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Apple Vs. Adobe heats up

Discussion in 'Apple' started by mattCR, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/a-change-at-apple-causes-trouble-for-adobe/


    FlashBlog's comments:


    http://theflashblog.com/?p=1888

    TiPB makes some notes:

    http://www.tipb.com/2010/04/09/adobe-fire-apple-crosscompiler-ban/


    Apple fires back that it's taking this position because without being able to evaluate the code, they can't guarantee multi-tasking:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/04/09/apples_prohibition_of_flash_built_apps_in_iphone_4_0_related_to_multitasking.html


    Adobe Creative Suite is the highest-grossing non-Apple produced product for the Mac, so all talk of this meaning Adobe will storm away are ridiculous.. it's piles and piles of cash for adobe. And Apple really doesn't want a huge war with adobe because of that exact reason also, Adobe CS has been a major seller for Apple for a very long time.

    This should be interesting going forward as to what happens next.
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I thought Gruber's take made a lot of sense:
    http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/why_apple_changed_section_331


     
  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Fundamentally, you nailed it. IE, who would buy "Scrabble" for iPhone when you can play the game in Flash (for free) via Facebook. Etc. Apple is making this move largely geared at a single-platform development to ensure profitability.


    Nothing really wrong or new to that, see: Nintendo, Sony who do the same thing with their gaming platforms.
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    It's about multitasking MORE than it is about lock in.

    Apple is all about guaranteed performance on iPhone. Add in interpretted code and that goes to shit.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    ??? How is there interpreted code? Regardless the dev language, it still has to be converted to compiled, executed code. Or are these outputting a compiled app that subsequently inteprets meta-code?
     
  6. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Quote:
    Dave, I believe that you are correct and it generates compiled code. Running an interpreter was against all versions of the iPhone OS SDK/TOS. However Sam is fundamentally correct as well.

    These multi-platform compatibility environments generate inefficient, often ugly apps. See the Kindle application on Mac OS X as an example of just that. You will never be able to produce something that runs as well, looks as good and comports to Apple's Human Interface Guidelines as does a good natively developed app. Yes obviously one can write horrible native apps as well, but you can never write great non-native ones. And on average, the cross-ported stuff is poorly written shovel-ware.

    This move will benefit consumers, though it is clearly bad for Flash developers who won't or can't learn Cocoa Touch/C or HTML5/CSS3/Javascript. It will only be bad for Adobe if they don't produce a kick ass HTML5 IDE for CS6 -- if they do, developers will keep buying and using their tools.
     
  7. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    I think you are wrong here -- yes Apple wants to insure profitability, but what matters to them the most hardware sales. If every app on the iPhone/iPad was free, Apple would love it -- they would sell more hardware that way -- that would generate way more profit than their 30% share of iTunes app sales (minus CC processing costs, etc.). Also, just because something is written in Flash, what makes you think it will be free on iTunes?

    I think you are also wrong about what consumers will or won't pay for. The Facebook stuff isn't free -- there is advertising on Facebook. Same on the iPhone/iPad -- there are free games with advertising and paid apps without. Many users have shown themselves willing to pay to get the no-ad version. And to reward the developers of their favorite apps.
     
  8. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    It's easy to say that, but it doesn't play to the reality. Apple, like all hardware companies, doesn't make out like bandits on their hardware. They do well, that's true, online estimates figure they make as much as 41.2% profit per device based on internal parts.. but that also doesn't count overhead, research and development costs, etc. Those are things that aren't part of the picture at all with selling other people's content. Despite Job's downplay of the financial boon that is the Itunes store, App developers can tell you the reality: on every app sold, Apple gets 30%, you receive the remainder (less CC fees, or 2% of the whole) So, let's say you pull a PvZ. I'll use round numbers.

    You sell 50,000 copies at $3. Now, on each of those transactions, you'll still have the lowest negotiated CC rate per charge (.10) so $2.90.. now, times that by .02 to get the CC rate (5 cents). Ok, Apple gets 30% of the 2.90.. (87 cents), you the developer get $2.03. Except you pay the CC fee, so you get $1.87. Not bad for either.

