Apple to developers: don't even think in Flash, bucko


102 Responses to “Apple to developers: don't even think in Flash, bucko”

  1. dainel says:

    We’ve always known Apple is more evil than Microsoft. They only couldn’t do as much damage because they were smaller. But this is changing. This is why I don’t have any Apple products in my house. Don’t let evil into your homes!

  2. Andrey says:

    Enjoy being Apple serfs, developers! The guys over at Titanium can give you genuflecting lessons if you need (witness their servile tone even as Apple screws them). Apple has definitely crossed-over to the dark side. After 26 years of being a fanboy, they’ve finally exceeded what I can stomach.

  3. Alessandro Cima says:

    As a long-time Flash developer I can tell you that Apple’s attitude is simply appalling. I understand it completely from an aggressive business perspective in which a company wants to totally dominate all facets of a market. But this behavior is extremely unhealthy and will eventually lead to a weakening of Apple’s position, I suspect.

    However, I think developers will have the last laugh. I say that because of one word: Droid. The Droid is a stealth nuclear bomb going off in slow motion behind Apple’s front line. I’ve recently dumped my Apple iPod Touch in favor of a Droid simply because it plays a little fairer and is working up to a Flash player capability sometime in the next few months.

    Developers are going to flock to Droid devices very quickly. It’s happening now. Droid apps are exploding in Apple’s face.

    • EH says:

      I think you may be indulging in extremism with your off-the-cliff words: “appalling,” “aggressive,” “totally dominate all facets,” “extremely unhealthy,” “nuclear bomb,” “very quickly,” “exploding in Apple’s face.” I think you forgot to say that this means Apple obviously hates you and that you don’t really have a conflict of interest due to your dependence on Flash for development.

  4. MatthewFabb says:

    Also if you are wondering how Adobe will react, they posted the following statement on twitter:
    “We are looking into the new SDK language. We continue to develop Packager for iPhone OS which will debut in Flash #CS5″

    Also note that according to Adobe there’s over 100 approved apps made with Flash CS5 in the iTunes store, with none of them being rejected or banned yet.

    Because that’s the other question, will Apple be able to screen apps made by Flash CS5 and other tools successfully? Will Adobe and other companies be able to mock Apple tools in their output to disguise their origins?

  5. edgore says:

    Well, it sounds like this is a real kick in the teeth to “small but great” companies like Runtime Revolution that have invested time and money making their tools to the iPhone OS. They just started alpha testing their tool that lets you develop for the iPhone (another other mobile platforms) using what is essentially HyperCard on steroids. I’ve been using the “real computer” version (which creates Windows, Linux and Mac executables from one codebase, but which takes excellent advantage of each platform’s special features) for years now and has never been disappointed by it..

    I was hoping that maybe the availability of a development system for the iPhone and iPad that could be used by non-programming professionals might lead to awesome new kinds of interactive content in the vein of The Manhole, If Monks Had Macs etc. Ah well. Apple has now made sure that the iPad is not a content distribution platform for “the rest of us”. No development dabblers and dilettantes allowed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank heavens! Flash is the pits!

  7. agger says:

    Solution: Use free software only. Any other strategy will lead to this sort of thing. Once free software gets traction enough other models will disappear, and Apple will have to adopt a more open business model.

  8. sparkwatson says:

    Others have mentioned PhoneGap which seems like a great cross-platform solution (html/js) for web developers to create cross-platform apps for phones.

    At least according to Jon Gruber:
    PhoneGap is within these constraints and still a go.

  9. ThePope says:

    “…it encourages crummy development practices that ignore the unique capabilities of each platform. ”

    That’s some interesting mental gymnastics, have you seen what’s in the app store and the general quality level of what gets approved? Somehow I don’t think apple is too concerned about the overall quality of whats in the appstore as long as they have some star apps.

    • Rob Beschizza says:

      Indeed, if there is one thing that proves Apple’s preference for closed and controlled environments doesn’t always result in quality, it’s the mountain of absolute trash that is most of the AppStore.

  10. sirkowski says:

    Only hipsters buy Apple crap anyway.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So they already have a 98% share in the mobile app market, now they are putting in policies to discourage people from creating cross-platform apps. And I though Microsoft was evil.

