Home Adobe Celebrates, But Will Flash Developers Return to Apple?

Adobe Celebrates, But Will Flash Developers Return to Apple?

Last April, Apple changed its developers terms of service to restrict the use of third-party development tools in creating apps for iOS, the operating system behind the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. The restrictions essentially banned the use of Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, which allowed the creation of apps using Adobe Flash. Yesterday, Apple relaxed those restrictions and today Adobe is calling Apple’s move “Great News for Developers”.

Is the move too little, too late, or will Adobe developers come running back to make apps for Apple’s mobile devices? Was it the last straw or is the draw of Apple’s dominant mobile platform too strong to resist?

“This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store,” Adobe said in a blog post this morning, noting that it will resume development of its Packager for iPhone tool.

We asked around (using Twitter and our new ReadWriteWeb Quora account) and found a mixed bag of enthusiasm and hesitation regarding whether or not Flash developers would come running back to the platform that had scorned them.

Mariano Carrizo, a self-proclaimed “Flash Platform lover” echoed Adobe’s sentiment, saying Flash development’s return was an exciting prospect.

“Finally we (Flash Platform devs) could use our tools and language to make really cool stuff, and take iOS as another platform,” tweeted Carrizo, asking if Apple allowing Flash-packaged apps was “not a dream?”

But some are saying that the time for Flash developers on iOS has passed.

“I think the window of opportunity for Flash development for iOS has largely been missed,” said Brian Jeremy Kupetz, the Director of Technology at JUXT Interactive. “The hardcore mobile developers that were keen on using Flash to develop for iOS lost interest after investing a great deal of time just to be stopped dead in the tracks. This subset of flash developers has either learned to play by Apple’s rules or moved on completely.”

Ribbit, a company that provides “open, scalable, cloud-based global phone network/APIs” using Flash, told us that it “will be interesting to watch, we know a lot of Flash developers who felt burned…but expect many to go back to Apple.”

When Apple first enacted the changes, there was a lot of talk about abandoning Apple forever, but now that Apple has changed its tune (for whatever reason), will developers stick to their guns? For many, the change in developers terms last April meant an abrupt end to projects they’d spent countless hours working on and the issue now may be one of trust – how can you trust a company that suddenly takes away your ability to develop for its platform, out of what seems like spite?

Perhaps, the whole thing will end up exactly as Apple seems to want – with it appearing open in the end but without all of that pesky Flash-derived code on its mobile devices.

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