Adobe is today updating its app development software Flash Builder and its Flex framework, adding support for the iOS. Besides support for Apple’s mobile operating system, the software updates also add support for BlackBerry Tablet OS (Android is already supported).
The updates (both of which are labeled “4.5″) mean that developers can now easily create an app for Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS devices “using one tool chain, programming language and code base.” Furthermore, Flash Builder for PHP now supports application development for Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS.
In the past, the use of third-party development tools for iOS has been a matter of great debate. Once, these were banned by Apple. However, more recently Apple revised its App Store guidelines, and decided to allow the use of third-party development tools for iOS (such as Adobe Packager). This was undoubtedly a positive change, although it does have its downsides.
Namely, some argue that applications developed using third-party development tools (like Flash Builder) result in poor quality iOS apps. This is because the application isn’t developed specifically for the platform, and is instead being developed for a variety of platforms (in Flash Builder’s case, Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS).
While it’s great to see Apple relaxing its oft-criticized rules, if the quality of iOS applications suffers as a result of this, the company’s fans won’t be happy. Obviously, Adobe Flash Builder is great news for developers – it’s an easy way to create an application for a variety of different platforms, easily. But as mentioned, if the quality of iOS applications produced using this method fails, Apple fans quite simply won’t buy them.
Both Flash Builder and Flex are available to purchase individually, or as part of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Master Collection. Flash Builder 4.5 “Standard” is available for $249, the premium version retails at $699 and the upgrading price is $49.
For more information on the software updates, be sure to take a look at Adobe’s blog post.