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Apple Stops Barring Google and Adobe Technology

The Friday edition of the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is now permitting Google and Adobe technology--namely Google's AdMod ad network and Adobe Flash--on the iPad, iPhone, and other Apple products.

According to the paper, the move may be in response to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) antitrust investigation and the rising popularity of Google's Android platform. The new change in policy--which apparently began Thursday--will be effective for all developers across the board, allowing app creators more freedom to decide how to build their software.

The FTC launched its inquiry back in June amidst the heated controversy surrounding Adobe and Apple's sudden decision to prevent the use of cross-platform compilers. With the previous policy, Apple was essentially banning Flash and Flash-based applications, and thus sparked a "vicious public relations battle" between the two companies. Many analysts saw the new policy as a direct attack against Adobe and Google.

But that has now changed. Unfortunately, the revised policy only allows the use of Flash-based tools for app creation, and still does not permit access to Flash-based content on the Internet.

Still, Adobe seems pleased. "We are encouraged to see Apple lifting its restrictions on its licensing terms, giving developers the freedom to choose what tools they use to develop applications for Apple devices," Adobe said in a statement. The company has now resurrected its Flash tool (Packager) for use in the app development process.

Google also provided a thumbs up to the new policy. "Unlike the previous version, these new terms ensure that Apple's developers have the choice of a variety of advertising solutions (including Google and AdMob's) to earn money and fund their apps," said Omar Hamoui, Google's vice president of product management.

Smartphones running Google's Android platform are expected to outsell iPhones in 2010. The latest build of Android--v2.2 aka Froyo--brought support for Adobe Flash to millions of owners, allowing them to view Flash-based content on the Internet. Android consumers also have the choice of using Google Voice, allowing VoIP calling without using valuable contract minutes.