or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple drops iPhone NDA for released software
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple drops iPhone NDA for released software

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Responding to widespread criticism, Apple said Wednesday that it has decided to do away with its non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software while it drafts a new agreement covering just non-released software.

"We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others donÂt steal our work. It has happened before," the company said in a statement on its iPhone developer site.

"While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others."

Apple went on to acknowledge that the iPhone NDA "has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhoneÂs success, so we are dropping it for released software."

The Cupertino-based company is currently drafting a new agreement withoutÂ*an NDAÂ*covering released software that developers will have to sign later this month.
post #2 of 42
Give 'em credit for listening. A step in the right direction.

Mark
post #3 of 42
As long as this doesn't enable others to rip off Apple's code and concepts, it's a nice step forward and one less thing the usual tech media pundits will have to nag about.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
Reply
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
Reply
post #4 of 42
This is great news - not just for the development of iPhone apps, but also to show that Apple can listen. Too much in the recent past it has given the impression that it is oblivious to the very valid complaints of its customers and developers - but this move, together with the change on app reviews announced a few days ago shows Apple in a much better light.

Oh, and btw, I freakin' LOVE my iPhone
post #5 of 42
"None Disclosure Agreement"

Wow.
post #6 of 42
I like how all the comments here are actually positive.

If you go over to MDN or Engadget it's all pissy stuff and juvenile "About blooddy time!" kind of comments.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I like how all the comments here are actually positive.

Typical Apple fanboys!
post #8 of 42
Two down, one to go.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I like how all the comments here are actually positive.

If you go over to MDN or Engadget it's all pissy stuff and juvenile "About blooddy time!" kind of comments.

It is though!
post #10 of 42
This is good and all, but who approved that writing? Awful copy \.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synotic View Post

This is good and all, but who approved that writing? Awful copy \.

It's never good to use phrases like "ripped off" in official company communications. The letter comes across as whining.
post #12 of 42
I'll be ok with this as long as the app store isn't flooded with crap.
I also hope they will be still screening new apps for bugs.
post #13 of 42
ok so now let's see some intelligent discussion - All the whiners that couldn't even develop an application if they were paid millions to, for lack of a fundamental tool: namely a brain, can now go find another topic to rag on.
post #14 of 42
So does this enable the distribution of open source (not necessarily GPL) programs? For example, if someone writes a tethering application (which can't be sold on the apple store) they can now just post the source code and anyone can download, compile, and install it.

Or is there some other legal gotcha?
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

As long as this doesn't enable others to rip off Apple's code and concepts, it's a nice step forward and one less thing the usual tech media pundits will have to nag about.

I don't see how dropping the NDA means that Apple's code and concepts are suddenly free-for-all. Apple's code is still going to fall under copyright, the protectable concepts should have been patented already. I doubt they would show independent devs stuff protected as trade secret. I haven't heard of anyone saying that the iPhone OS source code is available to developers either.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdm View Post

i don't see how dropping the nda means that apple's code and concepts are suddenly free-for-all. Apple's code is still going to fall under copyright, the protectable concepts should have been patented already. I doubt they would show independent devs stuff protected as trade secret. I haven't heard of anyone saying that the iphone os source code is available to developers either.



copy that
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoes View Post

So does this enable the distribution of open source (not necessarily GPL) programs? For example, if someone writes a tethering application (which can't be sold on the apple store) they can now just post the source code and anyone can download, compile, and install it.

That has nothing to do with the NDA. The NDA means we couldn't even discuss developing for iPhone in public. That means no forums, tutorials, books, etc. Now we can discuss it. It doesn't give us any new capabilities.
post #18 of 42
To reply to you's guys about the iPhone OS source code, no, it is in no way in the hands of the developers. Only the coding concepts, sample code, and unrestricted API's.

Unlike Mac OS X, many of the actual API's in use are not published or compilable with the public SDK.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

That has nothing to do with the NDA. The NDA means we couldn't even discuss developing for iPhone in public. That means no forums, tutorials, books, etc. Now we can discuss it. It doesn't give us any new capabilities.

But before we couldn't distribute source code. Can we now? It appears so. That allows projects to be hosted at places like Sourceforge or Google Code. If there are to be any books, tutorials, etc. they will likely include source code &/or websites with downloadable code.

