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Adobe: No More iPhone For Us

Adobe appears to be throwing in the towel when it comes to developer tools for the iPhone. It will no longer invest in Adobe Flash CS5 for iPhone, and instead will focus all its mobile efforts on the Android platform.
Adobe appears to be throwing in the towel when it comes to developer tools for the iPhone. It will no longer invest in Adobe Flash CS5 for iPhone, and instead will focus all its mobile efforts on the Android platform.Adobe has had enough of Apple and its unwillingness to cooperate when it comes to Flash for the iPhone. Now that Apple has altered the language of its iPhone developer program license to restrict which tools and APIs can be used to develop for the iPhone, Flash is officially out of the picture.

The key clause in the iPhone developer program license (section 3.3.1) says, "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." In other words, tools such as Adobe's Flash CS5 can no longer be used to write apps for the iPhone.

Adobe's Mike Chambers provided some thoughts on the matter in a recent blog post. Chambers believes that Apple will only enforce this rule selectively, but he has a feeling Apple will target Adobe Flash CS5 and the apps developed with it.

Chambers noted, "We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5. However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature. To be clear, during the entire development cycle of Flash CS5, the feature complied with Apple's licensing terms. 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."

So Chambers and the Adobe mobile group are giving up on development for the iPhone. They are going to target Android, instead, which Chambers says represents the future of mobile platforms.

He wrote, "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."

To that end, Flash Player 10.1 and Air 2.0 for the Android platform are already in pre-release testing. Interested users can sign up for the beta testing program through Adobe's website. I've seen Flash Player 10.1 demonstrated on Android, and I have to say that it looks really good. Adobe does, too.