Adobe ceases development of Flash packager for Apple iPhone, iPad

“Saying that Apple ‘wants to tie developers down,’ an Adobe product manager yesterday said his company would toss in the towel on a tool that lets programmers port Flash applications to the iPhone and iPad,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

MacDailyNews Take: Actually, Adobe’s tool lets programmers port Flash applications not only to the iPhone and iPad, but to other platforms as well. That is a very important point that we’ll address below.

Keizer reports, “The announcement was the latest in the escalating confrontation between Apple and Adobe. Apple has repeatedly claimed that letting Flash on its iPhone would degrade performance, with its CEO, Steve Jobs, saying that Adobe’s software ‘performs too slow to be useful’ on the smartphone. Two weeks ago, Jobs flatly rejected the idea that Flash would be allowed on his company’s mobile devices.”

“At the same time, Apple changed the language of its newest iPhone software developers kit (SDK) license to ban developers from using cross-platform compilers, tools that let them write in one framework, say JavaScript or .Net, and then recompile it in native code for another platform, like the iPhone,” Keizer reports. “Days later, an Adobe platform evangelist said, ‘Go screw yourself Apple,’ on his personal blog, which had been reviewed, if not vetted, by Adobe.”

“Yesterday, Adobe… gave up on a feature it had once loudly trumpeted,” Keizer reports. “‘We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5,’ said Mike Chambers, the principal product manager for developer relations for Adobe’s Flash platform, in a blog post late Tuesday. ‘However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve said repeatedly, Adobe should have focused more on Apple’s Mac instead of foolishly waiting for the platform to die and then, when it didn’t drop dead as they hoped, treating Mac users as second-class citizens while pimping inferior Windows PCs.

Flash is a proprietary, resource-hogging, browser-crashing abomination and, even more importantly, we don’t want ported software on our iPhones, iPads, or Macs because software designed for the lowest common denominator is inferior to software designed to take advantage of individual platforms’ strengths.

Adobe is lazy and they want to cater to developers like themselves. When given a choice between going the extra mile to accomplish great work that’s custom-tailored to individual platforms or clicking a button to excrete watered-down ported results, lazy Adobe will always choose the latter.

Android and the rest of the me-too also-rans are perfect for Adobe. May they all drown together in their homogenized puddle of mediocrity.

Note to advertisers: (including those who advertise via third-party ad networks and become, in effect, our advertisers): Your Flash-based ads are no longer reaching the most well-heeled customers online: 50+ million iPhone owners. They’re also not hitting brand new iPad users or 35+ million iPod touch users. If you care about reaching people with discretionary income, you might want to consider dumping your flash-based ads and moving to a more open format that people with money and the will to spend it can actually see.

Help kill Adobe’s Flash:
• Ask MarketWatch to offer HTML5 video via the customer support web form here.
• Ask CNBC to offer HTML5 video via the customer support web form here.
• Contact Hulu and ask them to offer HTML5 video via email:
• Ask ESPN360 to offer HTML5 video instead Flash via their feedback page here.
• Join YouTube’s HTML5 beta here.
• On Vimeo, click the “Switch to HTML5 player” link below any video.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brian A.” for the heads up.]


  1. Adobe’s software should export their Flash ads to HTML5 while they still have a group of customers using their software. Apple’s software uses the “Save as” to other formats and has grown their company for years.

    Sometimes solutions are much simpler than you can see.

  2. That’s what U get for years of negligance, LIVE WITH IT Adobe, stop whining like a frustrated teenager. Us macusers got tired a long time ago but SJ maintained a stiff upper lip til enough was enough. We’ve been treated as second class citizens all 2 long…

  3. @Gary & madgunde

    {sigh} I can’t believe I’m having to do this but… Zune Tang is a caricature of a Windows fanboy. His posts are tongue in cheek comedy. Think of him as MDN’s Unknown Comic – if you’re old enough to know who the Unknown Comic was.

  4. “I hear Microsoft has SilverLight applications running on Windows Phone 7 in the lab.”

    I hear the same thing. All it takes is a massively parallel cluster of iPhones to get to less than 4 stuttered frames per minute.

  5. it’s inevitable, I suppose- but there does seem to be a rebellion against Apple brewing based on the misconception that they’re becoming uncool control freaks and basically, the new Microsoft. I see it in blogs, (Not surprisingly) PC magazines, even Rolling Stone ans Political Humor sites that objected to Apple’s politically correct, anti-porn stance. Thes naive people don’t realize that Apple is trying to create a safe, virus-spam-free platform, something Microsoft did (and Android will) fail at.

    Still, they have to be careful. MDN has articulated well the idiocy behind some of the app rejections. ZuneTang- your mama’s calling you..

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