Adobe Abandons Flash-to-iPhone

apple tweaks license to bar flash iphone apps

Adobe‘s head of developer relations for Flash says Adobe will ship Adobe Flash CS5 with the ability to create applications for the Apple iPhone, but that the company does not plan to invest any time or money in the feature going forward.

“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,” Adobe’s Mike Chambers wrote on his blog. “Developers should be prepared for Apple to remove existing content and applications (100+ on the store today) created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store.”

Adobe’s decision to ship Flash CS5 with a iPhone application capability abandoned in place stems from new iPhone developer licensing terms Apple unveiled when it previewed iPhone OS 4 two weeks ago. The revised terms includes a new section—the now-infamous 3.3.1—that prohibits “applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool.” Although that doesn’t apply only to Adobe Flash—development tools like Unity, Titanium, and MonoTouch would seem to be prohibited under the terms—Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone platform capability definitely falls under that definition. Industry watchers see the restrictive development terms as another move on Apple’s part to retain top-to-bottom control of the iPhone platform—the type of control the company has always valued in its other product lines.

Industry watchers are, however, wondering if Apple is going to give Unity a pass on the licensing restrictions, since so many iPhone games are developed using the technology.

Chambers says that Adobe continues to work to bring Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to Android-based phones and tablet devices.

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