John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Flash in the Pan: New Apple Rules Do Little for Adobe

The recent loosening of Apple’s developer rules, particularly the company’s decision to remove a prohibition against “intermediary translation or compatibility layers” in iOS apps, hasn’t done much for Adobe.

Though the company renewed support for its Packager for iPhone–a tool that allowed programmers to recompile applications written in Flash in Apple’s mobile OS–almost immediately after Apple (AAPL) lifted its restriction on it, Adobe (ADBE) hasn’t seen quite the sort of pickup you’d expect following the relaxation of what it once decried as Apple’s “tyrannical control” over developers.

Consider this exchange between Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson during the company’s earnings call earlier this week.

Olsen: Just one quick one regarding the Apple stuff allowing apps developed with Adobe tools to be used on their devices. Other than being a good headline that kind of helps dissipate some of the clouds that are on that issue, do you believe it actually changes the demand for Adobe Creative products?

Narayen: What we did see was that the day Apple announced the removal of the licensing restrictions that a number of people who had created products using our tool submitted that to the Apple Store and were approved. I think it just continues to reflect the opportunity which we have with our tools, which is to help designers and developers continue to develop their applications and content in our tools and repurpose it to multiple different output media. In the short run, I would say the impact was muted.

A “muted” impact. Too bad for Adobe that the same can’t be said of the impact of the company’s latest earnings on its share price….

Anyway, that the relaxation of Apple’s developer rules hasn’t had much of an effect on demand for Adobe software is hardly surprising. Any developer that’s serious about writing apps for Apple’s mobile devices is likely going to use its iOS SDK because it results in better apps. As one prominent dev recently told me:

Flash is one way to write cross platform apps, but in my professional opinion–Flash typically does not result in high quality applications on the desktop and mobile. Ignoring performance issues…text rendering in flash typically doesn’t look native, controls never look or behave exactly right, and integration with native system-wide functionality is often missing (spell check, bouncing tableviews, native view selection styles). This results in sub-par applications. Apps that are written specifically for cross platform tend to not take advantage of native features unique to each device.”


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