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Apple's Developer Tools Turnaround 'Great News' For Adobe 234

cgriffin21 writes "Apple is being praised for loosening of some of the restrictions in its Application Developer Program license agreement that open the door for app developers to work in Flash for the Apple iPhone, iPad and other devices. And no one is happier about the change than Flash-maker Adobe itself. They wrote, 'This is great news for developers and we're hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store. We do want to point out that Apple's restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.'" Apple also received praise from Google over their reversal, which may have been prompted by an FTC probe. Reader Stoubalou adds that Apple shed more light on the app review process by publishing a list of guidelines (PDF) the violation of which may get an app rejected from the App Store.
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Apple's Developer Tools Turnaround 'Great News' For Adobe

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  • Praise? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:19PM (#33534940) Homepage Journal

    Isn't that like praising a fundamentalist preacher for stopping his book burning?

  • Eerie (Score:2, Insightful)

    by danmart1 ( 1839394 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:26PM (#33535040)
    This is eerily similar to Microsoft being praised for Windows 7 after pushing Vista. Sure the situation is completely different, but praising a company for finally listening to consumers is the wrong way to go about it.
  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:33PM (#33535146)
    After reading the pdf "App Store Review Guidelines" I'm of two minds.

    First, damn that's a long list of rejection reasons.

    Second, the subset of that list that is neither reasonable nor obvious is very short. There are only a couple that I would say are stupid, and they revolve around censorship (i.e. adult themes).

    In the end, would I try to write an app that violated any of those rules? Probably not. One could argue that I might want to... and that's true. But if I want to do that, there's an Android market just over thataway. It's a walled garden, but there's a door right there.
  • Coincidental? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:35PM (#33535174)

    I just recently got full and official Flash support on my Motorola Droid with Android 2.2. It seems oddly coincidental to me that as soon as Android has solid Flash support, Apple decides it's time to open the floodgates and be best buddies with Adobe.

    What the fuck? Sure, it's natural that Apple would do that because they want to stay competitive with the Android segment of the market, but Apple was supposed to be the leader and "innovator", not the follower.

  • by Sabalon ( 1684 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:36PM (#33535180)

    I guess you still have to pay $99/yr for appstore developer ability, or $299/yr for corporate development.

    But what about people that just want to do the coding for themselves or fun? I don't want to distribute my app. Why can't I register one device that I can load my code onto for free without paying either of these?

    I have a Mac, iPhone and XCode. Why can't I compile my code and move it onto my device without paying (or jailbreaking).

    Seems that would be a nice way to get some more developers in.

  • Publicity 101 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Brannoncyll ( 894648 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:37PM (#33535194)
    Publicity 101 for leveraging a strong market position:

    1) Impose unnecessary and draconian restrictions
    2) Lots of anger in community; blog postings / news articles result (read: publicity)
    3) Remove unnecessary and draconian restrictions
    4) Lots of praise in community; blog postings / news articles result (read: more publicity)
    5) ....
    6) Profits!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:37PM (#33535202)

    We've always hated Flash, but we also always valued the Freedom to Suck. Remember, you can't ever do anything cool without sucking in someone's eyes.

  • ick (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jecowa ( 1152159 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:47PM (#33535316)
    I don't want flash-based apps on my iOS device. They are slower and use more batteries than non-flash-based equivalent apps.
  • Re:bad news... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jecowa ( 1152159 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:49PM (#33535350)
    running Flash is processor intensive
  • Re:Praise? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by imthesponge ( 621107 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:02PM (#33535504)

    Of course that's not true about the book burning.

  • by TrancePhreak ( 576593 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:04PM (#33535528)
    Apple doesn't allow that because then you could distribute your code to everyone and get around the app store.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:09PM (#33535592) Homepage

    It will only last until people stop thinking that lack of Flash support is an effective talking point for criticizing Apple. Then everyone will go back to hating Flash.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:22PM (#33535744)

    Does anyone remember when "big blue" was the bad locked down company? And then, later, it was Microsoft (their former competitor)? And now it seems to be apple who has these crazy rules in place?

    Maybe in the world of tech companies, there always has to be one to pull this kind of shit.

    Yes, this. I've been in the tech business for 25 years (man, writing that makes me feel old), and to me MS was the good revolution against the Big (bad) Blue (and the Unix system vendors of old). They had more lock-in, way higher prices, and didn't get the new user and personal computer driven model.

    Then MS became the big bad market leader, and a whole generation growing up resenting their locking and practices. And there comes Apple (and Google), doing to MS what MS did to IBM. And now that position is beginning to make Apple and Google the new arrogant bad guys. Quite fascinating cycles. Especially because it seems the 'former bad guys', like IBM and (yes) MS, seemed to have learned and matured from going through this, and becoming more open in their dealings, more humble actually (yes, in industry dealings with MS many are saying these things today, rather surprised. In stark contrast to how they describe trying to deal with Google and Apple.)

  • Pragmatism. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:27PM (#33535804)

    It's possible to both hate Flash and realize that a lot of things you want still require it.

    (And, possibly, that there isn't a better alternative technology in some cases. I said some cases, HTML5-is-the-answer-to-all-things-video partisans.)

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:31PM (#33535882)

    Choice is good, not bad.

    If I needed Flash I wouldn't have bought an iPhone. Choice made.

  • Re:Coincidental? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:33PM (#33535928) Homepage Journal

    I'm pretty sure this is coincidental. I'm fairly sure that Apple still wants Adobe to, well, fuck off, but that they hit too many apps as collateral damage with their policies that were designed to prevent Flash-based apps from being ported to the iPhone.

    So they've relaxed the rules a bit, which happens to allow auto-ported Flash apps. But Flash still isn't supported in Mobile Safari and there's no sign that this will change.

