Keeping the Platform Nimble

Steve Cheney raises a good point regarding Apple’s renewed push for App Store developers to use Apple’s own iPhone SDK:

By telling developers to move to Xcode tools, Apple is setting the stage to potentially switch architectures.

History often repeats itself: In 2003, Apple advised developers to switch to Xcode tools. This was not a coincidental move — 2 years later Apple moved to Intel across its entire Mac line. Developers who complied could simply press a button and applications would run natively (full performance) on new Intel Macs.

Adobe did not ship (non-beta) Intel-native versions of the Creative Suite apps until April 2007, 16 months after Apple began shipping Intel-based Macs (and about two years after Apple announced the Intel transition). Adobe was also late shipping Mac OS X versions of Photoshop.

Cheney’s idle speculation that the A4 CPU in the iPad is something other than ARM is not the case, but, still, it’s not silly in the least bit to think that Apple will someday add a new architecture for iPhone OS devices (or, will someday push for iPhone OS apps to go 64-bit). Not wanting to wait two years for Adobe to update Flash’s iPhone compiler is perfectly reasonable on Apple’s part. Adobe has a track record regarding their preparedness for Apple platform shifts, and it’s not good.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010