For example, I wrote a little app that I'd like to respond to a "shake" event. The docs & sample apps show how to read the accelerometer values, but not how to interpret a "shake". Now someone should be able to post boilerplate code for listening for "shakes".

- Jasen.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

That has nothing to do with the NDA. The NDA means we couldn't even discuss developing for iPhone in public. That means no forums, tutorials, books, etc. Now we can discuss it. It doesn't give us any new capabilities.

I disagree, the NDA prohibited anyone from posting iPhone source code online since doing so would reveal parts of the iPhone SDK API to people not under NDA. If example code can now be posted online or in books, then I see no reason why code for a full application can't be posted.

It's probably also reasonable to assume that now GPL programs can be developed for the iPhone (for example, Adium) and sold on the App Store (for those people who don't want to download and compile the source code).
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

To reply to you's guys about the iPhone OS source code, no, it is in no way in the hands of the developers. Only the coding concepts, sample code, and unrestricted API's.

Unlike Mac OS X, many of the actual API's in use are not published or compilable with the public SDK.

Huh? Not talking about the OS source code. Talking about application source code.

Since SDK 2.1 is relatively recent, it's hard for me to believe that interesting and useful applications (like tethering) can't be developed using it.
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple

We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software.

What's this distinction? If you haven't released a code snippet on the App Store, is it under a NDA then? That would mean a continuation of no books, not much discussion of anything except between seasoned Apple devs (who, incidentally, have a lot to lose so are likely to avoid angering Apple).

Of course one can simply discuss everything anonymously, NDA or no...
post #23 of 42
To answer my own question... it looks like to compile and run an iPhone application on an actual iPhone (as opposed to the simulator) you have to pony up the $99 to Apple. Bummer.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoes View Post

Huh? Not talking about the OS source code. Talking about application source code.

Since SDK 2.1 is relatively recent, it's hard for me to believe that interesting and useful applications (like tethering) can't be developed using it.


Yeah, thats what i meant.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

What's this distinction? If you haven't released a code snippet on the App Store, is it under a NDA then? That would mean a continuation of no books, not much discussion of anything except between seasoned Apple devs (who, incidentally, have a lot to lose so are likely to avoid angering Apple).

Of course one can simply discuss everything anonymously, NDA or no...

All non-released software is under NDA. Thats why I'm under NDA when I beta Photoshop. Once they release the software, I can say what I want (within reason).

Companies don't want testers, or developers, talking about bugs, features that may not be in the final version, or features that were mentioned in public that have not yet made it into the software.

Apple isn't concerned with DEVELOPERS code. just how that code can tell those competitors how APPLE'S code works, etc.

It was surprising that Apple didn't lift the NDA once 2.0 went public. But, now it will be under more normal NDA restrictions.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoes View Post

I disagree, the NDA prohibited anyone from posting iPhone source code online since doing so would reveal parts of the iPhone SDK API to people not under NDA. If example code can now be posted online or in books, then I see no reason why code for a full application can't be posted.

Sorry, I didn't clarify. Yes, you can now release your source code. (Although WordPress did from the start, even though they shouldn't have)

But people can not download it and install it on their iPhone, unless they are also a developer because they need provisioning profiles keyed to their device, which they (or someone) needs to be a registered developer to do. But I believe this was legal before, since both parties were under Apple's NDA. You just couldn't publicly post the code.

So, from the perspective of helping other developers, this is very good. But it doesn't allow you to give away your app to regular users without going through the App store.
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Sorry, I didn't clarify. Yes, you can now release your source code. (Although WordPress did from the start, even though they shouldn't have)

But people can not download it and install it on their iPhone, unless they are also a developer because they need provisioning profiles keyed to their device, which they (or someone) needs to be a registered developer to do. But I believe this was legal before, since both parties were under Apple's NDA. You just couldn't publicly post the code.

So, from the perspective of helping other developers, this is very good. But it doesn't allow you to give away your app to regular users without going through the App store.

Yes, the benefit here is solely to developers, first hand at least.