    THEY CAME FIRST for the jailbreakers
    and I didn’t speak up because the app store was “good enough” for me

    THEN THEY CAME for the mobile browser companies
    and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t mind Safari

    THEN THEY CAME for Google Voice
    and I didn’t speak up because I used Skype

    THEN THEY CAME for the third party development tools
    and I didn’t speak up because I believed the propaganda about Adobe

    THEN THEY CAME for my phone and controlling what websites I could visit, people I could call, and what songs I was allowed to listen to
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

  12. kosso says:

    Dear Steve Jobs,

    George Orwell called and wants his 1984 references back.


  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it. Apple is like the playground bully, stealing your lunch money, and then having the gall to give you a swirly anyway… and people still love them.

    I’ve got it. Steve Jobs is really ike turner’s less talented zombie.

  14. The Raven says:

    “We can found no scientific discipline, nor a hearty profession, on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and, mainly, one computer manufacturer.”–Edsger Dijkstra, 1975.

    In 2010, apparently, it is the technical mistakes of a software vendor and a different computing manufacturer. Croak!

  15. Mike Scott says:

    It doesn’t stop Adobe from creating their Flash-to-iPhone converter. They simply have to write it so that it generates Objective C code, which can then be compiled by Xcode.

  16. Rezmason says:

    Another point– eventually Adobe will release an HTML5 design/development tool, and it will be the primary tool for making interactive content for the web. There’s an obvious need for that kind of tool, and unless there’s some young upstart who produces an amazing product, Adobe will be the one providing it.

    Adobe’s iPhone OS packager for Flash is based on LLVM, a pretty damn powerful compiler that can target all kinds of things. They’ve used it to “compile” C++ libraries into Flash bytecode, and I’m convinced that they could just as easily use it to “compile” SWFs into Xcode projects (if necessary) and HTML5 applications. The main advantage of doing this is that they could then immediately turn around and sell their existing Flash Platform’s workflow to scores of interested parties, without having to write a new authoring application.

    Apple’s stupid move will be countered by Adobe’s ingenuity. You can count on it.

    • amused says:

      “Another point– eventually Adobe will release an HTML5 design/development tool, and it will be the primary tool for making interactive content for the web.”

      I really hope they do that, and fast. I’m not a developer, I just want to publish some simple interactive (next/prev buttons) cartoons on my website. Flash is perfect for that, and now this mess. I’m trying to get other websites to show my content and I can’t republish it in a new format just for the iPad.

  17. Terry says:

    Alright – I’m sold. Went out today, bought an iPad. Also bought two dozen black turtlenecks and two dozen pairs of jeans. Rounded out the day by having my head shaved.

    I now feel the freedom from thought that previously had only been available to religious cultists and the Borg. Assimilation is beautiful.

  18. Alex Kilpatrick says:

    MonoTouch will actually output pure Objective-C code that you can then compile. But apparently this violates the agreement because the code was not “originally” in Objective-C.

    I just don’t get what they are trying to accomplish here.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad to hear Apple taking steps to ensure their users always get native software. I’d hate to download software on my iPhone that requires me to download 60 other packages just to get it to run. Especially when Apple provided users with a rich development environment.

  20. vitriolix says:

    Of course Apple already has broad power to enforce quality directly in the App Store approval process, so this argument that they are doing this to enforce quality instead of to retain control and suppress competition is false on its face.

  21. Yamara says:

    Our Information Purification Directives have created a garden of pure ideology where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This sucks, but it’s hardly surprising. There’s a great SDK called phonegap that lets you develop cross-platform mobile apps as web apps but provides access to the handset’s features. For a long time, Apple wouldn’t approve any apps built with it. They changed their mind, and approved one version of the framework… and now it looks like they’re going back on that.

    Just one more reason for me to write cross-target apps for Android/Pre/Maemo/etc. and leave iPhone behind.

  23. phisrow says:

    I’ve got to say. That change really pushes Apple from the “well, team ‘free culture’ doesn’t like it; but it’s all about preserving the experience and simplicity and stuff” camp and deep into the “Yeah, we’re actually just anticompetitive control freak dickwads. What’re you gonna do? Buy a Windows mobile? Hahaha!” territory.

