The new release of Director 12 publishes to iOS, which is big news to old Director hands like me. I believed that Adobe had let Director starve to death in the basement while Flash and Co. gobbled up the company’s resources. Now that Flash is dead on Android and, of course, never made it to iOS, this is some news indeed. But with a sting in the tail.
Mac4Ever pointed out (article in French) that Adobe revised its end-user license agreement to include a clause demanding, “10% of the revenue paid by Apple inc. and / or its affiliate(s) to customer in relation to such paid iOS app in a quarter.” So that’s 10% of whatever you get after Apple’s 30% cut. This only applies to revenues of over $20,000, which might not affect that many developers, but there is some noise going on in Adobe’s (probably unread by Adobe) user forums about this. With just eight comments, however, you can see how small that community has become, sadly.
Bear in mind that this an application Adobe have let languish for years and costs €1,188 for the boxed version and, weirdly, €1,228 to download (can someone explain the economics of that to me?). With Flash’s mobile demise, this could have actually seen some take up. I suspect there are quite a few ex-Director fans out there – its interface was always much more pleasant than Flash – but this feels like Adobe are actively discouraging people to use it for anything other than some small, hobby projects.
It would probably be useful for me for some quick prototyping interactive research projects, but only because I can still code in Lingo and it beats the learning curve of Objective-C for me.
Given there are so many other methods of prototyping for iOS out there that are either cheap or free, Adobe’s pricing strategy remains, as ever, an enigma. This enigma looks like it might have some light shed on it by Australia’s House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure and Communications who have summoned Apple, Adobe and Microsoft to a public hearing in order to explain their price gouging in Australia. Director 12 costs AU$1,671, which is US$1,721. It’s US$999 in the USA store. The same massive markup happens on all Adobe software.
(If you want to see it in action with a classic “bouncing ball” exercise, Raman Pfaff has made a short screencast of publishing Director 12 to iOS if you want to see it in action.)