    Plus, this means that they've reopened the door for auto-ported apps from Android, so maybe this is a shot at Android, but not in the way you think.

    Bottom line is that the flood gates are still firmly closed, they've just opened a sluice gate which allows some Flash to trickle through.

  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:37PM (#33535974)

    Apple is not open source, will not become open source so I'd get used to it.

    Windows is not open source either, but I can still write programs for it for free.

  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:37PM (#33535982) Homepage

    Flash is a hammer that frequently gets used to nail in screws. But sometimes you actually need a hammer.

  • Re:Coincidental? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kilrah_il ( 1692978 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:41PM (#33536042)

    I just recently got my ingrown toenail taken care of. It seems oddly coincidental to me that as soon as my ingrown nail is fixed, Apple decides it's time to open the floodgates and be best buddies with me. I guess they know that now that I don't have to worry about my aching toe, I am ready to hound them to death if they don't open up the floodgates. Ha ha! Cowards...

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:44PM (#33536088) Homepage
    I believe, as research has shown [], that too much choice can actually be a bad thing. In terms of things like software platforms, too much choice can not only be bad, but destructive to progress (i.e., think of competing packaging tools on various linux distros or maybe virus protection software on windows). The lack of a single or small set of clear choices prevents network effects from taking place, and introduces disarray that can be exploited by the malicious or incompetent.

    There are extremes, and a happy medium... I prefer being happy.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:46PM (#33536136) Journal

    Please do not conflate the question of Flash sucking hard, and the question of freedom of choice. One can hate Flash with a passion, but still believe that one should have the choice to enjoy that suckiness in full.

  • by Late Adopter ( 1492849 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @01:53PM (#33536220)
    Because then Apple can't keep malware off the iPhone. A $99 payment is a pretty good barrier to stop people from following instructions on the internet to get a Bonzai Buddy app, etc, to work. Unfortunately that stops the good code with the bad, but $99 is cheap enough for most developers but the most part-time hobbyists, like yourself.
  • by vijayiyer ( 728590 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @02:00PM (#33536342)

    Seriously, $99 isn't much money. Even if you value your time at minimum wage, the amount of money it will take you to actually write software that does something for you will rapidly exceed $99. And, as you said yourself, they're giving you XCode for free without strings attached.
    In any profession, tools that generate revenue cost money. In the world of software, it happens to be incredibly cheap. If you were a mechanic, a single ratchet would cost $99.

  • Re:ick (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @02:08PM (#33536492)

    I don't want flash-based apps on my iOS device. They are slower and use more batteries than non-flash-based equivalent apps.

    How would you know?? Did you actually load flash-based apps on your iDevice?? And what about Unity-based games? Unity has a plugin that generates Objective C code (just like the new Flash builder tool used to do before it got banned). Can you even tell the difference when a 3D/2D game was made with the Unity game engine, or when it was not?

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @02:36PM (#33536954)

    Apple must feel secure enough in it's ecosystem or have felt enough pressure from regulators to make the change

    Why are those the only two options? Couldn't the threat from competitors have been an issue? Android is gaining ground rapidly, and the greater freedom developers face on that platform combined with its rapidly expanding reach makes developing apps for Android more and more attractive a choice of where to put resources compared to iOS development.

  • by The End Of Days ( 1243248 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:05PM (#33537334)

    I still don't get why you need to have every possible choice available to you. You already have a choice here - don't buy iOS devices. Apparently nerds need to bitch until their every unrealistic whim is satisfied?

  • Re:Eerie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueStraggler ( 765543 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:19PM (#33537542)

    What's eerie is that Apple does this with every single thing they have ever launched since time immemorial, and slashgeeks still love to think that Apple is evil, prone to making huge gaffes, and then quietly making good once they realize their colossal blunder. The "no wireless, less space than a nomad, lame" mindset is so effing retarded it's now an Internet meme, and we *still* don't get that the joke is on us. Not Taco. Us.

    This is what Apple does: (1) strip every half-baked feature/freedom out of a new product until it is boiled down to its most basic essence. (2) Release it. (3) Start adding the features/freedoms back in one at a time once they are fully baked. (4) Profit! (Notice the lack of a ...? step.) They do this. Every. Single. Time. iPod storage. iTunes on Windows. Virtually everything in OS X. Webkit. Macbooks and minis. iTunes DRM. iPhone cut and paste. iPhone devkits. iOS multitasking. Every single time the geekosphere gnashes its teeth and bemoans that Apple is pushing bullshit that is missing X, Y, and Z. And then Apple does X, Y, and Z, and the geekosphere congratulates itself for doing Apple's product development for them.

    If we believed our own propaganda (and it is apparent that many of us do), Apple is the world's most incompetent company that barely survives thanks to nerd rage steering them back on track on a more or less continuous basis. But Occam's Razor suggests that a more likely explanation is merely that Apple polishes the consumer experience first, and the nerd experience second. I guess that angers us.

  • by WNight ( 23683 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @04:07PM (#33538248) Homepage

    Nope. I've always hated Flash, both because of its instability and its co-opting of standards.

    But I still didn't want Apple to just ban it outright. I want to market to out-compete it. If Flash drains the battery, add battery-consumption tests to app approval and don't let in anything that does, Flash or not.

  • Re:Praise? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @05:04PM (#33538930)

    Both involve an element of ridiculous, almost comical hypocrisy.

    In one case where the some people who view burning a book as an outrage view anti-semitism and restricting churches from being built is socially acceptable, and in the other case where Cocoa developers are forced for 10 years to learn .NET, Java, PHP to make a living in the enterprise and then enterprise .NET/Java/PHP developers scream bloody murder when they're forced to learn Objective-C to write iPhone apps.

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.