    Now, let's go back to the 50k copies: Apples cut is now $43,500. Not bad. Multiply that across tons of apps, music, etc.. that 30% cut isn't so bad at all.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/steve-jobs-tries-to-downplay-the-itunes-stores-profit/

    IN 2008, Apple turned slightly more then $570 million in profit from the Itunes store:

    http://www.wired.com/listening_post/2008/03/apple-apparentl/

    Their volume of sales is way up today from then.

    Apple loves to say the store operates a bit over break even, but "a bit over break even" is a tricky thing in your stock reports:


    The Itunes Store is worth near $4B a year in Net cash influx, and estimated at a "lowly" $576M in profit. While it's "a bit" over break even, it still counts as Apple's largest continuous cash flow on their stock sheets.

    There is nothing wrong at all with Apple defending it. I'm not going to attack them for defending it. They have every right to. Sony doesn't let Microsoft sell int he PSN store. Nintendo controls what goes on the Nintendo network. No business wants to do anything to damage a cow that provides a good revenue stream.
    I'm just saying it makes for an interesting run down between Apple V Adobe. Outside of Quark Xpress, there are very few companies that were attached to Apple's gaining a huge position in the graphics world like Adobe. And, while it's easy to forget now, if it weren't for Adobe Type Manager, Suitcase, and other apps, Apple OS8 & 9 would have been screwed (IMHO)
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Steve Jobs (allegedly) endorses Gruber's take on the matter.

    http://www.taoeffect.com/blog/2010/04/steve-jobs-response-on-section-3-3-1/
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Quote:
    Sorry, I blame late night on my inaccurate and incomplete post. Yes, these cross compilers of course do generally make compiled executables. But its not guarantee. Things like actionscript still need interpretation. Pure Cocoa rules that out.
    http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Quote:
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/10/steve-jobs-responds-to-complaint-about-new-development-tool-rest/
    http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2010/04/11/has-steve-jobs-gone-mad/

    I sit on the 'just work' side of this. And I believe this is the route that Adobe will follow, it's not optimal but it keeps them in the game:
    http://www.9to5mac.com/Flash-html5-canvas-35409730

    Edit:
    Dilger says a lot of things badly, but I think the crux of this story is dead on.
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2010/04/10/five-tremendous-apple-vs-adobe-flash-myths/
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Dilger's post cracks me up on several points, but I just want to pick apart a few, because he's wearing some seriously colored glasses to reach some of these conclusions:


    I'd argue the exact reverse. if others had supported the NeXTSTEP API, you wouldn't have OSX now ... at all. In fact, I'm not sure if Apple would be anywhere right now. The big problem with NeXTSTEP, if people don't remember, is that it had NO way to communicate in any form with the pre-press market. NO ONE launched in with the NeXTStep platform, because, quite frankly, in 1998, Apple's biggest buyers were in the graphics world. And the interest in a product that couldn't go out to a RIP was really low.. I mean, REALLY low.

    I mean, this is revisionist history at the worst from people who seem to be johny-come-lately Mac fanboys, who don't remember what went on with anything but rosy glasses. I was at the University Seminars, in Los Angeles, in 1994, when Copland was first openly discussed. OS 7 was nearing the end, PPC was over, and the idea was to move forward. Motorola would develop true, next generation processors. Developers put their entire product lines on hold on the Mac side, because this was going to be the big thing. Microsoft was a joke, Windows 3.11 was not a real competitor. In 1995, after Windows 95 hit, the marketplace changed. OS 7 looked, and played, like s---. People realized the limitations were HUGE. Adobe had three major selling products flip the bit and begin real PC development. Even holdouts started thinking. Make no mistake, this was the lowpoint for apple, far lower then any point since. Copeland was scrapped in 1996, and developers had already poured a ton of money in.. including one I worked with then (and still sometimes do now). Nobody was at all happy. So, when Apple purchased NeXT, who was the one company they asked to provide statements to the NYT and WSJ?


    http://web.archive.org/web/19970301172356/http://live.apple.com/next/961220.pr.rel.next.html

