Adobe Drops Future Support For iPhone Development in Flash

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Apple vs FlashI’m sure by now that you’ve all heard the arguments both for and against the new Terms of Service that accompany iPhone v4.0 SDK, so I won’t get into those arguments here.

However, I will let you know of the announcement today that Adobe have now dropped future support for iPhones as a development target for Flash CS5. While users will still be able to set the iPhone as a target in CS5, Adobe will invest nothing more into the feature. It is also likely that Apple will be removing the 100+ Flash CS5 developed applications from the App Store.

It is interesting — though unsurprising — that Adobe have done this.

It’s unsurprising because applications developed for the iPhone using Flash will have a strong chance of being rejected during the App Store screening process. Few developers would want to invest time and money on such a high-risk project, so there is no real business incentive for Adobe to offer the feature anymore.

It is interesting because it may signal a trend fpr developers to move toward open platforms. Mike Chambers, the Principal Product Manager for developer relations for the Flash Platform at Adobe, stated today on his blog:
“Personally, I am going to shift all of my mobile focus from iPhone to Android based devices (I am particularly interested in the Android based tablets coming out this year) and not focus on the iPhone stuff as much anymore.”

The real juice, though, came when he added:
“This includes both Flash based, and Objective-C based iPhone development. While I actually enjoy working in Objective-C, I don’t have any current plans to update and / or maintain my existing native iPhone applications.”

This move isn’t because of a preference for developing in Flash (which is welcomed on the Android platform), but rather because Chambers is taking a stand against Apple’s “closed, locked down platform”.

Clearly there would be a bit of bias from an employee of the company that was on the receiving end of the hurt stick, but Chambers is not the first major player to leave the iPhone space because of Apple’s draconian rules: in November last year, Joe Hewitt — the man behind the immensely popular Facebook app for iPhone — left the team developing the application because of Apple’s policies.

Is this a taste of things to come? Who else in the future will defect to the open side?

[image courtesy of Before It’s News]

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