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There's Always an Unintended Consequence

April 20, 2010 16:23:42.754

When Apple banned "meta platforms" from the iPad/iPhone recently, I don't think they expected to get a raspberry from educators and Alan Kay - but that's what ended up happening:

Jobs this month personally mailed an iPad to Kay, who praised Apple’s tablet as “fantastically good” for drawing, painting and typing. But Kay declined to give his full evaluation of the iPad to until his question of whether Scratch or Etoys, another educational programming language Kay developed for kids, would be usable on the device.

This is a consequence of Scratch being pulled from the app store, which itself was collateral damage from Apple's war on Flash. Now they've ended up in bad place, because they are getting bad PR from sympathetic people (children and educators). If they carve out an exception for Scratch, on the other hand, the rule starts looking even more obviously aimed at Adobe - "If that's ok, why not this?"

I suppose they could go with "meta platforms are ok for educational apps", but that will end up looking silly, too. When they created this rule as a way of targeting Adobe/Flash, I bet they thought they were being pretty clever. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

It's not just Wired that's noticed, either - the NY Times' Gadget blog has the story, too.

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posted by James Robertson

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