    It makes one wonder if Adobe is going to “encounter unexpected difficulties in their support schedule for Photoshop on the Mac platform”…

    • flashdadi says:

      Apple did something just like that when Jobs returned in the late 90′s.

      Apple bought the video editing tool “Hitchcock” from Macromedia.

      Apple then changed the computer’s hardware specs so that they did not have enough expansion to support Avid’s video editor.

      Driving Avid off the platform to clear the way for Apple’s product, Final Cut.

      “Think different.”

  24. jdk998 says:

    This does seem to be a disturbing trend for the iPhone OS. I wonder if this issue will drive more developers to Android? Another question: does the Android development platform have similar limitations on development tools?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, it does not. The only two limitations is that the executable code is either Java or C/C++ through JNI, though the latter is not a viable choice in the market. You may, however, produce that code in anyway you wish, as far as Android/Google is concerned. You can even run a backend Java-based app server, if that’s what you want, and write the application in some other language.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean that even using QT is out?

  26. Sagodjur says:

    Well, at least we know the customers aren’t the only ones getting screwed… Apple is all about equal opportunity.

  27. SKR says:

    screw you apple

  28. Anonymous says:

    “For years, YEARS, I was a loyal Appleist. Even during their Dark Ages from 1994-1997 I stood by them and defended Apple’s actions in every way from those who called them “Crapple”.

    Now, I’m probably the first to call them “Crapple”. I mean, what kind of company gets all friendly-like to people who NEVER liked Apple up until recently and shits of people who have been Apple loyalists for decades?

    Apple is that guy who was friends with all the geeks and nerds from Kindergarten all the way until they graduated from high school… only to ditch them all to hang out with the vapid, superficial rich kids. Worse, when one of their old nerdish friends walks up to them and asks “is that you, Apple?”, Apple replies “do I even KNOW you?”


  29. Zorzal says:

    Steve Gates rulez…

  30. Rezmason says:

    It’s hard to comprehend how Apple– a company with so many capable people, producing really useful products– can simultaneously be so out of touch.

    When I bought my computer, with the expectation that I could run programs on it regardless of what they were built with, was I being unreasonable? Am I spoiled? I really don’t think so.

    I also have trouble believing that all the iPhone apps Apple has showcased were built exclusively from C. Some of these developers are tremendous, and their source code may have Java, Python and Lisp thrown in. If a major player in the iPhone app market breaks this rule, is Apple going to prohibit their content? I doubt they have the chutzpah.

    • JacobDavis says:

      > Java, Python and Lisp thrown in

      Apple does not allow interpreted languages on the iPhone. You might be able to rig it into an application, but you’d have to provide your own interpreter… and that’s expensive, both in development and at runtime. The only languages supported by Apple on the iPhone are Objective-C and C.

      • Rezmason says:

        I wasn’t talking about interpreting those languages, I was talking about compiling them. The upcoming iPhone Flash packaging tool does something similar– it takes a deliverable that relies on a runtime, and spits out a native executable.

        There are many compilers for high level languages, so that they can be used to write apps for platforms that do not interpret those languages. All I’m saying is that those compilers may already be in the workflows of some of the larger companies who write iPhone apps.

      • JacobDavis says:

        Oh, and if you have an interpreter obscured somewhere in the code, Apple is likely to reject it, like it did with apps created with PhoneGap.

        • firstbakingbook says:

          What about rhodes? It bundles a ruby interpreter with your app, and I believe Apple has approved it. The developers claim that to satisfy the Apple license they merely had to disable any calls that could interpret code from a non-bundled source, e.g. an “eval” call, or anything like that. So, develop in ruby, publish to all the major phones, including iphone.

          • MatthewFabb says:

            “What about rhodes? It bundles a ruby interpreter with your app, and I believe Apple has approved it.”

            Based on Apple’s past behaviour because Apple approved something in the past, doesn’t mean they won’t disapprove it in the future. Apple has approved over 100 iPhone apps created with Flash CS5 according to Adobe and hasn’t rejected a single one. I actually know someone who just got any e-mail from Apple this afternoon that their app they created with Flash CS5 was approved.

            Apple’s new licensing agreement says code must originate as Objective-C, C, C++ or JavaScript so writing code in Ruby and using Rhodes would violate that license.

