Adobe tosses in Flash towel after Apple limits iPhone dev

In an escalating confrontation, Adobe says 'iPhone isn't the only game in town' and announces the company will move on to Android

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Some of the firms that market other cross-platform compilers agreed. "It's not a coincidence that this came out just days before Adobe launched CS5," said Scott Schwarzhoff, vice president of marketing for Appcelerator, whose Titanium tool produces native iPhone applications from JavaScript and HTML.

Chambers said Apple had Adobe and Flash in its sights. "While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the terms, it is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to content created with Flash CS5," he said Tuesday. "Developers should be prepared for Apple to remove existing content and applications created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store."

He said that there were more than 100 applications currently in Apple's App Store that had been created using Flash Professional CS5 and the Packager. Adobe issued a beta of the development software last year.

"The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross-browser, -platform and -device development," said Chambers. "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."

He also took Apple to task for changing the rules in midgame. "During the entire development cycle of Flash CS5, the feature complied with Apple's licensing terms," Chambers said. "However, as developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at anytime, and for seemingly any reason."

Rather than play within Apple's walled garden, Chambers suggested developers put their resources on Google's Android operating system, whether phones like Motorola's Droid or likely Android-based tablets slated to ship later this year. "The iPhone isn't the only game in town," said Chambers, who called Adobe's efforts to bring Flash Player to Android "very promising."

Adobe and Google have recently been taking tentative public steps to combine forces. For example, late last month, Google said its Chrome browser would include Adobe's Flash Player in its downloads, and use Chrome's updater to automatically push Flash fixes to users.

"I think that the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers and ultimately consumers," Chambers concluded. "We are at the beginning of a significant change in the industry, and I believe that ultimately open platforms will win out over the type of closed, locked down platform that Apple is trying to create."

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Knowledge Center.

This story, "Adobe tosses in Flash towel after Apple limits iPhone dev" was originally published by Computerworld.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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