Seems that way to me. Mind you I just live in the valley, a humble peasant, watching the battle between these two towers. But if this latest news isn’t a giant cannonball aimed at the tower gate, I dunno what is. If you haven’t yet read, Apple will apparently be banning any Flash CS5 published Apps submitted to them. Mind you, Adobe is days away from their CS5 Suite debut and that particular feature was looking to be the big one in Flash. Among a bazillion other sites reporting this, here’s one good one that explains more than I will on the whole issue. I want to address this question from the article…
“The real question is, what sort of meeting did Apple staff have where they determined that it was a good idea – and a necessary idea – to block cross-compilation?”
My dad just asked me that yesterday too, why does Apple care?… Well remember that most Apps are developed on what… (queue Jeopardy music)…. a Mac. If they let Flash CS5 users on PC’s start developing Apps, submissions to the store would probably go up 400 or 500% and with more quantity, the quality would suffer. Imagine if every 4 out of 5 things you bought at a store (online or otherwise) sucked. Would you keep buying from that store? And Apple needs to be very careful now that the iPad is bringing in Apps that are selling for more. People don’t grind that teeth that much at losing a dollar to a sucky app, but if you pay $10 for something, and it crashes frequently or just isn’t that good, you’ll be ticked.
And of course, requiring developers to buy a Mac to develop for the App store is like, kinda good for business too isn’t it? Developers are a small pie slice obviously, they make up 1 in probably 10,000 Mac buyers, but they are also like the aces in blackjack. They have double value. You get a user, and you get a spreader. Maybe they are more like religious zealots than casino cards. Whatever, someone follows me.
Now back to Adobe and Apple’s main battlefront. The iPhone and iPad not having the Flash plugin. Much of this I’ve said before, but I’ll say it again. This is an easy problem to solve for Adobe! Just make Flash publish to an HTML5 format as well as the Apple-hated swf format. Developers can then fancy up their embed code even more to choose between either format based on the device. Flash already publishes to exe, Mac Projector, PNG, JPG, GIF, GIF animation Quicktime, EPS, and some others I’m probably forgetting. Point is, Macromedia/Adobe developers have shown through the history of Flash that the program is great for developing stuff for MANY different formats and both companies have supported what the developers wanted to export to. And HTML5 will eventually be one of those must-have formats.
Keep in mind too, Adobe makes zero money off of the .swf format (as far as I know). There are no licensing fees that developers pay to publish to swf or to embed the swf format on their servers. We developers pay for the program only. So Adobe has no reason to fight for the survival of the SWF file. They do need to keep Flash (the authoring program) as hot as possible and to do that, it just needs to publish to HTML5. I can’t imagine that isn’t in the works yet, but it looks like the team thats working on the export-to-iPhone feature will have a new whiteboard of “to-do’s” soon.