      • dculberson says:

        And running interpreted code, even within your own interpreter, is against Apple’s policies.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is ECL (Embeddable Common Lisp) – it compiles Common Lisp to C. There is a version that works for the iPhone. IT IS NOT INTERPRETED – IT IS FULLY COMPILED. Via a Foreign Function Interface it can call any C routine. It runs on Mac OS X, too.

        I can’t use it according to Apple – why?

  31. Church says:

    Don’t really like the line Apple is taking here (what works for a phone doesn’t necessarily work for a laptop-equivalent) but anything that drives a stake through Flash’s cold, black heart is good news, at this point.

    • Anonymous says:

      “anything that drives a stake through Flash’s cold, black heart is good news, at this point”

      The cold, black heart is still beating.

      The window for viable all-flash applications has narrowed greatly, but it’s still an extremely powerful, ubiquitous tool.

      If you care more about the tool than the product, then you and Apple shall make great bed-fellows. I consider myself to be a little more open minded than that.

  32. hallam says:

    I smell an anti-trust suit here.

    Preventing other parties supplying programming tools could well constitute illegal restraint of trade.

  33. Anonymous says:


    Android is wide open.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Mobile software needs to be as fast and efficient as possible. Ported Flash code can never be as optimized as native code. Apple knows that and is just trying to provide users with the best possible experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      personal experience? what next, will they help me pick my wardrobe too? I hate black turtlenecks.

      If a developer creates a lousy experience for any platform, the market will decide with their feet.

      all these mac fanboys – funny if Redmond did this kind of stuff, you’d all explode, but having Stevie say it – well gee, thanks for making our insulated iLives so much better.

      Phft, I am deliberately not going to buy that latest piece of iCrack, and history will work itself out thanks.

      (and iAds? Wow… I mean Wow – just what we need, apps with ads for Farmville – can’t wait)

    • JacobDavis says:

      >Apple knows that and is just trying to provide users with the best possible experience.

      That used to be a good excuse… Except now now the iPhone SDK provides a WebKit engine, which pretty much flies in the face of efficiency compared to native language apps. Now that they allow JavaScript apps, it’s become clear that this is more of a power play directed at controlling the mobile apps. market than it is about code efficiency.

    • Anonymous says:

      If apple is just interested in performance, why not specify performance goals? I love my mac and iPhone but face it, apple has ALWAYS been about lockin. If you don’t get that you haven’t been paying attention.

      When developers were able to blind reverse enginer and re-implement PC firmware, IBM threw a fit. Mac’s had a more complicated BIOS and they defended it better.

      After a while, IBM tried to copy Apple’s tricks and created the PS/2 OS to rely on hardware with a more complicated BIOS–but with a valid, more “open” alternative (the PC) nobody bit. Eventually they opened up the PS/2 OS but it was too little too late, windows was already scooping up large chunks of the market.

      Sometimes I get pissed at myself for liking apple so much, but it’s just so damn good…

    • SamSam says:

      Mobile software needs to be as fast and efficient as possible. Ported Flash code can never be as optimized as native code. Apple knows that and is just trying to provide users with the best possible experience.

      That’s a truly bizarre comment. What if you write a great app using C, without any third-party tools, but it’s not as optimized as it could be? Is Apple going to reject it? Have all apps currently available been written by expert coders?

      And the use of third-party programs to write your code has nothing to do with how efficient the final code will be. The code will be as efficient as the program is able to make it, and that may be precisely as efficient as a good programmer is able to make it. Don’t underestimate how good generated code can be.

      We’re not talking about porting over random flash files. We’re talking about whether or not you can use any third-party application at all to help develop your code.

    • MatthewFabb says:

      “Mobile software needs to be as fast and efficient as possible. Ported Flash code can never be as optimized as native code. Apple knows that and is just trying to provide users with the best possible experience.”

      Yet Apple is blocking development for Unity3D as well, which was used for many popular 3D games on iPhone. One example is the iPhone Star Wars trench game, which while ran a bit slower on the 1st gen iPhone was fine in later iPhones:

      This is purely a business move on Apples part, because if speed was an issue, they could simply disapprove any app going too slow. Yet according to Adobe, Apple has already approved over 100 apps made with the pre-release of Flash CS5.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. This sucks. I’m no developer, but I won’t be buying an iPad.

