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Home > Various September 9th, 2010

Apple Relaxes Restrictions for Adobe Flash Apps on iPad & iPhone

Big news this morning from Apple, pertaining to the acceptability of Adobe Flash-built applica­tions on the iPhone and iPad. Perhaps in response to the zooming popularity of the Android mobile platform, Apple has eased its previous restriction against certain development tools (including Adobe’s Flash Professional CS5) that can be used to create standalone apps for its iOS operating system.

Adobe loves Apple and freedom of choice

Up until now, iPhone/iPad apps built with a new technology in Adobe CS5 known as the Packager for iPhone were not accepted in Apple’s App Store – meaning existing multi­platform Flash applications could technically be recompiled run as native iOS apps, but could not easily be made available to the broader public. But this is all changed now – and suggests that a wealth of new apps will be coming soon to Apple’s smartphones, benefiting both users and developers alike…

More from Apple:

We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.

In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.

Now this applies solely to self-contained mobile apps and games, and not to the Adobe Flash Player – so it won’t suddenly make dynamic Flash web content work within the iPhone and iPad browsers, but it’s nonetheless a major policy shift by Apple and huge step towards healing the rift betweeen these two behemoths that has so often left developers and end-users caught in the middle.

Apple also for the first time is publishing their official App Store Review Guidelines to help developers better understand how the company reviews (and accepts or rejects) submitted apps. So this will help increase transparency, which has also been an point of controversy – and makes for good news all around.

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  1. Hunter

    This is great to see, and a stunning turnabout for Apple over five months. I wonder too if possible regulatory action had anything to do with it.
    Regardless, I love both companies so it makes me happy, but is only halfway there. We (they) also need to get the Flash Player on the iDevices, I am dog-tired of seeing the blue lego boxes already!!

    • Yes, good point Hunter – thanks for your observation. A few months back there was talk of a possible FTC or DoJ investigation of Apple via-a-vis its actions with Adobe (regarding Flash) and Google (regarding mobile ads and AdMob). So that could indeed be a factor here as well – and the likelihood is it was a collection of important reasons for the policy change.