Apple Crumbles on 3rd Party Tools

Sep 09 2010 Published by under Flash, iPhone

This just in, though the Twitterverse probably makes this old news already…

Apple has just announced that it is “relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps”. In other words, it looks like the Flash CS5 iPhone publishing flow is now actually usable. Full announcement here:

The only mentioned restriction is the requirement that the “resulting apps do not download any code”. I’m pretty sure the CS5 flow doesn’t cross that boundary.

Didn’t see that one coming. OK Adobe, now update that bad boy so we can make iPad apps. I see some cool stuff coming.

29 responses so far

  • wonderwhy-er says:

    Hah, I was not expecting this too.

    On CS5 iPad thing I actually read today about 11.0.2 and 11.0.1 updates and in 11.0.1 it was writte:
    This Flash Professional update includes the latest AIR 2.0 support, support for creating full resolution iPad applications, bug fixes, and performance improvements in the Packager for iPhone.

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  • pedro says:

    What’s next? flash player on iDevices next week?

    I don’t understand this move. Why now? What have changed since last week?

  • keith says:

    good to know, wonderwhy-er

    pedro, no idea. one theory I’ve heard is that maybe Apple is going to release some kind of app maker tool as part of iLife or something. Pure conjecture, but believable. Otherwise, it could just be that Apple is feeling the competition from Android and wants to keep people developing for their platform, even if they aren’t using their tools.

  • Skip says:

    More likely someone finally listened to the lawyers and realized that voluntarily caving partially was much, much better than an antitrust lawsuit where they’d lose the ability to set the rules completely. This way they still get to keep the app store lock-in and the rules surrounding it, both of which they were likely to lose once the DOJ finally got around to litigating it.

  • Alex Bogartz says:

    If true, this would be wonderful news, and I’m sure my friends would appreciate the end of my almost daily anti-Apple rants 🙂

    Is there any independent confirmation yet? Who has the latest news on this sort of thing?

    • keith says:

      This is an official Apple announcement. What more confirmation do you need?

      • Alex Bogartz says:

        I meant confirmation of your interpretation 🙂

        • keith says:

          There’s not much to interpret. They are, “relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps”.

          I guess you could debate what “relaxing” means, but it seems pretty clear in context.

          • Alex Bogartz says:

            I should add that my CS5 just updated and I’m able to use the publish to iPhone feature. Not having looked into this too deeply before, is this a change?

          • Matthew Fabb says:

            Also the new SDK agreement removes all previous mentions that code must originate in C, C++ or Objective-C.

            That said, I’m overly cynical and I’m waiting for the first new Flash CS5 app to make approval. Apple could change the SDK wording and then still keep apps made by certain 3rd party tools like Adobe out of the iTunes store.

            It’s my understanding that after Apple changed the SDK the first time, no Flash CS5 based apps were outright rejected, they were just left in approval limbo.

  • Evan Mullins says:

    CRUMBLES, I love that word choice. I’m so glad they’ve finally chosen to BEND to reason. This may mark a new era in apple! I have something good to say about them now… let’s hope they keep coming.

  • Kent says:

    So my questions to everyone who waited out Apple on this and have been actively developing multi touch based applications in the time gap using flash:

    Is this considered a win?
    How many have used CS5 to publish content to one of the other Mobile OSs?

    • Matthew Fabb says:

      Kent, there seems to be quite a number of people developing Android apps using Flash. This opens up a whole other market to them without having to port their app to Objective-C.

      So I imagine these will be the developer who will first test the new iOS SDK rules. Unless someone from Adobe tries to quickly any old app to see exactly where they stand on things.

    • keith says:

      For me, it’s not so much a win in the sense that I will actually use CS5 to make iPhone apps, but the fact that Apple is stepping back from its Draconian control-freak policies, even just a little bit, is a good thing.

  • Freddy says:

    The big question is:

    Will Adobe resume their work on iphone packager?(they even stop all work for real?)

    By that I mean, will Adobe offer up to date iOS API calls, etc.?

    As I already said in other blog, even if Apple allowed us Flash developers to join since the beginning, a week or two after FlashCS5 shipped we where already bound to an out of date iphone OS targeting. Target was 3.1 iirc? we are now at 4.1!

    Meanwhile, I’m cooking a couple of ipad apps with cocos2D thanks to keith’s tutorials push.

    Hopefully Adobe will rethink this too so we can take advantage of all our experience from years in flash development 🙂

    • Kent says:

      We should be already taking advantage of all of our experience from years of flash development. That experience is only 10% actionscript and tweening. The other 90% is quite useful in iPhone development.

      In my experience the creation of any non trivial iPhone experiment utilizes the same skills, math and ingenuity that creating any non trivial Flash experiment did/does.

  • Keith Peters says:

    From what I hear, people at Adobe are cautiously optimistic, as I would expect. It sounds great, but I think they will probably not drop everything to dive back into updating the packager. But I’m sure it will happen.

    And yes, one of the problems of going through a translation layer like this is that it’s always going to be behind the current real tool. Apple makes some changes, Adobe will have to learn those changes, change the packager to deal with them, and thoroughly test them before finally releasing them. This will take weeks minimally. Theoretically, Apple could even use this as a way to continue to trip up Adobe. “Yes, it’s fine that you compiled using a third party tool, but unfortunately your app does not conform to new policy X, which was changed last month.” Adobe rushes out a change to implement policy X, but by then policy Y is in play.

    Anyway, that’s a somewhat pessimistic viewpoint. Only time will tell.

    • Bo Nielsen says:

      My thoughts exactly. Like

      Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.


    • Jacob says:

      Adobe has said they will resume work on the publisher.

      “The feature is available for developers to use today in Flash Professional CS5, and we will now resume development work on this feature for future releases.”

      I’m with you that I’m happy more in regards to the stance change than the freedom of development I get; it is somewhat an admittance that it was an unreasonable choice and it’s nice that I do have my own choice now.

    • Orion says:

      While this is a pleasant surprise and likely a positive development for mobile developers and consumers, I’m cautiously optimistic as well…

      Looking forward to making iPhone apps, but I’m still planning to invest more time and energy in the Android platform going forward.

      Even though they’ve had to bend somewhat here, Apple is still the same control freak company they’ve always been. Who know when they might pull the carpet out from under us again… Once bit, twice shy.

      Now, if they were to release their restriction on the Flash pluggin for Safari on mobile devices… that would really make me happy.

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  • viaria says:

    i dont want flash to be on phones yet.

  • Joel Fiser says:

    This is not a win for Adobe or for Flashers. This is a win for Apple.

    Now Apple gets to ~use~ the incredible talents of the Flashers of the World to create killer apps for iDevices – which are Jobs’ front line in his mission to kill Flash.

    Make an app for the iPhone or iPad and put another Flasher out of work.

  • JLM says:

    There is still no flashplayer on iPhone, seems too little too late, flashplayer seems to run just fine on android.

    I don’t see why the dev community should be so quick to forgive apple on this one, when
    there are so many other manufactures of phones to target, only yesterday someone got their first haxe game into palm phone store.

    It amazes me why so many flash designers and developers have an iPhone when they can’t even show a friend an experiment. I am still on a mac but this has made me think long and hard, I think Apple need to do a lot more, and stop bashing flash.

    The number of non technical people who now believe html5 can do what flash can is scary. It is just not right for Apple to undermine many of it’s core users who work with flash every day just to further there itune store. I am sure we will all switch to html5 when it really is ready and no doubt flashIDE will target it, but till then we have to deal with iphone clients who bought into the apple lie that flash is all bad.

    Flash developers/designers should not touch iphone dev till apple allow flash plugin, well atleast not outside the day job.