    For awhile, anyway…

  36. Wuss Brillis says:

    “As an Amstrad CPC owner many moons ago, among the major disappointments of my early life were crappy ports that failed to take advantage of that machine’s superiority to rival platforms”.

    I had a Commodore 64 and when I was seeing an Amstrad I was having good laughs.

    Apart from that Blue Chips don’t care about their suppliers or their customers (and even less about their employees). They make themselves indispensable and they do what they want with you.

    Just to sum up I will buy one of these little laptops from Korea because Linux on the Iphone is not in Amstrad’s plans yet.

    • Terry says:

      “I had a Commodore 64 and when I was seeing an Amstrad I was having good laughs.”

      Holy crap. I can’t believe you haven’t let this go.

  37. greengestalt says:

    Don’t buy it.

    Won’t be a year before there are tons of “Knock-Offs” that are open ended. If HP doesn’t do it with their “Slate” we’ll likely have it done by the “Foreign Outsourcers” they use to make their equipment for them.

    I’ll thank Apple for one thing; They proved the market wants (kinda) their product.

    It’s just up to now having an imitator making a cheap Linux/Windows slab computer and instead of trying to make their own little virtual universe, just let people use them for what they want. The developers getting stabbed and treated like “Adult Children” by apple will love to work out their apps for this, and help the new formats steal their customers.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Adobe should stop distributing Creative Suite releases onto Apple OS to childishly even the score

  39. tyger11 says:

    jdk998 @ #2 – You develop Android apps any way you want, Java or C++ via the NDK (native developer kit). ‘THE’ Android app store isn’t eh only Android app store out there – anyone can start one, and there are multiple ones already. You also don’t need to distribute your app VIA any of the app stores; you can just do so via your own web site.

    Freedom smells awesome.

    • JacobDavis says:

      >C++ via the NDK

      I don’t know too many developers who take that seriously. Android isn’t constrained to a particular architecture like the iPhone. If you use C/C++ with NDK, you can’t guarantee that your application will work on a given platform. Exception handling on embedded devices, for instance, is far from consistent.

  40. The Raven says:

    “I just don’t get what they are trying to accomplish here.”

    Making developers dependent on their tools and environments. They want people who work with iPad/iPhone to be Apple developers rather than software developers. Just as IBM’s and Microsoft’s monopolies, it is destructive to the profession, and even to teaching the profession.

  41. agreenster says:

    Thanks for clearing up the XCode/Unity3D thing you guys.

    I wonder if Apple realizes games like Zombieville USA (a top selling iPhone game) and OMG Pirates are developed by ONE person (an old friend of mine), and without Unity 3D, it never would have happened.

    So now, instead of just being a visionary artist turned successful creator, you now have to be a genius programmer and graphic engineer as well?

    Garbage! Im a long-time Apple loyalist (even through the late 90s) and this is just a total bone-head move.

  42. periphera says:

    “Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited.”

    So if I have my main app in obj-C, but have an interface layer so I can use Boost, STL, or any other C/C++ framework with a documented API, that’s illegal? Basically any libraries that you want to use have to be written in obj-C? That’s going to cause problems, and I’d be shocked if a fair number of existing apps don’t violate it.

    • JacobDavis says:

      >Basically any libraries that you want to use have to be written in obj-C?

      New SDK appears to support Obj-C, C, C++, and WebKit Javascript.

  43. agreenster says:

    I was just reading on Unity3D’s forum, and apparently, since everything gets compiled through XCode, people can still develop on Unity3D for iPhone and iPad.

    At least, thats what I gathered. Im not too technical.

    • MatthewFabb says:

      Apple’s new license agreement says “Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine…” and Unity3D apps are created with C# or JavaScript, Boo (a dialect of Python). So I really don’t see how compiling code through XCode matters (except it might be harder to detect), Unity3D development still breaks Apple’s new licensing agreement.

      • Professor Booty says:

        That depends on how exactly the tech in Unity3D works. If scripts are “compiled” into a language XCode then compiles to native code, that might be ok. If Unity3D interprets them at runtime, not so much.

