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Apple no longer banning third-party iOS development tools

post #1 of 175
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Apple on Thursday announced that it would no longer ban intermediary development tools for iOS as long as App Store software does not download any code, potentially paving the way for third-party software to convert applications from other formats like Adobe Flash.

In the statement, the company revealed that it had made "important changes" to sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 of its iOS Developer Program license, relaxing some of the restrictions that were put in place earlier this year. The company has also published the approval guidelines for its tightly controlled App Store, in which all software must be reviewed before it is released.

The changes come just weeks after evidence surfaced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission was looking into a complaint from Adobe over Apple's banning of Flash from iOS devices. The FTC denied a public records request related to the case, stating that the release of such documents could interfere with an ongoing investigation.

Earlier this year, Apple updated its iOS 4 SDK to ban intermediary tools that would allow the porting of applications from Adobe's Flash, Sun's Java, or Microsoft's Silverlight/Mono.

The change was made after Adobe announced that its Creative Suite 5 would include an application that would allow developers to port their applications to the iPhone from Flash. Adobe eventually abandoned further development of the application following Apple's announcement. That was also when the company filed a complaint with the FTC.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs publicly commented on the matter in an open letter published in late April, in which he slammed Adobe Flash as a Web tool that is unfit for the modern, mobile era of computing. He also said that an intermediary tool for converting Flash applications to the iPhone would produce "sub-standard apps," and would hinder the progress of the platform.

At the time, Jobs said he knew from "painful experience" that allowing developers to become dependent on a third-party tool, such as Adobe Flash, rather than writing natively for the iPhone is restrictive. "We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers," Jobs wrote.

As for the publication of App Store approval guidelines, Apple has repeatedly come under fire for not being open enough with developers. Some who write for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have complained that it is unclear what software is acceptable.

The most high-profile App Store review incident came in 2009, when Apple refused to approve the Google Voice application, a telephony service from the search giant. The matter was investigated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, and Apple at the time denied that it had rejected the Google Voice app, but said it was continuing to "study it."

The full statement from Thursday is included in its entirety:

The App Store has revolutionized the way mobile applications are developed and distributed. With over 250,000 apps and 6.5 billion downloads, the App Store has become the world’s largest mobile application platform and App Store developers have earned over one billion dollars from the sales of their apps.

We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.

In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.

In addition, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.

The App Store is perhaps the most important milestone in the history of mobile software. Working together with our developers, we will continue to surprise and delight our users with innovative mobile apps.
post #2 of 175
Bout time!
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post #3 of 175
Apple pwns!
post #4 of 175
As much as I'd hate to see ported Flash apps, this is a huge step forward. Love the transparency.

Congrats, Apple!

(Guess Android is making you a little nervous, eh?!)

This news along with paying developers when they reach lowered financial threshold is a great thing. Competition is good.
post #5 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Competition is good.

Competition is neither good nor bad. Its results can be constructive, or destructive. It is only the actions of competitors that make the result of competition positive or negative, and there is no guarantee what the result will be.
post #6 of 175
Nothing to do with Android.

Rationalises the rules to allow the various gaming engines and code converters (whilst keeping out Flash) ahead of any trade body investigations.
post #7 of 175
Get ready for all the apps written by retards!
post #8 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Competition is neither good nor bad. Its results can be constructive, or destructive. It is only the actions of competitors that make the result of competition positive or negative, and there is no guarantee what the result will be.

I agree with what youre saying but as a general rule I say the simple answer bikertwin is also correct.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Nothing to do with Android.

Rationalises the rules to allow the various gaming engines and code converters (whilst keeping out Flash) ahead of any trade body investigations.

That is how I read it. I dont expect to see Adobe Flash on the iPhone anytime soon, but I also dont expect to see Adobe Flash on most mobile OSes. September 2010 and still only on some (not all) Android v2.2 Froyo devices. Wasnt it suppose to be on all devices, sans the iPhone back in 2008, leaving iPhone OS in the dust.
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post #9 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Get ready for all the apps written by retards!

Ever browse the app store by release date? There are tens of thousands of those already.

Developers with high standards will continue to release good software, regardless of the tools they use. Developers with low standards will continue to release junk, regardless of the tools they use.
post #10 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Competition is neither good nor bad. Its results can be constructive, or destructive. It is only the actions of competitors that make the result of competition positive or negative, and there is no guarantee what the result will be.

What a terrible thing to say. Competition is a very good thing. Unless you're a shareholder I guess.
post #11 of 175
Might be complete nonsense, but I wonder if this could have anything to do with the new mystery app in iLife 11 - some form of simple development tool for the average user to create an app which is then ported to iOS ready format - apple could hardly create a tool to let users do this and then stop other tools (such as flash) from doing the same. Just a though, might be rubbish.
post #12 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Get ready for all the apps written by retards!


