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Apple puts a flailing, disenfranchised Adobe out of its misery and bans cross-compiled apps from iPhone OS devices

It seems that, in a glorious case of thinly-veiled and slightly-obfuscated smackdown, Apple's new iPhone OS 4 SDK Developer Agreement outlaws cross-compiled applications, such as those made with Adobe's new Packager for iPhone Flash-to-iPhone compiler.

The new legalese reads:
3.3.1 - Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).
In essence, if you want to write new apps for Apple's iPhone OS 4 -- and thus the upcoming next-generation iPhone and iPad -- you're going to have to play by the rules. It's easy to claim that this is just Apple's latest salvo at Adobe, but I don't think even Apple would be that blatant and pigheaded. Rather, this is yet another move to ensure that only quality apps make it to the App Store. Cross-compiled ports are notoriously buggy and incongruous with native applications. It's worth noting that this change doesn't only affect Adobe -- IDEs such as MonoTouch and Unity may also be in trouble.

The evergreen and effervescent John Gruber of Daring Fireball scrutinizes the changes in the Developer Agreement and proves, without mincing words, that Adobe is well and truly fracked.

Update: Unity is safe, according to its CEO David Helgason: '"We have no indication from Apple that things are going to change." He also points out that this new agreement are 'beta' and could change.

Tags: adobe, api, apple, cross-compiled, developer, iphone os 4.0, IphoneOs4.0, legalese, monotouch, sdk



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