        • MatthewFabb says:

          Whether or not Unity3D or Flash CS5 content or any other middleware tool is compiled down to XCode, just makes it easier to hide while breaking the license agreement. Although I imagine there will be common helper classes used in all Unity3D programs. Still the new agreement clearly says if code did not *originate* in Objective-C, C, C++ or JavaScript, then it’s breaking the agreement.

  44. Anonymous says:

    They’ve not blocked people developing cross platform applications, last time I checked C/C++ was pretty cross-platform. Write your application logic in that and port it.

    Of course it’s easier to decry them, for they are evil.

  45. Daemon says:

    Given their track record of late, not surprising. They’re fascists, pure and simple: they want nothing less than complete control.

  46. Anonymous says:

    @rob “…it encourages crummy development practices that ignore the unique capabilities of each platform. ”

    I’m sorry, I must call that one. The market itself will decide which apps best utilize the capacities of that platform. Unlike your Amstrad days, there are a wealth of native apps to compare with any CS5 app in the marketplace. Adobe would also have a financial incentive to improve their iPhone support in CS5 if it were lacking, so as to better sell their development environment.

    This is anti-competitive, plain and simple – and I would love Apple to get called on it.

  47. dsxdsx says:

    Gd, y ppl r sch fckng bbs. Th nly rsn ppl s s gd s t s s bcs thy cntrl thngs t thr tst. Thr nvr ws dmcrcy hr nd f thr ws t wld b rnd. thr gt wth th prgrm r nt bt sht th fck p bt t.

    • robulus says:

      Yes, yes, we’re all big fucking babies.

      Just a tip, when you settle down after your tantrum and come to clean the spittle and foam from your Apple Cinema Display, use a clean, lint-free, cotton cloth moistened with 3 parts distilled water to 1 part alcohol.

      Pure alcohol is too harsh, but water alone will streak and smear. You can thank me later!

    • teapot says:

      dsxdsx: I think they have an app for fools like you…

      Yet another failure by Apple.

    • Nick15 says:

      Yeah but Apple is also in the business of making MONEY. They’re fortunate they’re making money off mindless idiots who don’t pay attention to Apple’s fascism… but they could be making more money if they decided to not be so… Microsoft-ish.

      Unless our money is not good enough for them?

    • Tensegrity says:

      Well then, I guess that settles that!

    • fubbs says:

      Come back when you are interested in having an open discussion instead of belittling and insulting everyone here. There are many valid points being made here. Bringing them up does not make someone a ‘fucking baby’.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Its all very telling, couple years back it seemed weird how Flash got shafted by blueray but now I’m not surprized it gets shafted again and again. I just read the Time mag article on St.Jobs, “Apple doesnt even use focus groups. They don’t ask what people want; they just tell people what they’ll want next.”… oh that’s rich!

  49. Tzctlp says:

    I think I can no longer call Apple users fanboys.

    The correct term is apologist. Apple apologists.

    Each new “business” decision taken by this company is more jawdrapping than the previous one.

    Restraining of trade, pure and simple.

  50. Joe says:

    Time for an antitrust investigation.

    It seems that what Apple wants to prevent is for developers to be able to develop one application that will then run on the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones, as well as others, and for middleware to be developed that makes this efficient to do. Once it happens, their AppStore model is in trouble, because if they take weeks to review applications while the competing mobile devices don’t, then the cool new apps will arrive on Apple gear last.

    So they are desperately trying to tie developers to the one platform, telling them that they have to develop something that’s customized for iPhone/iPad. Anything that makes apps easy to port is a threat. The problem is, there are laws about tying, and laws about anti-competitive practices.

  51. Nick15 says:

    It absolutely pains me to see Apple pulling this shit. The Apple *I* remember didn’t do this kind of crap, this is supposed to be Microsoft territory? What the hell happened?

    I mean, Apple used to make two versions: “Consumer” and “Professional”. They have the potential to truly blow EVERY competitor out of the water by making an iPhone Pro and iPad Pro… but they decide not to. Why? Is my money too good for them?

    And now they’re limiting who can use what on their system. Did I miss the memo that said that once “Apple Computers Inc.” turned into “Apple Inc.”, they would start pulling crap from the Microsoft playbook?

