At Adobe, we believe that the open flow of creativity, ideas, and information should be limited only by the imagination. Innovation thrives when people are free to choose the technologies that enable them to openly express themselves and access information where and when they want. Everyone loses when technological barriers impede the exchange of ideas.
Visit the Freedom of Choice page to learn more, and to read The Truth About Flash, and well as Our thoughts on open markets by Adobe’s founders, Chuck Geschke and John Warnock.

20 thoughts

  1. Interesting but largely unexpected comment from Adobe. The more I see, the more Adobe looks as a company with no clear path and based on emotional reactions.
    When somebody start to talk about "freedom", "choices" and "love", you would expect it to be done on a 360 degree reflection, even if limited to a certain domain, like software and technology in this case.
    Let’s talk about choices: I’ve been for years a customer of both Macromedia with FreedHand and Adobe with GoLive (among many other packages from both). When MM has been purchased by Adobe, both of my "choices" have vanished, all my investment in learning and growing using these two products have been flushed away with little respect. Does Adobe cared about more "choices" at that time? Clearly not.
    Apple didn’t include Flash in their iStuff; it has been a "choice" of theirs. They have not been using Flash on their web sites for years. Still, millions of people stop by and buy their devices. In any shop I have been to purchase my hardware, nobody has ever forced me to buy a device from Apple, my "choice" was buy that device from Apple among all the other. It is my "choice" and I "love" it.
    Adobe seems to imply that the world has been limited by Apple in any significant way, but I fail to see how.
    If really the rest of the world has decided to embrace Flash with the exception of Apple, why Adobe is so worried about Apple choices and the choices of Apple customers?

  2. @Andrew
    Apple has limited innovation and by consequence, consumer choice, by requiring developers to build their apps using their own preferred methods. At the end of the day, they’re hurting their own customers.
    For developers that want to

  3. @Andrew: "but I fail to see how."
    I’ll help you out, chief: Apple doesn’t include the Flash player on their devices. Because of the large number of web sites which use Flash, a web browsing device that doesn’t have the Flash player is an

  4. @Wendy
    Unfortunately you seem to miss the point: nobody forces you or anybody else to buy an iPhone.
    If Steve Jobs thinks Flash is not necessary on their devices so be it, people may buy other terminals that actually support Flash (when it

  5. Xcode is a free download. It costs $99 a year to join the iPhone developer program, and another $99 to join the Mac program. Dreamweaver, FlexBuilder, and ColdFusion Builder are a bit more expensive than that – you want support with too?
    Flash has seemingly run successfully on an Android phone; just not in public. The public demo failed. Flash developers interested in Android may have to wait a bit longer to make their fortunes. Me, I prefer the choice not to have to pay a lot of money to start developing; and FlashBlock is the first add-on that goes with FireFox for most everyone I know.

  6. @Andrew: Beyond the "Flash" debate, what apple is doing is telling the development community that they cannot use *any* development frameworks for creating apps. PhoneGap, for example cannot be used – which is unfortunate, because my company was

  7. Sorry @David, you are lying. Apple has already stated that PhoneGap is completely safe. Check it here: http://blogs.nitobi.com/jesse/2010/04/14/phonegap-and-the-apple-developer-license-agreement/
    Adobe has no one to blame but themselves. They have pissed on Apple for the last decade. Now that Apple has a dominant technology, Adobe is crying that Apple won’t let them play.
    I’m a Python developer, but I’m not crying over the fact that I can’t write an iPhone app with Python. If I want to write a native iPhone app, I’ll learn Obj-C and Cocoa. Why is that so hard to understand?
    If mobile Flash is going to be so great, then prove it on Android. If it turns out to be great, let Apple worry.

  8. I’m lying? Really? As opposed to made a mistake?
    "How this affects other tool-chains like Appcelerator, Flash CS5, Corona, MonoTouch, … I have absolutely no idea. All I can say is that PhoneGap is okay." – from the link you gave me.
    There is *nothing* in the SDK agreement that automatically exempts PhoneGap from the "lockdown".
    If Apple is making an exception, it is JUST that. But that’s also a problem. When will Apple *stop* making that exception? When will it remove PhoneGap based apps because of something PhoneGap did?
    "If I want to write a native iPhone app, I’ll learn Obj-C and Cocoa. Why is that so hard to understand?"
    I don’t have a problem understanding you – from a business point of view, it makes no sense. This country (America) was founded on people doing things differently, more effectively, using innovation and imagination. That is NOT what Apple is doing here. Now, you can agree with that if you like, and that’s your prerogative, but don’t disguise it as "choice".

  9. Hi Cliff, Your app requires a user to get an account with Amazon S3, hence there was a delay in approval. Sorry about that. There are a lot of developers on the AIR Marketplace today that are using their own methods to sell their AIR apps. I wanted to assure you that the fact – "your app not using Shibuya" did not impact the delay in approval process. You have my emailID now, feel free to reach out to me if you have further concerns.

  10. From the letter, "Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody – and everybody, but certainly not a single company."
    This from a company who continually boasts that 98% of all the "rich" media content on the web flows through a single proprietary player? That they control?
    Sorry, not buying it.
    Besides, what Flash? It’s been three years since the introduction of the iPhone, and Adobe still doesn’t have a full working version available on ANY phone.
    Heck, Adobe can’t even be bothered to fix bugs on their flagship products.
    http://www.cfinternals.org/blog/2008/03/dreamweaver-cs3.html
    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/415302
    Apple is better off without Adobe on their platform.

