Home Adobe Gives up on Apple, Welcomes Android

Adobe Gives up on Apple, Welcomes Android

Adobe is officially giving up on Apple. Or rather, Apple gave up on Adobe and Adobe is just now admitting it. In any event, the news is that Adobe’s “Packager for iPhone,” the bundled tool in Flash Professional that lets Flash developers leverage their existing skills to produce iPhone apps, shall be no more. The toolkit will still ship with Creative Suite 5 as planned, but no future development or investment is planned in this area – or so says Mike Chambers, the principal product manager for developer relations for Adobe’s Flash platform, in a blog post on Tuesday.

Farewell, iPhone

The announcement highlights the escalating tensions between the two companies, initially kicked off by Apple’s decision to not allow Flash on its mobile devices, a line up which includes iPhone, iPod Touch and now, the iPad.

More recently, Apple made changes to its software development kit license, the agreement developers sign prior to building mobile applications for Apple, which again seemed like a shot at Adobe more so than anyone else. It stated that developers could no longer use cross-platform compilers to develop for iPhone. They had to develop using native code. (“Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine.” it reads.)

That change effectively killed Adobe’s plans for its Flash-to-iPhone packager, a tool that would have allowed Flash developers to port their creations to Apple’s platform.

But is Adobe worried? Not really. In fact, they sound more angry than concerned. Especially if you read employee rants like Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow’s, who titled his diatribe* “Apple Slaps Developers in the Face.”

*Not officially endorsed by the company.

But even Chambers can’t resist the opportunity to berate Apple as he makes the announcement on his blog. He writes, ” …as developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at anytime, and for seemingly any reason.”

To some extent, he’s right. Apple has also added language to the agreement that appears to ban non-Apple ad and analytics frameworks from the iPhone. (More on this later).

Hello, Android

But instead of continuing to take potshots at the Cupertino company, Adobe employees – in general – may be better off highlighting Adobe’s plans for other platforms.

Chambers gets to this himself, but slowly. Six or so paragraphs into the post, he hits on what may be the more important news: Adobe’s new BFF is Google.

“Android-based phones have been doing well,” he says, and it’s the understatement of the year. The truth is, the platform is growing like crazy. Only months ago, we were reporting the market share doubling for Android, plus how Android’s Marketplace is rapidly becoming one of the fastest-growing app stores around and, more recently, the insane levels of growth in new Android apps, with over 9,000 added in March alone.

Chambers notes that Adobe is now working with Google to bring Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to Android-based devices. The company plans to have Flash 10.1 ready for Android (and Palm and RIM) by the end of the first half of 2010.

That’s only months away.

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