Apple's distaste for Adobe Systems' Flash went a step further Thursday with new iPhone programming terms that could shut down an Adobe tactic to slip its technology onto the iPhone through the back door.
Flash is a widely used foundation for applications and video-streaming sites on the Web. Apple doesn't like it and blocks it on the iPhone and iPad, though it's ubiquitous on PCs and laptops.
Adobe sidesteps this ban with its upcoming Flash Pro CS5--due to be formally announced next week--which can package Flash applications so they run as standalone programs on the iPhone. Last week, Adobe boasted that more than 100 programs in the Apple App Store use the Flash technology.
With the upcoming iPhone OS 4 announced Thursday and released to developers, it looks like the situation is changing.
Apple didn't respond to a request for comment about the move, and Adobe only said, "We are aware of the new SDK language and are looking into it. We continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in Flash CS5."
But Gruber couldn't figure a way out of it for Adobe and sees implications for a range of programming tools, many of them designed to let programmers target different devices with the same project. Another one is Novell's MonoTouch, which lets programmer's using Microsoft's C# programming language and associated .Net technology write for the iPhone and iPad.
Regarding MonoTouch, Mono project leader Miguel de Icaza didn't sound as concerned. "MonoTouch already has an option to compile to C + XCode, just call mtouch --xcode program.exe," he said on Twitter.
Another multi-device developer tool company that could be affected is Unity Technologies, but Chief Executive David Helgason made this statement: "We have no indication from Apple that things are going to change. We have a great relationship with Apple and will do everything we can to comply with Apple's TOS [terms of service] (also, these are 'beta TOS,' and these easily get changed) so that we can provide uninterrupted service to our more than 120,000 users."