Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Iphone Programming Apple

Adobe Stops Development For iPhone 497

adeelarshad82 writes "Adobe's principal product manager Mike Chambers announced that Adobe is no longer investing in iPhone-based Flash development. The move comes after Apple put out a new draft of its iPhone developer program license, which banned private APIs and required apps to be written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine. According to Chambers, Adobe will still provide the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5, but the company is not currently planning any additional investments in that feature." Daring Fireball points out approvingly Apple's rebuttal to the claim that Flash is an open format, however convenient it might be for iPad owners. Related: The new app policy seems to be inconsistently enforced. Reader wilsonthecat writes "Novell have released a new press release in response to Apple's announcement that none-C/C++/Objective-C based iPhone application development breaks their SDK terms. The press release names several apps that have made it past app review process since the new Apple SDK agreement."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Adobe Stops Development For iPhone

Comments Filter:
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:09PM (#31930204)
    They must be banished from the compound and no believer may ever speak with them again.
  • Monotouch's stance (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wilsonthecat ( 1043880 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:16PM (#31930308)
    Found here [] - namely 4 apps have made it through the app review process that signed the 3.1.3 clause.
  • Something deeper (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stenchwarrior ( 1335051 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:16PM (#31930310)
    Is there some deep, personal clash going on here? Did Narayen steal Jobs' girlfriend back in college? I can't help but think that enabling Flash on the iPad would only help both Apple and Adobe. I wonder how much business Apple is losing simply because of this lack of integration? (Nevermind no-multi-tasking or no camera or no wide-screen). Why give people one more reason not to buy i?
  • by AdmiralXyz ( 1378985 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:19PM (#31930362)
    This whole Adobe-Apple thing was conflicting for me for a while: do I cheer Apple on for killing Adobe's standards-busting, lousy-performance (very, very lousy performance) closed-source plugins, or despise them for their policy of locking down their devices (of which Adobe was just one of several innocent bystanders).

    At the end of the day, I've decided to give my grudging approval to what Apple is doing: at least by forcing people into HTML5, they're encouraging the adoption of a fully standards-based internet. And even though people go on and on about Apple banning Flash because it forces people to stay locked into the App Store ecosystem, HTML5 offers many of the same capabilities, and there is not-- yet-- any indication that Apple will restrict Safari in this way. (Of course, if/when they do, then we can start complaining, but not before).
  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:20PM (#31930368) Homepage Journal

    What would it take to get Adobe to quit infecting all platforms with their overhyped junk? Yes, yes, people love Photoshop. Just imagine that app, though, rewritten with a modern GUI toolkit and brand new underpinnings so that it wasn't a steaming pile. Now realize that it'll never happen because Apple fanboys have nothing on Adobe advocates and Adobe has no reason to spend development money making it better instead of adding shiny new features. (BTW, I'm not a Gimp fan, either - it's fully possible to dislike both apps on their own demerits.)

    While I'm not a huge fan of Jobs, I sincerely thank him for driving a stake into Flash's corrupted heart. Would that the rest of Adobe's hoggish wares die with it.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:25PM (#31930462) Homepage

    by forcing people into HTML5,

    This has nothing to do with HTML5. This is about Adobe compiling Flash to objective-C.

  • Exactly.

    People don't care about Flash, and they don't care about an open app store. The iPhone does what they want it to do.

    I don't care that I had to mod my original X-Box so that I could run XBMC, watch DVDs without buying the remote, or backup my games to run off the harddrive. At the time of the purchase, I was aware of the features (and limitations) of what I was buying. I have an iPhone and don't want an Android. I use the web browser to look up things randomly, IMDB movies, listen to Pandora, etc. What am I missing out on? If I need anything else, I have a perfectly capable desktop and laptop.

    I'm not trying to flame, can someone answer: What kind of apps do you use on the Android that aren't available on the iPhone, but are so important that you have to use them immediately, and can't wait until you're back on a desktop/laptop? (But of course if you can answer that question, then buy an Android, ignore the iPhone and move on)

  • by robus ( 852325 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:31PM (#31930586)

    I don't think so. I think Apple (and Steve Jobs) are ruthless about killing what they see as legacy tech. And they're pissed at Adobe for dragging their heels in adopting the new Cocoa APIs for UI development.

    I think Apple (rightly or wrongly) have decided their mission is to drag the tech world kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

  • To quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jvillain ( 546827 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:32PM (#31930598)

    When your enemies are fighting. Don't interrupt them.

