Apple gives Adobe the bird with new iPhone OS

Jobs’ Mob is further limiting what developers will be able to do with the iPhone with the release of the iPhone OS 4 beta SDK.

In the released developer’s agreement, Apple says that “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.”

The revised agreement is the latest in Jobs’ crusade against Adobe and Flash, with the upcoming Flash-to-iPhone compiler in the Flash Professional CS5 release being slapped with an iPhone dev ban.

Cynics, or perhaps realists, suggest that the purpose of the change as well as a middle finger to Adobe is to further cement Apple’s monopoly on the mobile market, and to make it harder for people to write multiple platform mobile apps. Adobe wants to lock mobile developers into using Flash for apps, while Apple wants to lock devs into its specific APIs.

On his bog, John Gruber reckons that the move shouldn’t be difficult to police. iPhone apps made by Flash CS5 are easy to identify, he says, by taking a look at the contents of the app bundle.

However, TechEye’s resident geek James Crowley thinks that possibly affected developers such as the Monotouch guys may not be thoroughly screwed. They have the ability to switch to C + XCode which, in theory, means the dev may not be affected – depending on how dilligent Apple is or if it has any actual way of telling. In theory Apple may be able to pick up tell tale signs from the way resulting code is generated, but that would take a lot of time and effort compared to any possible gain.