Apple blinks on dev tool restrictions
Relaxed restrictions on cross-platform compilers may allow Flash apps on iPhone
Computerworld - Apple today reversed its decision earlier in the year that barred developers from using rival programming tools, including one that has since been discontinued by Adobe, to build applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Developer tool makers rejoiced in the move, as one analyst said Apple was motivated because of the rapid rise of Android, Google's mobile operating system.
"It means 'full throttle' on the iOS platform," said Scott Schwarzhoff, an executive with Mountain View, Calif.-based Appcelerator.
Apple announced the change in a statement published on its Web site early Thursday.
"We are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code," the company said. "This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need."
Apple said it made "important changes" in three sections of its iOS SDK (software developer kit) license to "relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year."
In April, Apple said it would not allow iOS developers to use third-party cross-platform compilers, tools that transform code for other systems -- as well as Java- and Flash-built software -- into native iPhone apps.
Apple's move was seen at the time by analysts and developers as a direct attack against Adobe, which had created a cross-platform compiler that took Flash applications and recompiled them to run natively on iOS. Adobe responded by tossing in the towel, dropping further work on "Packager," the cross-platform compiler included with Flash Professional CS5.
Adobe welcomed Apple's turn-about. "We are encouraged to see Apple lifting its restrictions on its licensing terms, giving developers the freedom to choose what tools they use to develop applications for Apple devices," an Adobe spokesman said.
Earlier this year, Apple and Adobe traded blows over Flash, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs saying iOS didn't need Adobe's software, an Adobe evangelist telling Apple to "Go screw yourself," and the co-chairs of Adobe's board of directors accusing Apple of undermining "the next chapter of the Web."
Today, Apple said it modified the SDK license after listening to developer feedback. "[We've] taken much of their feedback to heart," said Apple.
Some didn't buy that explanation.
"Clearly this is a response to competitive pressure," said Ray Valdes, an analyst with Gartner. "It's not in Apple's corporate DNA to be open or flexible. Usually, their behavior leans toward price control and opaqueness."
Google's Android mobile operating system, which has had no restrictions on what tools developers use, is challenging iOS' position, said Valdes. "And they're not the only one," he said. "Going forward, there may be other platforms, like Windows Phone 7, on smartphones and Chrome OS on tablets, that can compete with iOS."
- Apple unwraps OS X Yosemite public beta Thursday
- Apple grows Mac sales by 18% on the back of the MacBook Air
- Want an Apple watch? Just 3D print one
- What to listen for during Apple's earnings call today
- Mac sales will again outstrip industry average
- Apple, IBM spell out enterprise support for iPhone, iPad
- Timeline: How Apple's iOS gained enterprise cred
- Apple and IBM: A winning combo for IT
- Why Microsoft isn't spooked by the Apple-IBM alliance
- Apple-IBM deal threatens Android's enterprise push
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ The following are answers to common questions about Adobe® Creative Cloud™ for teams membership, purchasing, security, and storage.
- What's coming to Adobe Creative Cloud Editing and video content creation workflows are about to get easier and more exciting, with major updates coming soon to Creative Cloud, bringing...
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt. All App Development White Papers | Webcasts