  52. c9r says:

    I can’t believe they actually enumerate the allowed programming languages you can use. That is psychotic!

    So you can’t even program in another natively compiled language that natively links to their native libraries, whose executables are indistinguishable from c/objc/c++, if it’s not, in fact c/objc/c++. WTF? They’re no longer just placing requirements on the end result, they’re placing requirements on the process you use to get there–even if the end result would be the same. That’s like saying we won’t approve your app if you wore a blue shirt at any time you were working on it.

    And yes, there are other native languages that compile and link natively on the iPhone. Just as an example, Mono/Unity don’t use any .NET stuff, they just use the programming language C#, and a thin layer of glue to interoperate with Objective-C. And part of Apple’s own compiler, llvm, is a project called vmkit that compiles java and c# to native code. Despite the name, it’s not a virtual machine, it compiles to java and c# to native code, just like Apple’s “approved” languages.

    I had been planning to use Scala, a modern statically compiled, efficient language (not interpreted like python or even javascript), which is in fact faster than Objective-C, and with three decades of lessons-learned from the failures of languages like C++ incorporated in, to develop educational software for the iPad. There are no middleman frameworks involved. The executables look just like Objective-C. But the language is about a thousand times more expressive and productive–and executes faster–than Objective-C. But it is not in their bullshit enumerated list so that’s a no go?

    I have been apologizing for Apple for years now. I’ve sacrificed sacred values to their worldview, believing it was really about making a better user experience. I am done. Android is a piece of shit platform. But holy fuck. This is a war against intellectual progress now. Apple, go fuck yourself.

    • Nick15 says:

      For years, YEARS, I was a loyal Appleist. Even during their Dark Ages from 1994-1997 I stood by them and defended Apple’s actions in every way from those who called them “Crapple”.

      Now, I’m probably the first to call them “Crapple”. I mean, what kind of company gets all friendly-like to people who NEVER liked Apple up until recently and shits of people who have been Apple loyalists for decades?

      Apple is that guy who was friends with all the geeks and nerds from Kindergarten all the way until they graduated from high school… only to ditch them all to hang out with the vapid, superficial rich kids. Worse, when one of their old nerdish friends walks up to them and asks “is that you, Apple?”, Apple replies “do I even KNOW you?”


  53. Anonymous says:

    If people accept a lack of software freedoms then they will have none. You can only be pragmatic for so long until someone comes along and tries to take away your freedom whether by force or guile.

    Rights are something that have to fight for and not just with alternative products but by asking companies to act ethically and grant you the rights you should have.

  54. Paul says:

    Wow, this sucks.

    I was going to use Titanium to develop an app for the iPhone and Android, allowing me to kill two birds with one stone, but it looks like they may get caught up in this.

    If I’m going to be forced to write two entirely separate versions from scratch then I’m going to have to reconsider.

    But I’m sure Apple won’t care, I’m only the little guy who wants to serve his users, not Apple.

    • Broadwing says:

      Apple very much does care about having you make that decision. They want you to have to make that decision, expecting that most will go for the goldmine that is the App Store, rather than struggle to develop cross-platform or shun the iVerse.

      When you’re at the top, you don’t care about making cross-platform ports easy, because if they’re not easy, people will just code for your platform and the rest will look poorer as a result. Worked for Microsoft.

  55. Anonymous says:

    and their sdk only runs on…oh…macs. so double the profit…

  56. Anonymous says:

    I thought the reason apple is denying adobe flash was because it’s bloated junk code (flash itself). I’m no lover of apple’s control, but this is an example where they’re standing up for code quality. I wish more people and companies would. And on that theme, it’s too bad apple doesn’t open up to Qt.

    • flashdadi says:

      Anon, this is not about getting the Flash player VM on the IPhone.

      It is about Apple saying what authoring tools the developers can use.

      Adobe was/is about to release a version of Flash that can produce IPhone content.

      This was not something packaged and calling the os from an abstraction layer.

      It would produce real, native, IPhone apps.

      And after a number of opening salvos Apple just declared war.

  57. snej says:

    “Apple does not allow interpreted languages on the iPhone.”

