Adobe to Drop iPhone Support, Target Android

And the saga continues. If you read my post Adobe vs. Apple or Flash vs. HTML5 from a few days ago, you already know that Apple and Adobe appear locked in a battle over Flash and the iPhone OS. It’s clear Apple wasn’t planning on backing down and it’s certainly not in Adobe’s best interests to continue the fight.

It should come as no surprise that Adobe is walking away. Mike Chambers, the Principal Product Manager for developer relations for the Flash Platform at Adobe (that’s how he lists it on his blog), has said as much in his blog post, On Adobe, Flash CS5 and iPhone Applications.

He starts out with the clause from Apple that started this all, noting that developers can expect to see their Flash-developed applications slowly get booted from the iTunes store. However, Adobe has already built the export features into Flash CS5 that allows developers to target iPhones and iPads and plans to ship the software with those features still intact, even if Apple still blocks acceptance of applications built with that technology.

Instead, he claims that Adobe and Google have been working together to target Android phones and Android-based tablets with Flash 10.1. In short, all the work you have already done as a Flash developer to target the iPhone OS can simply be brought over to the Android OS. He provides links to some developers who are already making the switch, targeting Android now instead of iPhone.

There are some links in the blog post which I am including here. Since Apple has been silent on this entire dust-upand the general trend has been that Apple’s licensing enforcement (both for app content and programming language) is arbitrary, I can’t really offer counter-links or even counter-arguments. It also justifies my cheating and just parroting links from the original blog post.



Apple has finally responded, if you can really call this quote a response:

"Someone has it backwards–it is HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and H.264 (all supported by the iPhone and iPad) that are open and standard, while Adobe's Flash is closed and proprietary," said spokeswoman Trudy Miller in a statement.

Look's like it's a smackdown!


I consider Apple's argument bunk. HTML5 is not a final spec yet. The canvas element, which is supposed to replace Flash, isn't even fully fleshed out. Even though some browsers claim to support it, it's impossible when the spec isn't even finished yet. Apple is sticking to a party line which is based on a falsehood. Once HTML5 is complete, then the argument is valid. Until then, Flash is a de facto standard for interactive content on the web.

Why doesn't apple raise a stink about GIF or refuse to display images in that format? Unisys held the patent through 2006, and continued development on the format well past that, meaning they may still have the ability to exercise their claim. Yet Apple doesn't refuse all image formats except the PNG.

I just expected more from a company like Apple, who has cried foul in the past when its products have seen their market curtailed by third parties, or has filed its own frivolous lawsuits (for the GUI, which they stole from Xerox PARC). Compare with its recent lawsuits against Nokia, HTC, Verizon, etc.


I agree with most of what you have said, but keep in mind one thing: even if HTML5 is not a spec yet, it doesn't mean it's not a valid dev "platform".

The history of web development is fully of examples where browser vendors supported specs that were not yet final. Sites that follow the current form of HTML5 have been and will continue to be built—of course, they will only work in certain browsers!


You are correct, it is a valid development platform, but I don't consider it a valid customer-facing platform. Not yet.

Much as I loathe Flash, its 99% install base is far greater than the Safari-only proto-HTML5 support.

I am really curious to see how this looks a year from now.


Bency, your comment smells of comment spam. If you think that "the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers and ultimately consumers" is true, why do you link to a web site to find iPhone and iPad app developers?

I'll give you a couple hours to respond, and then I'll remove your comment. Frankly, I'd rather find a way to leave your comment and mark it as link spam to push it down in the rankings, but sadly, I cannot do that.

Leave a Comment or Response

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>