Steve Jobs on Flash

29 Apr/10

Steve Jobs’ open letter “Thoughts on Flash” is a win for the open web, and a logical and well-articulated discussion of why Apple won’t allow Flash on the iPhone and iPad. Hooray. But. While Jobs says he refuses to put his products “at the mercy” of a third party, that’s exactly what Apple asks of all its iPhone app developers, to take the chance that Apple won’t distribute their work for arbitrary reasons (they might “confuse” the user, they include porn, they duplicate functionality, they use unapproved hooks). Jobs’ letter could be rewritten from a developer to Apple, and I hope someone takes the time to do just that. Turn this sentence from Jobs: “We cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.” Into this: “We cannot accept an outcome where our apps are blocked from using innovations and enhancements because Apple doesn’t approve.” Just sayin’.

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