    So what happened? Apple rolled out OS/7, and at the end of the year they announced that despite their thoughts, they couldn't merge NeXT into Copeland and Copeland was dead. Then you went through 2 years of just manic nothing, with developers rotating through being asked to develop for two platforms: OS8, which they knew they'd see, and were given advances on, and a future OS based on NeXT.. but considering how many laid out money and resources into Copeland, most took the sure bet. It was until nearly 3 years later that SDKs hit anyone's desks. At that point, there were people who questoned Apple's viability. This seems laughable now, but very true then. For those developers - especially Adobe, the biggest problem was that some of their biggest products looked at Openstep development with several big concerns, including money.. but one concern for them was that Apple had no real solid guidelines for key elements: Postscript Printing and Rendering. This was something that in OS7, OS8, OS9, Adobe had managed to handle and work into somewhat of a science, and managed to make work with RIPs. A big change in how this was done was something everyone needed to be on page with.. and let's not kid: Apple changed it's mind three freaking times before OS release, which burned some developers bad (See: Suitcase) and you can understand where they came from.

    This isn't to beat up Apple, or Jobs. Most of this happened under different leadership. But it's laughable to say "if developers had got on board, we'd have an iPhone in 1998" Please. When OS/X 10.0.0 shipped, people forget the issues that were significant: tons of "sad" mac, thanks to a major error within the video system, and oh yeah, the postscript engine was still so messed up that you never got WYSIWYG. Not even close. So when 10.1 shipped (Puma) which was the first one totally under Jobs, they went to a printing conference, announced a major Mea Culpa, and the post script engine was fixed... and because of the problem and a need to stay on a roll, OS/X 10.1 was given away free to everyone.

    I will give Apple tons of credit when it hits things right. But let's not make the past what it wasn't. 1994-1999 was a fairly dark time for Apple, tons of mis-steps, bad development, commitment to a bad product on some fronts. One of my favorite Jobs quotes is this one:


    In the end, Apple got it right. But it's hard to write an article and bag on developers and say "those idiots, how did they not know this was the future??" Well, because at that point, Apple was coming off a deplorable trackrecord and had two deadfish OS in the marketplace and were losing marketshare like crazy. Developers don't have crystal balls. I love the "but NeXTStep was the future" Yeah, developers were persuaded to some point to develop for NeXT. And, I'm one of those people who actually USED a NeXT cube and I know someone who stil has the one I used. Developers worked for that, and then, wham, it was all over. So, let's not say that developers could guess what was going to happen with Apple.

    In regards to Flash, the biggest benefit to Flash has always been the way -macromedia- not adobe, managed to tie Flash to a product it purchase (Allaire) and Coldfusion. Macromedia had managed to setup a platform whereby Flash (now Adobe Flash) could draw readily from native SQL engines to form fluid front ends that were dynamically generated.
    We've gone past that, and most of the Flash development now is at the direct application level. Adobe deserves criticism for it's slow turn around to 64 bit on Mac (it's offered a 64 bit on the PC side now since CS3, but CS5 will be the first on the Mac side). But again, part of that is money talking. Adobe simply sells a lot more copies on the PC side then the mac. I can imagine this happening other places, but it doesn't. I rarely see people come out and start dousing AutoCad, Dessault, or Mastercam for their failure to ever update a mac product or abandoning all support... (in the case of Autodesk, they have issued "Maya 2011" which will be one of the first native Mac 64 apps from them, but have at this time no plans to port AutoCad, AutoCad LT, etc)
    Some products are what they are. Apple has no reason to bend to Adobe. In this case, Adobe also has no real incentive to bend to Apple. Adobe (and Unity 3D) both developed their products in full compliance with the legal guidelines as set forward in the previous SDK. That has now changed. Adobe's argument isn't a monopoly or any crap like that.. that's ludicris.

    It's that they were allowed to develop a product "in bad faith" if Apple knew they would not allow for it, they could/should have given adobe a major heads up months ago, and they didn't. They also didn't provide Unity3d with that advice either.

    Windows Mobile phones are junk. And likely always will be. I have no interest in that. I've played with Android and I find it junk. I'm not an iPhone fan, but have lots of clients who are, and it is easily the best mobile "entertainment" phone. It might never work for me, because I need a phone that is a great "phone" first, and can't live without a keyboard. But I get why it works for other people. Hell, because of a client, I can't own a phone that has any form of a camera on it, so that rules out basically every iPhone I have. (you can't walk into their building with any camera or it will get confiscated or you turn it in up front, and since I can't really leave a phone sitting in a basket for an hour or two..)

