AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Sources blame cross-compiler ban on iPhone 4 multitasking

updated 05:55 pm EDT, Fri April 9, 2010

Restriction said to be not directly aimed at Adobe

Contrary to early suggestions that Apple's apparent ban on cross-compilers is aimed directly at Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone utility, sources familiar with the company's plans claim the move is actually related to technical requirements for the multitasking functionality in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 update, according to AppleInsider.

Speculation was based on a change in Apple's SDK terms, which currently outlines a simple restriction prohibiting developers from using private APIs. The updated section, included as part of the iPhone 4.0 SDK beta, expanded the language language with new details requiring apps to be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript.

The "originally written" wording was interpreted as a ban on cross compilers, such as the Adobe utility that automatically converts Flash-written apps into a format suitable for the iPhone. Similar products include MonoTouch, Unity3D, and PhoneGap.

Sources suggest Apple will be reviewing apps for compatibility with APIs for smart multitasking. The system is said to require software to behave in exactly the same manner as a native C/C++/Obj-C application, which would reportedly cause problems with cross-compiled apps initially written in another code.

Developers will soon have access to Adobe's latest Flash CS5 software. The Flash-to-iPhone tool has been touted as one of the principal features. As Apple has been known to selectively enforce its SDK terms, it is still unclear if the new language truly represents a comprehensive ban on all cross-compilers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Ank

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sources are blowing smoke up your a**.

    Nice spin from "sources". I hope this lie doesn't gain traction.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    and you know this how?

  1. MacScientist

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: lies?

    I just love this caterwauling by Adobe and its supporters. The iPhone represents one of today's greatest opportunities for developers. Yet it is somehow beyond Adobe's capabilities to use native iPhone development tools and it is unreasonable to it expect it to.

    How much do Apple development tools cost? That would be the terribly unreasonable sum of $0.00 US. Oh, the horrror!

  1. jslove

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cross-compiler targets

    It is perfectly possible to make a cross-compiler that emits C, Objective-C, or C++ as its output, which would be used an intermediate form that you would recompile using Apple's compilers. It's pretty hard to see how Apple could object in that case. Ratfor translated block structure to fortran 36 years ago. So this is just political posturing, and about as significant as what Rush Limbaugh says on the radio. (That's a two-edged comment; interpret it both ways.)

    There are less obvious technical reasons to want to control, say, the code generator of the compilers, for example making it easier to change platforms yet again.

    The restriction on interpreted languages to one interpreter and only the version Apple controls also reflects a distrust of other people's code generators and assembly code, but it's not enforced to a ridiculous level, or there are lots of products on the App Store that couldn't be there. Consider Frotz, or the arcade simulators that appear to be interpreting the 6502 instruction set.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented