Adobe Gives Up

Article Posted on April 21st, 2010 by

According to ComputerWorld, Apple has made even further moves to prevent Flash from appearing on the iPhone or iPad:

Apple changed the language of its newest iPhone software developers kit (SDK) license to ban developers from using cross-platform compilers, tools that let them write in one framework, say JavaScript or .Net, and then recompile it in native code for another platform, like the iPhone.


As to Apple’s motives, there’s one possibility I neglected to mention in my post No Flash on the iPhone: Steve Jobs has a long memory. Macintosh computers had made their name with desktop publishing, it was their killer app. In the 90s, during and after the release of Windows 95, Adobe started releasing its software on Windows first, then the Mac. I can only surmise that the length of time between platform releases started growing, killing what little market share Apple had. Around this time is when Jobs was fired from Apple. John Gruber from Daring Fireball said:

The change is designed to quash developer allegiance to Adobe, said Ray Valdes, an analyst with Gartner. “It’s primarily directed at Adobe,” he said. “The two have an oppositional relationship that goes back at least 15 years.”

Mike Chambers, the principal product manager for developer relations for Flash said he fully expects Apple to block Flash from the app store and to even remove the 100 or so apps that have already been created with the CS5 App Store Exporter beta. Adobe has made a surprising announcement in light of this… they are giving up.

Chambers suggested developers put their resources on Google’s Android operating system, whether phones like Motorola’s Droid or likely Android-based tablets slated to ship later this year. “The iPhone isn’t the only game in town,” said Chambers, who called Adobe’s efforts to bring Flash Player to Android “very promising.”

Looks like Bob was right, and Flash will never appear on the iPhone. I’m surprised as this is a pretty bold move that forces developers to take sides and potentially give up the technology to which they’ve devoted their careers. And an awful lot of them have Apple products. When I attended Adobe Max in 2008, I’m not sure I saw anyone carrying anything but a Mac Book Pro. More relevant however, is that in spite the fact that Flash is a proprietary technology, it’s on a lot of websites; and not supporting it is breaking the web.

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4 Responses to “Adobe Gives Up”

  1. [...] Go here to read the rest: Adobe Gives Up « Club AJAX – Dallas Ft. Worth Area AJAX Users … [...]

  2. Bob Byron says:

    With HTML5 and CSS3 in play, I just don’t see the Flash platform growing. Frankly, from here on out, I believe the Flash platform will decline in market share. Flash is a great product, no doubt. But the albatross hanging around Flash’s neck are its ownership by a single corporation and that it no longer has a monopoly on the video player. Of course it never did have a forced monopoly there, but it did become the standard. However, with HTML5 offering video support and with its fundamental core being element tags with JavaScript interaction, I’m betting it becomes the video method of choice by enterprise (or at least me).

    Yeah, I think Adobe has its work cut out for it.

  3. Brett says:

    Flash does a whole lot more than just video playback. There will be a Flash player for Ipad/Iphone very soon but you will require a jailbroken device to run it.

  4. The next project we should all be working on is a Flash/ActionScript to HTML5 converter. Load in your Flash code and get HTML5 compatible output, replicating the same functionality, etc. Of course this is *waaaayyy* easier said than done, but just think… :-)