This is supposed to be the big
        differentiator, right? The iPad killer! In an interesting move,
        Fusion Garage coupled the Atom processor with NVIDIA's
        Ion graphics to aid in playing full screen Flash video (or for
        doing... something). Unfortunately, the software just isn't
        there yet. "
        "That means some regular-sized YouTube and Hulu works,
        as decoded by the CPU, but full screen Hulu is jittery, and
        a 720p YouTube clip is like watching a slideshow."

        FLASH is so bad on tablet that Adobe is distancing itself:

        "Adobe's PR team has gotten in touch to inform us that
        Fusion Garage "has no direct relationship with Adobe."


        steve Jobs didn't want the
        JOOJOO experience
        you guys can buy a JOOJOO and enjoy... FLASH.

        WEIRD Zdnet recently said that JooJoo has
        90 pre-orders vs tens of thousands for iPad
        • JooJoo with Flash:2.5 lbs, 2.5 hr battery vs iPad 1.5 lbs, 10 hr bat. - nt

        • Speed Test: Flash vs. HTML5


          "<i>At about 2 minutes and 20 seconds in, you
          can clearly see that Flash is the victor,
          rendering animated balls with shadows MUCH more
          quickly and smoothly than HTML5 with both
          running on the Nexus One. Furthermore, when
          testing the animation with Flash 10.1 on the
          Nexus One <b>he gets 20fps</b>, while <b>Safari
          only runs the animation at 1-2fps on the iPhone
          3GS</b> with HTML5.</i>"


          • sure, I trust a flash test by a "Platform Evangelist for Adobe Flash" lol.

            "Michael Chaize highlighted a test designed to determine which is
            currently faster

            A disclosure we should make: Michael Chaize is a Platform Evangelist
            for Adobe Flash

            Plus "Unfortunately Android doesn't yet have flash support on its
            phones by OS default, but we've been assured over and over again
            that it is coming. "

            man we're assured...
            it's coming... it's faster...
            says the Adobe evangelist.

            I posted a real life review of JooJoo with Flash
            and you give me a post by an Adobe evangelist!


            thank you.

            and no , I don't want to buy the Brooklyn bridge or
            swamp land in Florida either.
          • article: "Fraud Science used in Flash vs Html 5 tests"

            Fraud Flash vs HTML 5 tests are common. like:

            "Coverage of Ozer's press release uncritically reported his findings
            that certain browsers were no better (or at least not much better) at
            rendering video from YouTube via Google's experimental
            HTML5/H.264 site than via the standard Flash version of YouTube.

            Ozer detailed only the reported CPU Utilization for his test Mac
            running Safari, Chrome, and Firefox browsers, and a PC running the
            same three browsers in addition to Internet Explorer. He compared
            the performance of Flash 10 with the latest Flash 10.1, and contrasted
            HTML5 playback on browsers that supported that as an alternative to
            Flash, not too subtly suggesting that HTML5 and H.264 were riddled
            with problems that inspire fear, uncertainty and doubt, while Flash
            simply works everywhere.

            However, his results made no comment on the visual quality of
            Google's Flash vs raw H.264 implementations. Previous tests I
            performed indicate that Google?s beta version of YouTube running
            HTML5 delivers raw H.264 video with remarkably better picture
            equality compared to the HD version of its Flash video for the same
            file. You can see for yourself by viewing anything on YouTube in ?HD
            quality via both Flash and HTML5.

            Additionally, Ozer seemed to gloss over the fact that his tests really
            say next to nothing about the efficiency and performance of the Flash
            runtime compared to the use of open standards, because he wasn?t
            testing Flash content rendering, but really only the playback of video
            data delivered via a Flash wrapper.

            To deliver video, Flash really isn?t doing anything special. That?s why
            browsers supporting HTML5 can do this themselves without needing
            something like Flash (or its doppelg?nger, Microsoft?s Silverlight).

            HTML5 savvy browsers like Safari and Chrome can also animate
            content and even (with a little more work) do the kinds of fancy
            interactive apps and games that Flash was originally targeted toward,
            all using open web specifications."


            "Additionally, Ozer should stop presenting half-truths comparing
            Google?s currently experimental version of H.264 playback with its
            refined existing implementation of Flash. Ozer fails to admit that Flash
            isn?t primarily a video distribution system, nor that video playback is
            really where Flash really exhibits its ?CPU hog? problem. Flash is an
            interactive content platform that rivals the open web. Trying to subtly
            suggest there is not really a problem with Flash is the opposite of
            being honest."
        • Huh???

          Sheesh...using the JooJoo to poopoo Flash
          is grasping for straws, wouldn't you say?
          JooJoo was a failure from inception.

          ps...I get it, you like Apple, that's fine!
          There are some that see through the "smoke
          and mirrors" of not allowing any cross-
          compiling code into the mix though!
          • Yep after reviews, before Apple haters said : "iPad Killer with Flash" lol!

            You say "heesh...using the JooJoo to poopoo Flash
            is grasping for straws, wouldn't you say?
            JooJoo was a failure from inception."

            hah, actually lots of apple haters thought
            JooJoo with flash was going to to be great:

            For example:

            "The JooJoo tablet will also work with flash upon its release, in-
            browser or via a dedicated flash viewer. This keeps the JooJoo up-to-
            speed for the latest YouTube and Hulu videos, still boasting 1080p
            support over the Apple iPad?s 720p offering. These visual upgrades
            and the addition of flash give it a neck up over the iPad"

            NECK UP OVER THE IPAD!

            and article:
            "The iPad may have taken the media by storm, but the JooJoo,
            formerly known as the CrunchPad, is back, and hot on Apple's heels. "

            HOT ON APPLE's HEELS!

            netbook choice:
            "fully working Flash video"

            etc etc

            and you implied people always thought the "JooJoo was a failure from

            it's only when people actually got them hands-on that they said
            what the @#$% is this?
            apparently fully working flash video is what Engadget says is movies
            moving one frame at a time like a slideshow.

            that's fully functional flash on a tablet
            no wonder steve Jobs said "no thanks"

            what I first heard about JOOJOO is what people are saying about
            Slate and Android tablets...
            What makes you think future Flash tablets going to be any better?

            and this cross compiling thing..
            Can Apple FORCE developers to write for iPhone OS? nope.
            Don't like Apple? Don't write for them. Move on.
            What's the big deal why the Apple hate?