Apple reverses anti-Flash development position

Shortly after banning tools that enabled iPhone developers to transcode Adobe Flash for Apple iOS apps, Apple quietly lifted the controversial restrictions. A spokesperson said that restrictions were all relaxed except if the apps downloaded any code. As a result, iPhone/iPad developers can once again design and build apps in Flash and then convert the results for Apple iOS devices.

When Steve Jobs announced the ban in March, he stated that it was because “a third-party layer of software between the platform and the developer ultimately results in substandard apps.” Adobe countered by announcing they were ceasing development of iPhone Flash tools. Also, government officials were looking into whether Apple’s actions constituted an antitrust issue, as reported by the New York Post.

Days before Apple’s latest announcement, mobile browser company Skyfire submitted a mobile browser to the App Store that is capable of playing Flash video “while adhering to all Apple’s guidelines regarding HTML5 open-video standards on Apple devices.” There’s no word on whether Apple has approved the entry.

Apple also released its first tweak of its Version 4 OS, iOS 4.1, which supports Game Center, iTunes Ping, video rentals from iTunes and enhanced imaging capabilities and support for HD video uploads via WiFi to YouTube and MobileME.