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Apple puts another nail into Flash's coffin

Apple has put another nail into Flash's coffin with its ban on the use of cross-compilers, like the one that's due in Adobe Creative Suite 5.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

ipad-flash.jpgApple's got no love for Flash, that's for sure. But what once was a only skirmish has been upgraded to a full-on assault.

In February Steve Jobs took a position that Flash is buggy on Macs and that it would cut the iPad’s battery life to 1.5 hours. Then Jobs took his anti-Flash message on the road as part of the early iPad negotiations with publishers, several of whom noted that Jobs was quick to bash Flash.

Apple increased the pressure on Adobe and Flash this week with the release of the iPhone 4.0 beta SDK which explicitly prohibits the use of cross-compilers, i.e the Flash-to-iPhone compiler in the upcoming Flash Professional CS5.

Gruber lays out changes in the agreement, which must be agreed to by anyone downloading the 4.0 SDK:

iPhone OS 3.2 SDK of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement:

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs.

iPhone OS 4.0 beta SDK of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement:

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).

ZDNet's own Larry Dignan notes that Apple's Flash Jihad is so significant that Adobe is legally obligated to disclose it in its quarterly filing with the SEC (emphasis mine):

...new releases of operating systems or other third-party products, platforms or devices, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad, make it more difficult for our products to perform, and our customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies, our business could be harmed.

Could this the be final nail in the coffin for Flash?

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