Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adobe-Apple war gets ratcheted up a few notches

Adobe's Mike Chambers, writing on his personal blog, has spilled the beans: Adobe can not get Apple to approve its cross-platform compiler, Packager for iPhone,  and is therefore giving up on the iPhone OS platform. Chambers is the Principal Product Manager for developer relations for the Flash Platform at Adobe.

"We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5," Chambers writes. "However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature." In other words, Apple will get its way and Adobe will find another sandbox to play in.
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The war of words on the Internet between Apple and Adobe proponents has been entertaining for outsiders, but deadly serious for developers with a vested interest in app development. The arguments have been often nonsensical, with many developers in the Adobe camp accusing Apple of monopolistic behavior, while at the same time contradicting their statements by predicting that Apple will lose because of its small market share. On the other hand, Apple proponents have said the company should simply give Adobe the hand while failing to realize the gigantic opportunity it opens up for competitors to differentiate itself by supporting Flash in its mobile products.

Advice for publishers: keep your head down and stay out of the way. Publishers with plans for iPhone and Android platform projects will need to be careful when interviewing both internal developers and third party developers. Rather than simply taking "I can get your publication on all platforms" at face value, one will need to follow-up by asking "how will you do this?" In other words, will you be creating an app that the gatekeepers let it, or will I only find out later that there are approval issues?