Apple says it is formally abandoning attempts to bring Flash to the iPhone, and Adobe, on its side, says open platforms such as Flash will eventually win out over Apple’s closed platform.
The change in policy is said to be the result of a new clause in Apple’s iPhone app license which Adobe believes to mean that Apple could reject or remove any apps created with Flash.
That’s led Adobe to give up on a tool which allows app developers who use Flash to easily set up their apps to run on the iPhone platform. According to Mike Chambers, the “platform product manager” for Flash, Adobe’s work on the tool has not been in vain. He said it proved “there is no technical reason that Flash can’t run on the iPhone” and that “developers can create well performing and compelling content for the device”.
The tool will remain available, but Adobe isn’t planning “additional investments in that feature”, a statement that appears to relate to time and effort as much as money.
Chambers also argues that the work Adobe carried out on the tool has taught them lessons and technical approaches which can easily be applied to other devices and systems. He is also quite clear about his attitude to Apple’s policy:
The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross browser, platform and device development. The cool web game that you build can easily be targeted and deployed to multiple platforms and devices. However, this is the exact opposite of what Apple wants.
According to Chambers, he’ll now put more effort into how Flash can be used on Android devices. He also gives several examples of app developers who’ve begun work on Flash-based iPhone apps and have now switched their focus to Android.
And Chambers also questions whether Apple’s strategy will pay off: “I believe that ultimately open platforms will win out over the type of closed, locked down platform that Apple is trying to create.”