Adobe abandons iPhone-based Flash development

Ronny Kerr · April 21, 2010 · Short URL:

Flash apps work fine on the iPhone, but if Apple won't accept it, Adobe won't invest in it

iPhone FlashLess than two weeks after Apple released details on the new iPhone OS, Adobe has announced that it will no longer invest in Flash development for the iPhone, according to the blog of Adobe principal product manager Mike Chambers.

When opening up about the updates coming with iPhone OS 4.0 (including multitasking and folders), Apple also said that it had decided to change the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement to read that only Objective-C, C, C++, and Javascript can be used to write applications for the company's beloved smartphone. Developers that may have considered using Flash to design apps for the iPhone don't have that option anymore.

Perhaps predictably then, Adobe will still provide a feature in Flash CS5 that allows users to target the iPhone and iPad, but has no plans to inject the feature with further investments.

Despite the fact that "there is no technical reason that Flash can’t run on the iPhone," Chambers says developers should expect to see over a hundred Flash CS5-based apps currently in the iTunes Store vanish sometime in the near future.

"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," wrote Chambers. "I think that the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers and ultimately consumers, and that is not something that I want to actively promote."

Chambers' statement echoes harsher words posted by Lee Brimelow on his blog shortly after Apple released details on iPhone OS 4.0:

"What [Apple is] saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe."

Though one can't be sure how Adobe's absence from the iPhone platform will affect Apple, it's worth noting that Chambers is vehemently excited about coding for Android-based devices.

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