∞ Adobe abandons iPhone app building technology in CS5

Adobe caused quite a stir when it first introduced its iPhone app building technology in Flash CS5, but it seems the company will abandon it before anyone really gets a chance to utilize it. “We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5,” said Adobe’s Mike Chambers. “However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.”

Adobe made the decision because of a recent change to Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, better known as section 3.3.1. That section reads:

Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. 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, developers that want to make apps for the iPhone are forbidden from using tools like Flash. Adobe apparently feels that Apple will hold developers to that section of the agreement.

“While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the terms, it is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to content created with Flash CS5,” said Chambers. “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.”

While some believe that this is a political move on Apple’s part, it does have strategic benefits too. It wouldn’t be wise for Apple to allow another company to create a development layer on top of the iPhone platform.

If developers are all using the same tools to create apps, Apple can be sure that the user experience and any future updates to the operating system perform as expected for end users.