Sunday, May 9, 2010

Report: Apple developing a Flash alternative

The heated battle between Apple and Adobe Systems over Flash may get a bit more interesting, as reports of a Flash alternative being developed by Apple begin to surface.

The technology, called Gianduia, was introduced by Apple last summer at its World of WebObjects Developer Conference, according to an AppleInsider report. Gianduia is described as being "a client-side, standards-based framework for rich Internet apps."

Apple has apparently been using Gianduia in several of its retail support applications, including services such as the One to One program, the iPhone reservation system, and the Concierge program for Genius Bar and Personal Shoppingreservations.

The use of a standards-based technology makes sense for Apple, considering its position on Flash. Apple has made it very clear that it opted to support HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS instead of Flash.

Apple hasn't supported Flash in any of its mobile devices, from the latest iPad, going back to the original iPhone. In fact, in an open letter about the technology, CEO Steve Jobs called Flash "a closed system" and said "we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the Web should be open."

When it announced Creative Suite 5, Adobe said Flash would allow its developers to export projects as apps for use on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. However, a change to its iPhone Developer Licensing Agreement banned developers from using technologies other than Apple's to develop applications.

"We know from painful experience that letting a third-party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in substandard apps, and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform," said Jobs in his letter.

Adobe subsequently said it would abandon future development of the technology.

However, Adobe wasn't finished with the issue. The company reportedly complained to U.S. authorities about Apple's behavior, which may lead to an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice.

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