    No, that is not true, though it’s a common urban geek legend. What has not been allowed is executing downloaded code. It’s always been fine until now to bundle an interpreter in the app and include interpretable code. There are easily half a dozen open source frameworks for doing exactly that (Titanium, Unity, Corona, etc.)

    Most major game engines use interpreted languages for the upper levels of the game, the ‘business logic’ if you will. Lua is extremely popular for this. (Tons of WoW hackers can tell you that Lua’s used to script that game.) That’s the most inexplicable part of this to me — I can’t see how Apple can continue to accept games on the app store with this new legalese.

  58. dougr650 says:

    Wow, that’s extremely heavy-handed. The way this was worded seems to also rule out any kind of middleware or portability layer that developers may have, themselves, created to make it easier to port to other platforms. In essence, all iPhone development must now be started from scratch, without any attempt to achieve portability. That’s insane and the apps will certainly suffer for it.

  59. kaffeen says:

    This is very interesting. When you think of the iPad, iTouch, or iPhone…you think of apps. The abundance and proliferation of them has been what differentiates Apple from other competitors. It has also been a huge factor in leading Apple to market success. The developers have helped create a dynasty. Now, Steve-o wants to continue making substantial profits from the developers while asking them to do more for less. You either think and create like him (while using his programming language) or “No Soup For You”! Of course, this should not be surprising. This is what all tyrants have done throughout history. I hope this is incentive for developers to move to the Android platform. Jobs needs to learn that you should never bite the hand that feeds him.

  60. MatthewFabb says:

    Rob Beschizza: “I’ll admit I haven’t used the new Flash suite, so it might be the case that you have to substantially redo it for each platform anyway. But even then, you can still make all of them in the same language”

    Here’s a demo that Adobe put up recently demoing a Flash game running on Mac OSX, Windows, Linux, Motorola’s Droid an iPhone Touch and an iPad, all with the same code base, just different wrappers for different systems:

    Beyond Adobe there was a growing number of tools that allowed you to develop for multiple devices at once. I imagine Apple dislikes this because this levels the playing field, since other non-Apple mobile devices can include the same apps with little work. With Apple as the leader in mobile apps, as long as it’s expensive to port apps then a lot of apps will never be ported to other devices.

  61. Anonymous says:

    So here’s a question: can Apple actually tell how something was created?

  62. JacobDavis says:

    For anyone worried about cross-platform development, I’d like to point out that the new SDK provides a WebKit engine. It’s not as fast as native-code apps, but it does address some of the problems with porting between architectures.

    At the same time, WebKit support completely destroys the argument that Apple is prohibiting flash or java because they aren’t efficient enough.

  63. CLe4R says:

    No iPhone, no Mac, no iPad(dumbest name ever). They’ve been proprietary since day one.

    I agree with the other posts about getting something that is much more open, and doing what you want with it. Someone will figure out a way to port iPhone apps to another platform, and then we won’t have to deal with the drama from Apple.

    [jailbreak for a good time - F**k Apple.]

    • Nick15 says:

      The Mac OS has always been proprietary, but like, it was never restrictive. The only manner of restriction they imposed upon applications back during the days of pre-MacOSX was only just to make sure apps didn’t crash one another like Windows apps did. I can accept that, seeing as Apple never prohibited applications like this; I always had an app for any of my needs back in the day, and no one ever complained about the complete LACK of an app because of Apple’s hand.

      Now… now it’s a different story. I can see why all the anti-Mac people back in the day ridiculed Mac users; they all saw us as being blind sheep who thought everything Apple made was perfect. That may not have been the case back in the mid/late-90′s, but today I can see what they wanted to see in iPhone/iPad users; despite the crap Apple is releasing, people who bought into it consider it to be the best thing in the world. It makes it worse considering that none of them would have ever TOUCHED an Apple product back in the day… they’re loving Apple for their inferior products of today, despite the fact that they hated Apple for their superior products of yesterday. I don’t get it.

  64. Anonymous says:

    This is just so wrong, but it’s amazing to see just how far people will go to apologize for Apple. This isn’t about “best user experience”, it’s not about keeping shovelware or ports off of the App Store, it’s about the fact that Apple doesn’t want users to start seeing apps written in Flash being as fast and stable as anything written in XCode and then having them ask why they can’t get Flash in their browser.

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