I have waited a few days to write this while I gather my thoughts. I wanted to get a feel for how others were feeling and see their responses. I will probably talk more about this on an upcoming episode of my podcast CFhour().
There has been lots of talk lately about the proposed change to the iPhone OS4 EULA. It seems to be all that people are talking about. Not just those that use Adobe products but others as well. This EULA change impacts a much broader audience than most realize. The EULA change basically squashes anything that can be used to generate iPhone apps that is not Apple's IDE.
The EULA change from Apple came out just before Adobe was set to announce the release their CS5 suit. The suit that included the tool to publish Flash based applications as iPhone applications. I highly doubt this was a coincidence. I think that everything that Apple does is calculated to get the largest impact.
Like I stated, this change impacts everyone. Well, anyone that intended to create applications for multiple platforms with the same code base. If most programmers are like me then they know a few languages. Once you learn a couple the rest become easier. However, with the ever changing technological landscape, is getting harder to keep up. With new tools like those from Adobe and Titanium, I could make applications in what I already know and deploy my app to more places.
The ability to create one code base and deploy to many devices is very compelling to us, the programmers. Writing programs that are device specific is hard. It is very time consuming and complicated. For the non-programmer it can be compared to this. Write a document in Word so you can send it to your friend that has a Windows PC. Now, if your other friend on a Mac wants to read the document you have to rewrite it using Notepad from scratch. No cut-paste allowed, you must retype it. Sounds hard and insanely unnecessary huh?
Well this is what Apple is doing to us with the EULA change. We now have to make a decision before we start the project. Will we create an iPhone version of our app or not. We can create an app and then deploy it to the desktop (any OS), Android, Blackberry and others with the same code base. But, if we want to support the iPhone/iPad/iPod then we must make a version for them from scratch.
As I told a friend of mine. I have a shovel and want to use it in everyone's sandbox. However, apple made it so that my shovel is incapable of moving their sand. So I now have to decided on weather or not to get a specialized shovel for their sandbox or not play in it. I personally have no intent on getting that shovel. I have plenty of shovels already that work for me.
This, for me, is a total travesty. This is to me something like Apple smacking the technology world in the face. To me, the have this air of superiority and appear to have this "we can't go wrong" attitude. It is like Apple is playing big stack poker. They have 3/4 of the chips and are using their stack to control everything. There are some new players at the table but they don't have enough chips yet to push back.
Well, these are my thoughts on the topic. However disjointed and all over the place they are. I don't see this as an Apple vs. Adobe issue. I think it is an Apple vs. Technology issue. I hope that Apple and the rest of the technology community can work this out. In the end, all that Apple is really hurting is the consumer.
Till next time...