John Gruber of Daring Fireball points to a change in the recent iPhone OS 4 SDK agreement, wherein Apple now refuses to accept any application not compiled in Objective-C, C, or C++. This move seems to directly address Adobe’s upcoming product, Flash Professional CS5, which would allow developers to compile Flash apps directly to iPhone. […]
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Apple Changes SDK Agreement, Will Not Accept Cross-Compiled Apps, Steve Jobs Explains

John Gruber of Daring Fireball points to a change in the recent iPhone OS 4 SDK agreement, wherein Apple now refuses to accept any application not compiled in Objective-C, C, or C++. This move seems to directly address Adobe’s upcoming product, Flash Professional CS5, which would allow developers to compile Flash apps directly to iPhone. Here is the new language in the SDK agreement:

Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Adobe’s aim was to allow Flash developers to write their app once, and be able then deploy it to multiple platforms. Apple’s change in the SDK language, and thus policy, comes only weeks before Adobe is set to release CS5.

Steve Jobs reportedly answers questions about this change in policy in an email exchange with Greg Slepak. Here, Jobs reportedly points to Gruber’s other piece regarding the change in the SDK agreement language. Gruber claims that this is a matter of control.
Gruber:

If that were to happen, there’s no lock-in advantage. If, say, a mobile Flash software platform — which encompassed multiple lower-level platforms, running on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry — were established, that app market would not give people a reason to prefer the iPhone.

and

And, obviously, such a meta-platform would be out of Apple’s control. Consider a world where some other company’s cross-platform toolkit proved wildly popular. Then Apple releases major new features to iPhone OS, and that other company’s toolkit is slow to adopt them. At that point, it’s the other company that controls when third-party apps can make use of these features.

Jobs also reportedly stated in a subsequent email that, “We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.”

So, it looks like Apple is in the midst of full blown rivalries against two large companies: Adobe, and Google.

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