Adobe retract Flash offering for the iPhone

April 23, 2010

Adobe has pulled development of a flash platform for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. It claims the main reason is that Apple has a complete stranglehold on the development cycle and wants to keep it that way. Flash on the iPhone would enable many developers to write apps without having to comply with the restrictive system Apple employ – but is this a bad thing.

There are two problems with flash.  Firstly, performance has always been an issue with flash because it hogs system resources and is generally responsible for crashing your browser.  Secondly, the security has come under attack as it has recently become the target for many hackers and criminal gangs given its popularity.

However, neither of these issues concern Apple because they want to maintain the firm grip on development and the fact that Flash layers a development platform on top of the iPhone is not good for business.  Apple recently pulled a very popular educational game from the iTunes store for the same reason.

As mentioned earlier I think Apple may be right here.  One of the reasons the iPhone became so successful was because “there’s an app for that” and micro payment system was very easy to use.  (Although there are not many situations where you hand over a credit card number before you even buy anything).  Let’s face it, when the iPhone was first release it didn’t really work well as a phone because many of the de facto features you’d expect to find on a phone were not there.  But as a hybrid device it was fantastic.

But the tight contracts Apple has with its developers ensures that quality code is produced thus maintaining the integrity and success of the product.