Exactly. Deluged by brainless web app morons.
post #13 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zweben View Post

Ever browse the app store by release date? There are tens of thousands of those already


But now it will get even worse. Hmm actually, most of the crap ones in the store are already made by third party dev tools.
post #14 of 175
For those interested, here is the link to the Review Guidelines: http://developer.apple.com/appstore/...uidelines.html

Hope non-developers can also access it.
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post #15 of 175
Nice move Apple, although I do wonder about the actual reasons that brought about this change of policy.
post #16 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zweben View Post

Developers with high standards will continue to release good software, regardless of the tools they use. Developers with low standards will continue to release junk, regardless of the tools they use.

Easier to use tools will allow people to develop that previously could not, due to the difficulty of Objective-C/Xcode.

And often tools make programming easier by hiding detail. And the more detail hidden away, the more general the code generated. And the more general the code, the less domain specific knowledge it can leverage for any one particular app. Less efficient apps = more CPU wastage, more memory used, less battery life, worse for the environment, lower opinion of the device overall by customers.

Nice one Apple! Don't you care about the overall quality of your products? Or the trees!?
post #17 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

For those interested, here is the link to the Review Guidelines: http://developer.apple.com/appstore/...uidelines.html

Hope non-developers can also access it.

My free developer account redirects me to a Page Not Found, though the URL clearly says "unauthorized". You likely need to be a paying developer in order to read it.
post #18 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

...
(Guess Android is making you a little nervous, eh?!)

This news along with paying developers when they reach lowered financial threshold is a great thing. Competition is good.

You bet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlcmh View Post

Nice move Apple, although I do wonder about the actual reasons that brought about this change of policy.

Quite the U-turn, isn't it? No consistency whatsoever -- except in the determination to stay on top.
post #19 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Exactly. Deluged by brainless web app morons.

Ugh. All those web apps on the iPad. That's an image I won't get out of my head easily. C'mon Apple, keep it elite, put the customers before the developers.
post #20 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Might be complete nonsense, but I wonder if this could have anything to do with the new mystery app in iLife 11 - some form of simple development tool for the average user to create an app which is then ported to iOS ready format - apple could hardly create a tool to let users do this and then stop other tools (such as flash) from doing the same. Just a though, might be rubbish.

What would an average user would want to create that needs to be an app? Digital greeting cards?
post #21 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlcmh View Post

Nice move Apple, although I do wonder about the actual reasons that brought about this change of policy.

The Federal Trade Commission probably called Jobs and told him he was going to jail if he didn't stop trying to rule the world.
post #22 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

What would an average user would want to create that needs to be an app? Digital greeting cards?

Maybe it's more along the lines of Automator or Applescript, for end users or enterprises to create custom use apps. Doesn't Android have an Automator-like app that they're testing now?
post #23 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

You bet.



Quite the U-turn, isn't it? No consistency whatsoever -- except in the determination to stay on top.


Apple has ONLY one goal: Make as much money as possible. They will do anything to get there.
post #24 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Easier to use tools will allow people to develop that previously could not, due to the difficulty of Objective-C/Xcode.

And often tools make programming easier by hiding detail. And the more detail hidden away, the more general the code generated. And the more general the code, the less domain specific knowledge it can leverage for any one particular app. Less efficient apps = more CPU wastage, more memory used, less battery life, worse for the environment, lower opinion of the device overall by customers.

Nice one Apple! Don't you care about the overall quality of your products? Or the trees!?

There is, of course, another way of looking at it. Environments that generalize away the "boilerplate" allow developers to focus on the innovative aspects of their apps, leading to an expansion of new ideas and environments.
post #25 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Quite the U-turn, isn't it? No consistency whatsoever -- except in the determination to stay on top.

Is this a U-turn or the natural progression of an maturing platform. Apple started with no SDK and released on about 9 months later with the App Store going live a year after the original iPhone launched. Would it have been better to release a poor option to devs like Palm did with the first WebOS SDK or does it make sense for Apple, devs and consumers to build out in a controlled and sensible fashion?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post

The Federal Trade Commission probably called Jobs and told him he was going to jail if he didn't stop trying to rule the world.

At least your posts are consistent.
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post #26 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Get ready for all the apps written by retards!

Yes, iFart was a work of true genius.
post #27 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

There is, of course, another way of looking at it. Environments that generalize away the "boilerplate" allow developers to focus on the innovative aspects of their apps, leading to an expansion of new ideas and environments.

That is the role of the OS. When app-level entities try to usurp that role they cause the kinds of problems Steve Jobs mentioned in his Thoughts on Flash.
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/
post #28 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post

What a terrible thing to say. Competition is a very good thing. Unless you're a shareholder I guess.

No, competition can result in a race to the bottom, as has happened in the PC industry.
post #29 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalTroll View Post

Yes, iFart was a work of true genius.