    I think both sides have good arguments. But I had to correct the "would solve problems of Classic Mac OS" yeah, um, at that point, with all the crap that went on, there were a lot of developers who said no. Not because it might not be right, but because nobody was willing to bet money on Apple being right. And even the most die hard mac fan now may not remember how dark those years were for Apple, but go grab a Mac II
     
  13. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    I question what Adobe did *AFTER* Jobs' return and when Apple had clearly turned around with iMacs, OS X and iPods. They (and by their own admission) were devoting resources to Apple commensurate with its market share (i.e. tiny) as opposed to commensurate with the percentage of revenue Adobe GETS from its Mac products which I think is around 50%. Not to put too fine a point on it Adobe f***ed Apple and its Apple based customers for years, hoping they would just "see the light" and move to WIndows, so Adobe wouldn't have to support two different systems. Adobe's problem of course was that Photoshop was being used by the kind or people/businesses (free lance photographers and artists, advertising agencies) that would simply not consider PCs. Period.


    From my personal experience, this is simply not true. I had a B&W G3 ("Yosemite") Mac and started running Mac OS X since day ONE of Mac OS X Public Beta. I only ever booted into OS 9 if I had to deal with something that was too retarded to run in Classic.

    I NEVER had a single kernel panic, not one. After the frequent Mac OS 1 through 9 system crashes/freezes this was amazing, incredible, etc. I didn't get my first kernel panic until many years later on an Intel Mac Mini, because of a horrendous EyeTV digital audio bug that took them years to fix. I'm not even going to bother contrasting my experience with the rock solid stability of Mac OS X vs. the contemporary versions of Windows that blue screened at the drop of a hat, and were churning virus factories to boot. The irony is that now, in 2010, Microsoft is much more competitive with OS X with Windows 7 then it was in the early days of OS X when the gap in stability and security was just huge. The difference now is that innovative cutting edge developers work on OS X, not WIndows -- it has been ages since Windows has gotten anything resembling an exclusive Killer App.

    Yes, Apple before Jobs was a disaster in it's inability to move to an OS with protected memory and preemptive multitasking, thus I won't hold anything against companies that bailed on Apple in those days. But after Jobs became iCEO and it was clear Apple had a *very* modern OS onboard with NeXT Step I do hold them responsible for not seeing the future. And Adobe is guilty, guilty, guilty.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Post of the week Matt =)

    I glossed over that point of it. I personally skipped Apple from anything beyond the Apple ][ series to OSX.

    I was mainly saying he was right about these things:

    etc.
     
  15. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think you're right on Adobe shafting Apple users for some time. I don't deny that at all. Just so it can be said, the biggest issues with problems with OSX10.0.0 was that the screen to print (Postscript) renderer was broken, and did bomb like mad. I recognize that it didn't for you, but the problem was severe enough that Jobs himself appeared at two seperate printing conferences to release 10.1, and made an effort to make sure damn near everyone in the printing industry got it. Outside of the fact that Quark XPress and others had great issue (almost unusable issues) until 10.1. But that's why the release, and that's the past now.

    In a different direction, I'd argue it's been a long time since on either side of the coin you had a real "game changer" app, but I'd argue that both MS and Apple have had some great apps come through on both sides that are exclusives. And dependant on what industry you are in, there are some apps on both sides which have been complete game changers and exclusives. The thing is, we've kind of hit the point where almost everything you really need to do or want to do with a PC can be done. So, unless it's a specific market, or it's an exclusive product geared at a specific industry, there isn't a lot of game-changers.. ie, when SolidWorks 2010 shipped, it's new methods to ray modeling and interfacing with CAM software really did change the way people worked.

    But those kind of game changing apps are fewer and far between. I've owned a copy of Quicken in one form or another for 18 years. I've had MS Word since I used it in DOS in 1988. Some of the basic key functions just are what we are. That is really what has helped apple succeed. They've went after Niche markets and made it "cool". See: "Garage Band".
    But the era for incredible breakthroughs on a Desktop are largely over because now the "basics" are pretty well covered, and unique products which address need power both platforms. I mentioned things like AutoDesk, etc.. but hell, even more specific, it's not like tomorrow you'll see "Dentrix" Dental management system released native to OS/X. There just isn't support for it. In the same reason that the PC has taken a different track and you likely won't find anything like Garageband there.

