Apple bans apps written using Adobe software

Eager to smack down Adobe Flash at every opportunity Apple has taken the unprecedented step of banning apps created with Adobe’s new Flash-to-iPhone Compiler in the forthcoming Creative Suite 5.

Under the rules of the iPhone OS 4 SDK which was today released in a preview beta edition apps must be written in native code (and ideally using Apple’s own Xcode software of course) – apps created using “an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited”.

Blogger Jon Gruber spotted the fine print in the just-published iPhone Developer Program License Agreement which previously allowed programmers to use any tools they liked to churn out the code.

The move appears to be aimed directly at the iPhone Packager tool in Flash Professional CS5 – a flagship feature in Creative Suite 5 family which Adobe is set to launch next week. The tool allows developers to create apps in Flash and then translate the code into an iPhone app.

Gruber notes that the ruling affects other cross-compilers such as MonoTouch which recompiles C# and .NET apps for the iPhone “but the language in the agreement doesn’t leave much wiggle room for Flash CS5. It could hardly be more clear if they singled out Flash CS5 by name.”