  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:33PM (#31930624)

    well to start with Adobe would have to make a special version of flash for the ipad. Since Adobe generally treats anything but the windows version with scorn coming later, and with less features devoting time to keep flash updated on all platforms with reasonable speed requires more developers than adobe is willing to work with.

    if Apple decides to do a processor change under the hood. native apps will port quickly but flash would take a year or so before it becomes ready.

    Given by year end apple will have sold more ipads than all android models together I don't think they are going to lose much. Why Because apple spends as much on the interface to make it usable as they do on the hardware. Android is already fragmenting, with hardware manufactures stopping to allow upgrades at various versions, all of them with different UI's.

    Maybe one day techies will realize that 90% of the population aren't techies, and aren't going to put up with the crap that techies do. Remember people who couldn't program their VCR's can use an iPhone but struggle to use Blackberries.

  • Re:who cares? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:36PM (#31930672)

    I certainly agree - and have argued several times - that Apple has the right to decide what kind of apps they want the iPod and iPad to run.

    Actually according to law they do not have that right. I realize that fanbois like yourself need to feel justified, but you're spreading FUD.

    The only way possible for Apple to acquire and retain such a right would in fact be to not sell you a glorified telephone. No, in fact, it would only be possible to make your assertion if they leased you the iPhone.

    In my scenario, the only rights you'd be entitled to would be provisioned in the license agreement. In your scenario, a mega-corporation is trampling on my rights to do whatever the flying fuck I want to do with something I own. /pedant

  • Re:Hilarity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drewhk ( 1744562 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:39PM (#31930744)

    "All these people use Adobe software all the time as they're photographers videographers or graphic designers."

    It is even more funny, that many of these designers are designing Flash media.

  • Re:Hilarity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by painandgreed ( 692585 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:40PM (#31930760)

    It would be very funny if Adobe, just for spite, decided to stop making it's high end graphic design products compatible with Apple hardware. And figured out a way to make them not work via virtualization on Apple hardware as well.

    It would probably work about as well as MS deciding not to develop IE for the Mac any more or Adobe's earlier decision to skip development of Premiere for the Mac. Apple would just buy some company and put out their own version that would not only work but work the way they wanted it to. Apple learned a long time ago to not compete with their own developers, but after that, they also learned that if the developers aren't their own any more, to just do it them selves. Kill your app for the Mac and if Apple decides that it is needed, they will just provide a replacement themselves. If photoshop ever disappears for the Mac, I bet there will be an Apple photo editing suite out fairly quickly. Photoshop has it good because there is no real competition. Apple already has the basics down and RAW editing in Aperture. it would take some work to add in filters, masks, cutting paths, etc, but I imagine they could probably do it.

  • Re:Hilarity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) < minus distro> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:43PM (#31930816)
    I love how you mentioned Aperture and Final Cut, and forgot the three, three-and-a-half elephants in the room, InDesign, which is far and away pretty much the only page layout game in town, Illustrator, Flash (for many graphic designers are required to work extensively, if not exclusively, with Flash, whatever the average Slashdot geek might fume about)... oh, what was that other one you didn't mention... oh yeah...


    Yeah, if there was no Photoshop for Mac, millions of designers would ditch the foremost image edit suite in the world for what, exactly? Or would they ditch Mac? "Adobe screwed", indeed... *eyeroll*

  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:44PM (#31930834) Journal

    It is really interesting to see Adobe and Apple not getting along. For as long as I can remember the primary users of Apple hardware were "creative professionals". All of those users were using Apple because of Photoshop and the various other Adobe tools. Even when Adobe put their tools out for Windows, 99% of the creative professionals preferred to continue using them on Apple hardware. In much the same way that people claim, "I have a Windows box to play games on.", others would claim, "I have a Mac to do creative work on."

    Now that Apple has had some success outside of their previously small, niche market, they seem to be taking a big crap on one of their largest supporters. It is an interesting example of power dynamics in the real world. Apple apparently doesn't lend much weight to their long term relationship, or what Adobe has done for them in the past. It seems to be all about Apple saying, "What have you done for me lately?"

  • Re:Next step... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by e2d2 ( 115622 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:47PM (#31930908)

    You joke but imagine this press release: "Adobe announced today that it's CS suite will no longer support OSX."

    Never gonna happen but man I'd pay to see the jaws drop. OSX has made great progress as far as the software pool it has. But for a while Adobe was keeping them on life support IMHO.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:48PM (#31930924)

    Of course if Apple weren't so secretive, they could just say they are planning on switching architectures when they make the decision, like a normal company. That way application developers would know what to expect.

  • by rxan ( 1424721 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:54PM (#31931034)

    The only reason Apple is doing this is to keep its store's apps, music, and video selling. If there was Flash, everybody would just play Flash games and stream Flash music and video -- just like they do on PCs.

    But even after all of this grief it will mean nothing. Once web technologies evolve the web will be a foundation for apps, music, and video. Just like with Flash today but under a different name. Apple's store will just be a steaming pile. And for what? A few years of having your customers locked into your content?

    The only result is slowing down innovation of the web. Unless you call moving to an open technology with none of the features 'innovation'. Nice job Apple.

    It wouldn't be a problem if Apple developed an open technology to replace Flash. But they wouldn't do that because it would kill their store.

  • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:56PM (#31931084)

    Where were iPhone users supposed to get their apps before the app store? Would it happen to be the internet via Safari? Yes, yes it was. What can you still find on the internet with Safari? Websites that behave like apps. Does Apple control these web apps? No, no they don't.

    "It's about making sure people can't develop any apps or consume any content that will compete with what you can buy in the App store." So your assertion is a bit off since there does exist some 'apps' and content that compete with the app store and other "Jobs Approved" content that Apple doesn't seem to care much about.

  • by burris ( 122191 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:58PM (#31931134)

    I'm sure it has nothing to do with the online video race, for which Apple has been competing with Microsoft and Real for since the beginning. Adobe kicked all their asses because Flash let you customize the look and functionality of your player with a full programming language. Want a big fat button that goes right back to your web site? No problem.

    Looks like Apple still hasn't learned the lesson.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:13PM (#31931432)

    Apple promote HTML 5 which also lets you have a custom look and feel to your player, whilst using the built in codecs with hardware acceleration. What was that lesson you had in mind?

  • by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:29PM (#31931664)
    Really? REALLY?! You're trying to tell me that flash is innovation on the web?! FLASH!?! Are you high? Your comment is entirely devoid of any reason and sanity. Do you know who developed webkit []? It was Apple, they forked konqueror. Now webkit runs half the browsers out there. Safari, which also runs on webkit, is, in their words []:

    The first browser to support HTML5 audio and video tags, Safari helps developers create media-rich sites that don't require additional plug-ins.

    From where I sit, html5 is the innovation and the future of the web here, flash is holding innovation up because it's being forced to do things it was never designed to do. Apple is pushing the world forward by releasing us fro relying on a plugin that relies on a single manufacturer, i.e., Adobe.

  • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:31PM (#31931708)

    This! (Where are mod points when I need them?)

    Apple has always been very clear about not allowing non-native frameworks on the iPhone OS - they've disallowed all interpreted code since the introduction of the first SDK (no Java, Flash, .Net, and so forth). Adobe tried to pull an end run by precompiling the Flash - and Apple said no. Bitchy and controlling perhaps, but not unexpected in the least. Anyone who pinned their hopes or business on this was a fool.

    What I've wondered throughout all of this is what Adobe's executives were doing all this time. Either:
    1) Having discussions with Apple, and ignoring Apple's response ("no"),
    2) Ignoring Apple entirely because they saw no concern with the plan, or
    3) Ignoring Apple because they knew the answer was "no", but thought they could force Apple into a corner.

    No matter how you slice it, Adobe was foolish to pursue this in the first place - Apple is not going to cede control of this platform, for better or worse. In many way's it's similar to Palm's antics last year syncing the Pre with iTunes by masquerading as an iPod. They had to have known it was an extremely risky idea, and instead of doing things the Approved Way, they played a game of brinkmanship with their user base.

  • by Dr Herbert West ( 1357769 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:35PM (#31931792)
    right... because no one has ever designed a Flash app optimized for touch screen. Guh.
  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .werdnaredne.> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:36PM (#31931804) Homepage Journal

    Everytime someone complains that Flash is terrible on Linux, I have to remind people that Flash is just terrible on every platform.

  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @06:38PM (#31932666) Homepage

    "If you could use one codeset to write an app for the iPhone/Android/WinMo/WebOS then how is the iPhone special?"

    Precisely. It would have the same, boring, least-common-denominator apps as everything else. Further, Apple must now wait for Adobe to integrate changes into Flash to support new features and new hardware, assuming that Adobe ever gets around to doing so at all. And if the iPhone has new capabilities and the rest of the phones on the market do not, do you think Adobe is going to code them in just for Apple? And do so in a timely fashion?

    History has shown otherwise.

