Adobe gives up on Flash for Apple devices

Adobe won't be investing any more time or money in the development of Flash for the iPhone, the company has announced.

Writing in his personal blog, Adobe's Mike Chambers takes a bitter swipe at Apple's policy of excluding a number of developer tools, including Flash CS5, Unity, Titanium and MonoTouch. But mostly Flash.

A new recently-added in the iPhone developer licence insists that coders can't use private APIs to creat content for Apple's trio of iDevices: "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)," it says.

Chambers writes: "It is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to content created with Flash CS5. Developers should be prepared for Apple to remove existing content and applications created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store."

It's anyone's guess how much time, money and effort Adobe has wasted adding iDevice development tools to the CS5 package only to have Steve Jobs pull the ability to use them outn from under the feet of App developers.

But Chambers is pragmatic on the surface, insisting that the iPhone "isn't the only game in town."

"[Adobe has] implemented features (such as hardware acceleration and Ahead of Time compilation) that we will now be able to leverage for other devices and platforms. We have gained knowledge and experience that are being directly applied to Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 for other mobile operating systems.

"Android based phones have been doing well behind the success of the Motorola Droid and Nexus One, and there are a number of Android based tablets slated to be released this year. We are working closely with Google to bring both Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to these devices, and thus far, the results have been very promising."

In a long running and frequently fractious spat between Adobe and Apple, the Cupertino company's messianic leader Steve Jobs has described Flash as buggy and outdated, preferring to lay all of his eggs in the HTML5 basket when it comes to video delivery.

Now Chambers has joined the argument, stating, "I think that the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers and ultimately consumers, and that is not something that I want to actively promote.

"Personally, I am going to shift all of my mobile focus from iPhone to Android based devices."