Feeds

iPhone 4.0 SDK bars un-Jobsian code translation

Shed another tear for Adobe

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Apple's new SDK for the iPhone 4.0 OS bars developers from accessing the company's APIs through any sort of intermediary layer that translates applications written in ways Steve Jobs doesn't approve of.

This will likely prevent the iPhone packager in Adobe's upcoming Flash Professional CS5 development suite from converting Flash scripts into native Jesus Phone apps, and it may affect existing cross-compilers that work in much the same way, including Appcelerator's Titanium, an open source platform that lets you build native iPhone runtimes using web-happy development tools, including Javascript, html, and css.

Adobe tells us it's aware of the new SDK language and that it's looking into it. Flash CS5 is set to debut next week, and the company says it will "continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology."

Appcelerator declined to discuss the matter. But in a blog post earlier today, CEO Jeff Haynie acknowledged that the Jobsian SDK change could be a problem for the platform and other similar tools.

"It’s clear that products like Titanium...are now a bit in question for iPhone 4.0+ with [the new SDK] language. We’re all trying to get our heads around what this means and trying to reach out to Apple to get clarification," he tells developers.

"Hang tight, we’ll try and give you more information as we can figure it out from Apple. We don’t want to make any false promises or claims – and most importantly, we want to make sure we’re abiding by Apple’s rules."

The company later published a second post, saying it can't talk specifics because the SDK puts them under NDA. But then it said: "[The SDK's] terms are subject to clarification and change by Apple up through its official launch, which looks to be mid-summer. Until iPhone 4.0 is actually released, we will work with Apple to ensure that we abide by any updates to its Terms of Service, just as we have done successfully in the past."

The Apple-happy Daring Fireball blog speculated that the cross-platform mobile framework from PhoneGap may be affected as well. The framework developer in charge of iPhone work declined to comment on the matter, also citing Apple's non-disclosure agreement. "Unfortunately we can't comment on this officially because we are under Apple's NDA," he told us.

But in a Tweet, the company at least indicates it's not worried. "Everyone relax about the new policy. phonegap apps are accepted by apple," it says.

Apple's iPhone SDK has always said that "applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs." But Steve Jobs and company have now tacked on a few additional sentences.

"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 (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited)," reads the new iPhone 4.0 SDK, released today.

Though you wouldn't say that the new language targets Adobe specifically, it would appear that Steve Jobs has landed another blow against the company. Famously, Steve Jobs has already barred untranslated Flash from the iPhone and the iPad, calling it "buggy," littered with security holes, and a "CPU hog."

The SDK has always banned interpreted code on the iPhone OS platform, which includes the likes of Java as well. "An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise," it reads. "No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and built in interpreter(s)." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.