    I appreciate both platforms for exactly what they are.

    In the case of Adobe V. Apple, I find it very interesting because I think both sides have a valid case. You mention Nintendo, Sony, etc. which I've referenced also.. I do believe Apple has every reason and right to control their platform. It's their platform, they can do what they want. The issue here is that under the previous SDK, what Adobe and Unity3d are doing was considered completely "OK" and they were basically given the thumbs up. Now that's changed, and it's not OK. This would be similar to Nintendo saying "yes, you can develop Resident Evil on the Wii.." and then, right before launch saying "oh, this is Nintendo, you can't have blood. You'll need to change all the blood to something else." :)

    In reference to Adobe developing for Mac.. unfortunately, it's been a long while since Mac made up 50% of it's income. That really has nothing to do with the graphics world, though. Adobe's biggest selling product is "Acrobat Professional" which Adobe managed to lure Dell, Lenovo and others into bundling "Acrobat Standard" with damn near every business PC.

    Adobe isn't hurting for cash at all. So, no need to cry tears for them. Adobe can figure this out. The company that should be throwing a bitch but isn't is Unity3d.

    http://unity3d.com/


    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2010/04/10/unity-and-the-iphone-os-4-0/

    Unity3d is a much, much smaller entity made up of allowing end users to develop gaming apps, basically. This change could be devestating for them. But rather then throw a fit, they are just saying "well, it is what it is, we'll figure this out." That is really the approach Adobe needs to take.

    Flash has some things that will be permanently possible within it, just by nature, that will be very difficult to ever get into HTML5. But Adobe has done very little to develop those things and start saying "this is a unique kind of tool". If Adobe were to come out and say "we've significantly improved our live-time caster for AIR for CPU usage + we've worked to increase encryption support for our major streaming customers like DirectTV" they'd make more impact then pissing and moaning at Apple. Innovation generally succeeds.


    I followed along for a long time.. Apple II, to IIe, to IIGS (which I still think was so far ahead of it's time that the fact Apple didn't hop on it and use it as part of the basis for a Mac was a huge f-- up.. 16 bit color with wavetable sound and sprite control? took Mac several years to get the exact same functions), then PC called.. Mac SE, PowerMac II, IMac (Blueberry) etc.. yeah, the 1990s sucked. But, it was fun too. I've always enjoyed tinkering with pretty much whatever is out there. :) It's funny, all through the nineties all you heard was people bitching about how everyone screwed up and missed the boat on the Amiga ;)
     
  16. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    BTW: Bluetooth Supports and USB disk drives made their way to the Apple IIGS, b--- es! (http://juiced.gs ) And the best killer app of all time, for me, was CinemaWare's "Defender of the Crown", or "Three Stooges" which were -great- freaking games, WAY ahead of anything anywhere else. "King of Chicago" up there also. Great, great stuff. Damn, I miss Cinemaware :(

    This was gaming:

    [​IMG]

    I'm sorry, that kind of graphics? In 1988? Please. Macintosh Plus had Checkers. That was freaking it. (well, and Chess, but you get my point) the IBM had really crap CGA.. SIXTEEN COLOR games. And the Apple IIGS? We had this.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I couldn't afford any of that shit. I had to live vicariously through my friends with their Amigas =) Mac's were completely out of the question for us price wise.

    Anyway, another grizzled veteran weighs in with sage evaluation:
    http://www.mondaynote.com/2010/04/11/the-adobe-apple-flame-war/
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    And @gruber points to this piece:
    http://www.devwhy.com/blog/2010/4/12/its-all-about-the-framework.html

    It goes on to show that a lot of these apps ARE using interpreters, and many of them which are getting away with it might not be able to do so in iPOS4. And that's going to cause some big issues for big developers (EA, NGMoko etc)

    I knew Adobe were using Lua heavily for Lightroom but I did not know how widespread it was to other devs. I had said to myself in the past 'well no way we will see Lightroom on iPhone in its current form because of its reliance on an interpreted language', but now that seems doubly cut our. I doubt Apple will cave on this, so it seems a lot of devs who ignored it are going to face some tough choices.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Jason Snell on Apple Vs. the World:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/150539/2010/04/apple_world.html?lsrc=twt_jsnell
     

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