John Gruber reports on a new clause in the iPhone 4.0 SDK, to be agreed by developers before downloading:
Gruber interprets this as prohibiting Flash applications compiled to iPhone, as well as other development tools such as Monotouch. Flash compilation for iPhone is a feature of Creative Suite 5, to be launched on Monday 12th April.
This raises several questions, including:
1. Why? Why should Apple care what development tool is used, provided it behaves correctly? Applications are still subject to Apple’s approval, distributed through the App Store, and if commercial are also subject to Apple’s fee.
2. Is this anti-competitive? I guess this depends on the answer to (1) above.
Either way, it stinks. It especially stinks if Apple gave no notice to companies such as Adobe and Novell; but it stinks anyway.
That said, it’s a beta SDK and a beta agreement so … it could change.
If the clause is intended, enforced and remains in the production SDK, expect fireworks. Given that the designer community loves both Apple and Adobe, there will be some stressed folk out there; they will make a lot of noise.
I have asked both Apple and Adobe for comment, and will report back on the responses.
Update: Adobe has tweeted:
We are looking into the new SDK language. We continue to develop Packager for iPhone OS which will debut in Flash #CS5