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Adobe abandons iPhone code tools

23 April 10 09:41 GMT

Adobe is to stop making software tools that allow Apple's iPhone and iPad to use its popular Flash technology.

The decision reverses an earlier pledge in which it said it would help get Flash working on the gadgets.

Flash is very widely used on the web and many sites use it to power animations, media players and other multimedia elements.

Despite this, Apple's products do not support Flash and it has made public statements criticising the technology.

Closed tools

In mid-April, Adobe released software called Creative Suite 5 that contained translation tools that automatically turn Flash code into programs that run on the iPhone.

Shortly before the release, Apple updated the terms and conditions of the license software developers must sign to create iPhone and iPad applications. The revisions prompted a lot of criticism from many iPhone developers.

The revised terms placed strict restrictions on what developers can use to create these applications and effectively banned them from using code translators such as Creative Suite 5.

At the time Adobe wrote that it still intended to deliver the translation tools. Now it has said it will halt development of future translation tools for Creative Suite.

"We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5," wrote Mike Chambers, Adobe's principal product manager for developer relations, on his blog. "However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature."

Mr Chambers also commented on Apple's revision of its terms and conditions. He wrote: " developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at any time."

Apple responded in a statement to technology news site CNet in which it described Flash as "closed and proprietary". Apple preferred to support more open standards which replicate everything Flash can do, added the statement.

Mr Chambers wrote that now Adobe will concentrate on Google's Android smartphone software and ensure that its Flash technology works well with that.

"Fortunately," he wrote, "the iPhone isn't the only game in town."

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