Apr 30, 2010

Apple versus Adobe

Apple’s battle with software giant Adobe -- over Apple not allowing iPhone's to use Adobe Flash -- has potentially billions of dollars worth of implications on the entire mobile computing market. So what's the fight about?

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster


Apple’s embarrassing loss of a next-model iPhone prototype has garnered plenty of media coverage, what with the police seizures and a resurrected  “Are bloggers journalists?” debate. But Apple’s battle with software giant Adobe, while harder for non-geeks to understand, has far bigger implications. It’s about the entire mobile computing market — potentially billions of dollars.

On the surface, this is about Apple not allowing the iPhone run software created in Adobe Flash, a platform for adding interactive multimedia to websites including animation, video, games and, more recently, full-featured applications.

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14 thoughts on “Apple versus Adobe

  1. Meski

    I’ve read the Apple developer license agreement (despite not having signed the NDA that goes with it) – As a developer, I’m happy to leave it for Apple fanbois to develop on. The Android (and soon, the Windows) app stores are much nicer to work with. GFY, Apple.

  2. Socratease

    Damn the iSatan. I have avoided his products from the outset and yet my life goes on without him.

  3. Malcolm Street

    “Jobs criticises Flash for being a closed, proprietary system”

    Pot, meet kettle! Jobs is a control freak par excellence, something which has been borne out in the design of all devices he’s been involved in (including the nExt computer when he was away from Apple). No surprise at all for him to try to stop someone from using cross-platform tools to develop for one of his products.

    I have to wonder how legally defensible the developers’ license agreement is – restraint of trade and all that.

    Anyway, if you’re concerned about being dependent on “a closed, proprietary system” don’t touch Apple with a bargepole.

    (Being written from a laptop PC running Ubuntu Linux)

  4. dlew919

    Apple – always late. Always look nice: never work properly. Oh, they never crash – they hang, hold, freeze, reset themselves.

    This is typical of Apple’s arrogance. They (almost) got the iPod right, and they (almost) got the iPhone right. But then they forget that they are in a market with a lot of cheaper competitors: and take the advantages away. How Jobs ever gets out of bed in the morning without fucking up defeats me…

  5. Socratease

    “How Jobs ever gets out of bed in the morning without fucking up defeats me…”

    A: He takes a hubris pill each night.

  6. Christopher Armstrong

    DLEW919: Jobs fucked up for nigh on 12 years with his startup NeXT – he was marketing ahead-of-their-time whizzbang computers for a) $15000 b) to students. Obviously they didn’t move many machines, and not much software either when they started selling it separately, but *after* Microsoft took the PC market. Admittedly it was very nice kit for the time, but just a tad expensive for most people except those working in finance.

    Ironically, most of the technology from that experiment is what powers MacOS X, iPhone, iPad, etc, now that its competitively priced.

  7. Andrew Houston

    This article may shed some light on the Apple v Adobe impasse. It seems that the problem is technical and NOT personal.

  8. Socratease

    Speaking of Microsoft and irony, how many recall that in 1997 Gates bailed out the iSatan’s then bust company with an investment of $150 million?

  9. 4-eleven-3

    Well written article, thanks for the insights.

  10. whatiris

    Using the Flash Professional tool is more like writing a document in English and then running it through Google Translate to get the various other languages you need. Sure, the output is basically understandable, but it’s a whole lot shittier than if you’d simply written the documents in the different languages in the first place.

    For good examples of this sort of horrible cross-platform nightmare, see basically any Java application ever.

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