Phillip Shoemaker, director of applications technology at Apple and the man who runs the App Store, has a side business called Gray Noodle. Gray Noodle is responsible for quality iPhone apps like Animal Farts, a urination simulator called iWiz


it doesn't take 3rd party tools to make lousy apps. it doesn't even take 3rd party PEOPLE.
post #30 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

Phillip Shoemaker, director of applications technology at Apple and the man who runs the App Store, has a side business called Gray Noodle. Gray Noodle is responsible for quality iPhone apps like Animal Farts, a urination simulator called iWiz


it doesn't take 3rd party tools to make lousy apps. it doesn't even take 3rd party PEOPLE.

No, it's just much easier, is all he was saying. And he's right, of course.
post #31 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

No, it's just much easier, is all he was saying. And he's right, of course.

i agree, but it also allows quality developers to work in their "native" development tools.
post #32 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Might be complete nonsense, but I wonder if this could have anything to do with the new mystery app in iLife 11 - some form of simple development tool for the average user to create an app which is then ported to iOS ready format - apple could hardly create a tool to let users do this and then stop other tools (such as flash) from doing the same. Just a though, might be rubbish.

Unlikely. Apple already has provisions that let them do things they don't allow 3rd parties to do (some uses of location services is one example).

The most likely reason for this change is that Apple stood a good chance of losing this battle with the FTC. Rather than Apple getting a reputation of needing to be "set straight" by regulators, which could then come back to bite them in future confrontations, Apple ended the fight before it started.
post #33 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post

What a terrible thing to say. Competition is a very good thing. Unless you're a shareholder I guess.

No it's not a terrible thing to say; it's accurate. So many folks always pipe in with "competition is good!" like some kind of a mantra. If I have a product to market, I want to dominate that market, not kindly split it down the middle with my competitors: I want them out of business. You may or may not benefit from that, and any assumption on the part of consumers is just that, an assumption.

With all due respect, dismissing the original poster as a shareholder is a dubious assertion: he/she might be a small business owner who knows better.
post #34 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree with what you’re saying but as a general rule I say the simple answer bikertwin is also correct.

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, there is no general rule. Sometimes it may even appear to be on the surface, but a deeper examination may reveal the negative. Sometimes it really is good.

What I object to is the thoughtless repetition of the sentiment that, "competition is [always] good," when, in fact, it's contrary to the facts, and a dangerous exercise in self-deception to proclaim, "All will be well, there is competition!"
post #35 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Is this a U-turn or the natural progression of an maturing platform. Apple started with no SDK and released on about 9 months later with the App Store going live a year after the original iPhone launched. Would it have been better to release a poor option to devs like Palm did with the first WebOS SDK or does it make sense for Apple, devs and consumers to build out in a controlled and sensible fashion?


Adapt and prosper or lag and desist. On a pace, or in a race.

When you have the things, the timing, and the place worked out, things tend to naturally fall into place. A tautology for the winner, a curse for the whiner.

This is what is called "controlled development" in a competitive and unforgiving environment.
post #36 of 175
September 9, 2010 will be remembered as the day when HELL FINALLY FROZE OVER...
post #37 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Might be complete nonsense, but I wonder if this could have anything to do with the new mystery app in iLife 11 - some form of simple development tool for the average user to create an app which is then ported to iOS ready format - apple could hardly create a tool to let users do this and then stop other tools (such as flash) from doing the same. Just a though, might be rubbish.

What mystery app?

First I've heard about that rumor!

iPad CoBOL? AlGol? Neat Linear Programming (and feed blending)? APL (need reverse italics)? CICS?

Seriously-- Asked an answered, Steve said he would welcome a HyperCard app on the iPad, If somebody would write one... Bill Atkinson writes iapps!

RunRev had/has a HyperCard-like app development tool that runs on a Mac or PC.

http://www.runrev.com/products/revmobile/overview/

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post #38 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post

No it's not a terrible thing to say; it's accurate. So many folks always pipe in with "competition is good!" like some kind of a mantra. If I have a product to market, I want to dominate that market, not kindly split it down the middle with my competitors: I want them out of business. You may or may not benefit from that, and any assumption on the part of consumers is just that, an assumption.

With all due respect, dismissing the original poster as a shareholder is a dubious assertion: he/she might be a small business owner who knows better.

So, all you are really saying, is that for a business, the owners or the shareholders, a lack of competition is good. That is sort of what he meant when he said "Unless you're a shareholder I guess". Obviously, for a business, or anyone involved in it, a lack of competition is good.

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post #39 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

September 9, 2010 will be remembered as the day when HELL FINALLY FROZE OVER...

Weird timing, huh? Two more days and "Houston, we have a PR problem" on our hands.

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GOA

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post #40 of 175
there's been quite the move to android by a huge number of developers. I'm guessing Apple slowly figured this out.

I say... awesome Apple, it's about time they woke up.
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