The introduction of multitasking in iPhone OS 4 was great news for app developers and consumers, but Apple left unmentioned one policy tweak that could significantly change the App Store game.
As Wired.com reported Thursday, Apple previewed its next-generation iPhone operating system and released a beta to developers, which included a new developer’s agreement stipulating that iPhone apps must be originally programmed using Apple-approved languages (such as Objective-C).
The official iPhone OS 4 won’t be available until summer, so the exact implications of the policy change have yet to be seen. However, the consensus among several developers and tech observers is that the biggest and most obvious loser is Adobe, who has been touting a new tool called Packager for iPhone, which would enable Flash developers to easily port their apps into iPhone-native. This solution, which is set for an April 12 release as part of Adobe CS5, would partly address the lack of native Flash support for the iPhone and the iPad.
Adobe’s reaction to the news on Thursday wasn’t substantive (”We are aware of the new SDK language and are looking into it”), but Lee Brimelow, Adobe’s Flash evangelist, had some more colorful words today.
“Adobe and Apple has had a long relationship and each has helped the other get where they are today,” Brimelow wrote in his blog. “The fact that Apple would make such a hostile and despicable move like this clearly shows the difference between our two companies. All we want is to provide creative professionals an avenue to deploy their work to as many devices as possible. We are not looking to kill anything or anyone.”
Brimelow ended his post with, “Go screw yourself Apple.”
Meanwhile, Adobe has issued a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that “our business could be harmed” as “new releases of operating systems or other third-party products, platforms or devices, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad, make it more difficult for our products to perform, and our customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies,” as Bloomberg first reported.
The clause from the iPhone developer’s agreement in question is 3.3.1, which reads:
Apple did not return a phone call requesting comment on the new developer agreement.
Update 5:55 p.m. PT: Kevin Lynch, Adobe’s chief technology officer, has posted his level-headed response to the revised iPhone developer agreement:
“It is up to Apple whether they choose to allow or disallow applications as their rules shift over time,” Lynch wrote. “Secondly, multiscreen is growing beyond Apple’s devices. This year we will see a wide range of excellent smartphones, tablets, smartbooks, televisions and more coming to market and we are continuing to work with partners across this whole range to enable your content and applications to be viewed, interacted with and purchased.
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Photo: Brian X. Chen/Wired.com
Source: Gadget Lab