Apple blocks Adobe Flash CS5 iPhone Exporter

No Flash for Apple iPhone Fresh off the heels of the release of Flash Builder 4, Apple has announced it will be blocking any attempts by Adobe to create iPhone applications via a Flash CS5 iPhone compiler. Apple made this change following its iPhone 4 preview media event.

The new language in the iPhone SDK:

Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

In other words, one the shiniest, most powerful, most interesting new features of Flash CS5, namely the Packager for iPhone is dead exactly 4 days before the release of Adobe CS5. Adobe has acknowledged the issue.

Despite my previous article critical of Flash Builder 4, I am quite disappointed by this news. Since Flash has been banned from Apple portable devices since their inception, this could have been an excellent way to bring tens of thousands of applications to these devices without any of the risks Steve Jobs (pictured here) has publically chastised Flash for. It seems a like win-win compromise for everyone; Adobe gets Flash applications on the iPhone, and iPhone keeps free of any Adobe-made plug-ins since technically Apple is providing the run-time environment.

I would like to say the two companies will work it out, but the timing of the SDK change seems pointedly directed at Adobe. I guess it is safe to say Apple still holds a grudge.

Update Over the last few days there’s been numerous public fighting between the two companies. Now, sources close to the issue claim Adobe will file a suit against Apple. While I disagree with what Apple is doing, I agree with their ability to block Flash from their devices.

What a lot of Adobe fanatics tend to forget is that Flash is a proprietary platform, not an open web standard. It would be like a developer creating a specialized web plug-in and then demanding it be supported on a cell phone without the ability to modify/change the plug-in. In short, I’d only be on Adobe’s side if they made Flash an open standard that anyone can develop on. It’s ironic that Adobe is claiming foul on Apple’s proprietary platform when they make the only Flash/Flex compilers in the world (the only one anyone uses, to be precise).

15 thoughts on “Apple blocks Adobe Flash CS5 iPhone Exporter

  1. Excellent news. The purity of the iPhone WILL NOT be contaminated by a buggy piece of obsolete bloatware.

    FLASH IS DEAD – JOIN THE HTML5 REVOLUTION!

  2. I would say it is pretty clear Apple is on a mission to kill Flash and make HTML5 the standard going forward. Every move they have made since they released the iPhone has indicated this.

  3. Apple seems like Microsoft now 10 years ago. It blocks other innovations like java and flash only for profit. That has nothing to do with how web works. After some years nobody will care about Apple. Industry and consumers will hate big brother’s methodology. Android platform rules.

  4. Yeah yeah keep blaming Microsoft but as a fact – Apple is a monstrous monopoly that executes every possible fascistic measure to block any competition and remove any choice its customers could ever have except buying Apple stuff with an unjustified bloated price (power adapter? 200$, earphone adapter? 100$…).

    So keep on crying about evrybody while buying a piece of white junky hardware when you can buy something much cheaper, more sophisticated and more flexible (with a replaceable battery oh yeah!) – from other vendors which don’t handicapp you!

  5. Well time to move on… instead of another Iphone to my wife and a new Macbook at work it will now be 2 new HTC desire and an I7 core windows 7 … bad business apple!!

  6. cannot understand why apple did this, because they could still have made money becouse the way adobe did it was very clean, and the apps that u would have build with flash apple would still make profit from appstore šŸ™‚ and it is not fair the adobe people becouse most of them use apple equipment for design and video … shame on apple

  7. I agree with Mark, many Flash designers and developers have at least a set of Apple computer with them for Flash-based works. Apple and Adobe used to go hand in hand together, but it’s all come down to profit, not what is best to users and developers.

  8. Pingback: Adobe Axes Flash CS5 iPhone Exporter | Down Home Country Coding With Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky

  9. I agree with Mark, many Flash designers and developers have at least a set of Apple computer with them for Flash-based works. Apple and Adobe used to go hand in hand together, but it’s all come down to profit, not what is best to users and developers.

  10. Apple seems like Microsoft now 10 years ago. It blocks other innovations like java and flash only for profit. That has nothing to do with how web works. After some years nobody will care about Apple. Industry and consumers will hate big brother’s methodology. Android platform rules.

  11. I would say it is pretty clear Apple is on a mission to kill Flash and make HTML5 the standard going forward. Every move they have made since they released the iPhone has indicated this.

  12. I would say it is pretty clear Apple is on a mission to kill Flash and make HTML5 the standard going forward. Every move they have made since they released the iPhone has indicated this.

  13. To me the point is about taking the time and putting effort into blocking or restricting existing technologies. Apple is putting effort and money into blocking successful technologies. There would not be an HTML 5 without Flash. Flash made the internet better. The type of functionality introduced by Director and Flash made it possible for us to dream up how AJAX and JQuery would work.

    Essentially we are letting Apple become the God of technology… letting them decide what stays and prospers and what does not. That is not open source, nor is it freedom of choice. We give one person and one company an awful lot of power over the direction of our Evolution. To me that is scary.

    I don’t point the finger at Adobe for what they have done. They have made a successful technology that people love to use. They are putting their energy and effort into creating and not controlling… this is true open source.

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