    It is, as you say, about competition, and about ensuring that Apple's products have well-designed, tightly-integrated applications, and that it DOESN'T have the same set of cookie-cutter apps running on every other commodity device out there.

  • by weston ( 16146 ) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @06:46PM (#31932758) Homepage

    I understand exactly what happened; I just don't care.

    And in turn, I don't care that you don't care. I do care, however, that you made a post that indicates and propogates misunderstanding about the matter.

      "Adobe is angry that Apple won't start supporting an app that it's never supported on its other portable platforms".

    Perhaps you should stop posting on the topic until you can bring yourself to care enough to make statements that are accurate.

    And I still stand by my assertion that buying a iPhone for the explicit purpose of running Flash apps is a fundamentally bad decision.

    We're not talking about Flash apps. We're talking about iPhone apps.

  • by weston ( 16146 ) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @07:35PM (#31933386) Homepage

    So what happens when Apple needs to change an API and it breaks everyone's $6000 CS5 suite and every app that was compiled with it?

    Apple's changes to its mobile platform are going to break a desktop app?

    Okay, I don't know what you're smoking there, but let's address the idea of concerns about forward direction of the platform and third-party compilers.

    First of all, if we're talking about the APIs, particularly the documented APIs, then Adobe's compiler isn't going to have a problem that every iPhone app is going to have when it's time to move them on. An app built in XCode that relies APIs that go away or change is going to have to be re-built using new APIs as surely as an app built in Flash is.

    If we're talking about changes at the binary level that aren't really about library calls -- opcodes, data alignment and bit/byte order, stuff like that, or even stuff related to how the code executes in the context of the operating system -- then yeah, you have a genuine point. But the thing is, if that's the central concern, then all Apple has to do is require people to build their final binaries with Apple's toolchain. Make it a policy that third-party tools have to use XCode as an intermediate target.

    Of course, as I pointed out, rather than making it a policy, Apple outright bans it as an option. Which would seem to imply this isn't a QC/compatibility issue. It's a control issue.

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:21PM (#31933902) Homepage Journal

    Maybe it's because a lot of us don't especially like either company, but would rather see Apple come out on top of this particular struggle. As anyone as I find Apple's behavior a lot of the time, the idea of a web controlled by Adobe and Flash is a lot scarier (and a lot more plausible) anything I can imagine Apple pulling off.

  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:24PM (#31933952)

    haha :)

    Humour aside, point me to an IDE that supports the design and development of HTML5-based interactive experiences, with a full tool-chain for designers and developers to import and manuipulate a huge range of content, code and debug applications and deploy on a wide range of devices.

    That's right - there aren't any. And, you can't expect the design community at large to build all of this amazing next-generation content and experiences inside a text editor in javascript. Some people can, sure, but not everyone's a programmer.

    Until alternative IDE's exist for these new emerging standards (yes, that's right, they're not even fully agreed standards yet), whether you're on the love it or hate it side of the Flash debate, it's not going anywhere that fast :)

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:30PM (#31934520)

    The ability to play flash games that are on facebook from your iPhone is a huge draw for a lot of folks.

    The problem is, as far as Apple's concerend, it has the potential to draw people to phones that aren't the iPhone.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:51PM (#31934700)

    Really? REALLY?! You're trying to tell me that flash is innovation on the web

    Flash is where most of the content is on the web. Like it or not, you have to deal with that. Apple is not going to force all the existing content into HTML 5 so kindly stop with the incoherent fanboy ranting. Content is far more important then innovation, I can list a dozen innovations that went nowhere because they were too incompatible.

    and clean the froth off your keyboard.

    The GP is 100% right, as soon as flash is available on Android handsets people will use Flash for mobile gaming, watching video's and what not. Google doesnt care about this as they dont want (or care if) their customers are beholden to Itunes. Apple on the other hand wants its customers to be beholden to their revenue stream.

    From where I sit, html5 is the innovation and the future of the web here

    A future without a past is not a future. With flash and HTML5 I have the past, present and future of the web, not a limited subset of it.

  • by lennier ( 44736 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:13PM (#31934828) Homepage

    And that's exactly why I reserve the right to dislike the iPod, iPhone or iPad, on the grounds that I want a _computer_, not a passive propaganda consumption device which disallows the user from programming it.

  • by mc9j9 ( 123601 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:27PM (#31934908)

    What a wonderful world in 2010 where we all love a company that makes proprietary applications running on a proprietary operating system tightly bound to proprietary hardware telling us we can't run any other software that doesn't play by the rules of the master. Makes me miss the days of IBM, at least back then we all knew what was really going on.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe