Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Apple and Adobe War

The escalating Apple vs. Adobe War is starting to get interesting. It seem to have started with Apple's decision not to support Flash on their iPad and iPhones. Apple reasoned that they want to stick to the standard HTML5, which is not that widely supported yet. Apple batting for open standards seem anachronistic. After all, no computer or operating system is more closed than Apple. So why all these hullabaloo?

More recently, Apple changed the terms of use of their developer platform by requiring developers to code natively in C/C++ instead of using cross-platform frameworks. This further fueled the war with Adobe who was set to launch a Flash-based cross-platform framework that makes applications run on the iPhone without natively coding for it.

One conspiracy theory is that Apple does not want 3rd party application frameworks to control the schedule of application deployment. They reason that if developers decide to support a cross-platform framework like Flash or .NET, if the framework does not keep up with the updates of the OS (ex. the upcoming iPhone OS 4), developers will be at the mercy of these framework providers.

In a rare email reply, Steve Jobs tries to rationalize it also by saying that applications developed on top of cross-platform frameworks seldom work as well as those developed natively. A lot of developers are not happy with Apple's decision. But strangely, small browser maker Opera was approved entry into Apple App Store despite being a competitor of the built-in Safari browser. I don't know if their media hype to get Apple to put them into App Store made a difference. They supposedly put up a counter that shows the number of days their app has been posted for approval by Apple's staff.

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