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Adobe CEO Calls Jobs' Flash Complaint 'Smokescreen'

Shantanu Narayen sees Apple's restrictions making life difficult for developers who want to create content on multiple platforms.

Thomas Claburn

April 30, 2010

1 Min Read

Responding to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' open letterexplaining his rationale for barring Adobe's Flash technology from the iPhone, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen dismissed Jobs' claim that Flash is deficient.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journalon Thursday, Narayen said that Apple has shown that it does not share Adobe's vision of being able to create content for multiple platforms.

"The technology aspects of this article are really a smokescreen," he said. "We demonstrated that through Adobe tools, you could actually build content and applications. And over 100 applications were accepted on the [iTunes App] store."

The fate of these iPhone apps created with Adobe's tools remains unclear.

Apple could choose to remove them from its iTunes Store following the release of iPhone OS 4.0, which includes contractual language disallowing apps created with Adobe's software. Or it may allow them to be sold and only reject apps that have been revised to work with iPhone OS 4.0 and resubmitted for approval.

As Narayen sees it, Adobe's multiplatform view of the world will prevail.

Adobe now has a lot riding on Flash Player 10.1, which is supposed to address many of the performance issues Jobs finds unsatisfactory.

For example, Flash Player 10.1 supports Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) acceleration for video and graphics and contains improvements designed to minimize battery drain and usage of computing resources.

In a blog post on Thursday, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said his company plans to deliver Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones as a public preview in May, with general release following in June.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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