  11. First of all, I am not an Apple fan. I stopped buying Apple products for political reasons even before that whole Flash discussion started. And for the last 10+ years I have been making my living with products that now belong to Adobe.
    Now, Apple may be wrong in thinking that the iPhone can be the top selling smart phone without Flash. Or they may be right. I don’t know the mobile market enough to predict that. But, of all the people that I know outside and who do not work for Adobe, not one has complained to me that the apps are not written in Flash. Only one is missing Flash on the iPhone at all (because one web site uses free Flash games ;-))
    If the iPhone is so great that the majority of people can live without Flash on it, then the DEVELOPERS will have to adjust. People don’t care what technology an app is built with, as long as it does what it is supposed to do.
    "Now, if we are to pursue an iPhone mobile strategy, we’ll need to pay for, learn and use Apples tools. This will increase our costs, at a time when we really can’t be increasing our costs."
    No offense intended, but, I fail to see where this is Apple’s fault or even their problem. You can not seriously demand that another company adjusts their devices or their regulations to your business model or business situation.
    "which tools we use to develop applications should be OUR choice, not Steve Jobs!"
    So why do you accept that Adobe does the same thing? My platform of choice is Linux… and most Adobe tools do not run on that platform. You could say Adobe forces you to use Windows or Mac. And again, that comes down to a business decision. (A reasonable business decision to me, btw.) Their tools, their business, their choice. Not ours. It just happens that this business decision suits your situation, so you don’t object.
    Just imagine that Apple would demand that all iPhone apps were written in Flash or Flex and all other technologies were forbidden. Do you think that Adobe would be demanding Freedom of Choice in that situation? Would any Flash developer demand Freedom of Choice then? I don’t think either one to be very likely.
    Chris

  12. From the article, "Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody — and everybody, but certainly not a single company."
    This from a single company who boasts that 98% of all the rich media content on the web is handled by their proprietary player? That company?

  13. @Jeff Self says, " If I want to write a native iPhone app, I’ll learn Obj-C and Cocoa. "
    Question for all: how long did it take you all to become 100% proficient in these? From what I understand, it takes an average of 3 years for a progr

  14. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the iPhone, and I do not use Flash very often because of the particular nature of the sites I maintain. As a casual observer, it seemed clear to me that Apple took the first shot in this little war and then doubled-down on it.
    Some of the points above are correct in saying that "choice" cuts both ways. However, suppose Mr. Jobs had decided to not allow Javascript on the iPhone, iPad, etc. That would be clearly silly and would disable a great many sites. But it would be somewhat justified, because Javascript has been much less portable among different browser versions than Flash has.
    Of course Javascript is not a commercial product like Flash is. But Jobs’ argument was not totally based on open source issues. He also chose to say how icky Flash was as a product in general. Well, especially in past years, I have found much more compatibility among Flash sites in all the browsers I use than among the Javascript pieces of various sites.
    If Apple had decided to not use Flash without feeling the need to run down the product publicly, I wouldn’t have bothered to join the discussion. Again — speaking as a casual observer — it seems like Apple made this a lot more pointed than necessary, which always makes me wonder if it was something more than a simple technology/market choice. Adobe is reacting strongly, but it strikes me as more of a response to an attack.
    Just my 2 cents.

  15. I would like to focus on one single point of this debate: The insistence that Apple is not only wrong, but should be investigated for antitrust violations, for requiring developers to use their tools to develop applications for their Operating Systems.
    Not only is that no where NEAR the world of antitrust (you can’t have a monopoly of your own product line), it is also disingenuous to point the finger at Apple and exclude other companies like Microsoft. People are claiming that Apple is forcing them to buy a Mac and use their software tools to develop Apps for their platforms. First of all, no one is forcing anyone to develop Apple apps at all. Second, please tell me how I can develop Microsoft .Net applications on my platform of choice, my Macintosh. Answer: I can’t because MS "does not let me". But no one is screaming, "MS is making me buy a PC and their Dev tools to build their Apps." Why not?
    And as someone above has already stated, the Apple SDK and tools are all FREE, and it is only $99 per YEAR to be part of their Developers network. Compare that to an MSDN license, which START at $1,500 per year.
    Regards,
    Troy

  16. Here’s a good example of Adobe loving choice (not).
    I submitted Zarqon to the AIR Marketplace, but since it competes with Adobe’s Shibuya by giving developers the ability to license their apps and sell them anywhere, it sits there unapproved and Adobe refuses even to answer my emails on the subject. And I’m an Adobe Solution Partner! Shibuya didn’t even exist when I started Zarqon, and I have a year’s development in it. Not that AIR Marketplace is the only way to sell it, but it would be nice if I could put it there like the others in the community who love AIR. Its their store and they choose what to put on the shelves, true but its funny how much it reminds me of their argument that Apple should let Adobe play in their walled garden…
    -=Cliff>

  17. Amazing! After 2 weeks of radio silence from Adobe on the matter, only scant hours after making the post above, Adobe approved Zarqon in the AIR Marketplace. Yay! Adobe really does love open markets. 🙂
    -=Cliff>

  18. @Shikha, I appreciate your letting me know what was going on and approving my offering. In absence of any word I feared the worst. Our corner of the industry is operating in such a charged atmosphere right now, it makes me want to give up coding and start

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