The thing is, though, this will also produce applications that:

a) Don't crash - developers can now confer and help each other in overcoming this.
b) have more depth - applications get more complex and better built as developers can now talk openly about API's and how to use them.
c) faster - finding less processor intensive ways to do things benefits the entire developer community, and thus users, as they cause better battery life and also a "snappier" (lol) user experience.
c) are generally better - getting other developers views and suggestions will create far better programs all-round.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoes View Post

To answer my own question... it looks like to compile and run an iPhone application on an actual iPhone (as opposed to the simulator) you have to pony up the $99 to Apple. Bummer.

One hundred dollars is a big deal for you? I'd say it's one of the best deals going. If you have a solid app to offer and if you stand behind it with some kind of customer service with regular updates, you'll make your $100 back and then some.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

One hundred dollars is a big deal for you? I'd say it's one of the best deals going. If you have a solid app to offer and if you stand behind it with some kind of customer service with regular updates, you'll make your $100 back and then some.

I can't disagree with your assesment that you can easily make the money back. The $100 can almost be covered by accident. But that is all after the fact. $100 is a lot of money if you are trying to startup a ligit business on a shoe string.

The thing is you have filling fees, lawyer fees and insurance to look at and deal with before that first sale is made. You can be out of a lot of money before success on the app store pays off. Plus you have to realize that half of whatever you make will go to taxes.

I've been looking into the possibility of starting a business specifically to market apps on app store. As such I've been learning a bit about the whole process of getting a business going and this got involved in a program offered by SCORE. In four nights they threw a lot of info at us that I thought was very useful. As such I'd reccomend that anybody thinking about app store get into touch with the local SBA and get all the info you can.


Dave
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

One hundred dollars is a big deal for you? I'd say it's one of the best deals going. If you have a solid app to offer and if you stand behind it with some kind of customer service with regular updates, you'll make your $100 back and then some.

The point is to be able to write and release for others programs that Apple won't let in the App Store (for example, tethering, or a podcast utility, or an email client, or a unix shell, or a flash player, or a java client...).

It's not clear to me if the removal of the NDA now makes it possible to sell GPL applications in the App Store. Does it fulfill the terms of the license if you provide your source code but other people can't compile it without paying Apple? It seems against the spirit of the license, if not the letter.
post #31 of 42
Finally I will be able to communicate freely about the SDK. Frankly that is a good thing as it does in fact slow the development process.

The thing is there is a lot of strangeness in the SDK and frankly talking to others that have been down the same road just makes for less frustration.

Dave
post #32 of 42
There was a couple of Apple-apologists saying the iPhone NDA was a good thing here last week? What do you say now? Now that Apple agrees is wasn't good, do you still think it's a good thing? Think for yourselves guys, please.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69

$100 is a lot of money if you are trying to startup a ligit business on a shoe string.

If you want the business to be truly legitimate you're going to have to spend 5X that to register the business name and incorporate the company. Sure it would be better if it was free, but it's Apple, you only get stuff for free in your dreams with Apple
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoes View Post

It's not clear to me if the removal of the NDA now makes it possible to sell GPL applications in the App Store. Does it fulfill the terms of the license if you provide your source code but other people can't compile it without paying Apple? It seems against the spirit of the license, if not the letter.

Other people can compile and run it - but only on the simulator.
People have to pay $99 to deploy to a physical device. Personally, it'd almost be worth paying the $99 to have access to all the apps that people will be releasing source code for. Think of it as a flat fee to bypass the App Store.

I could see developers releasing source code for people to download, build, and deploy themselves, and also submit binary only versions to the App Store.

- Jasen.
post #35 of 42
This is excellent news! I can't wait to finally get involved in some discussion groups or forums and spend some time learning the system..
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Other people can compile and run it - but only on the simulator.
People have to pay $99 to deploy to a physical device. Personally, it'd almost be worth paying the $99 to have access to all the apps that people will be releasing source code for. Think of it as a flat fee to bypass the App Store.

I could see developers releasing source code for people to download, build, and deploy themselves, and also submit binary only versions to the App Store.

Well, I suppose compared to other systems, it can be cheap. It's cheap compared to trying to make a business out of it, but maybe not so much as a hobby. It depends on the person, some people spend every spare cent on a hobby, others spend much less.

Someone can make apps for regular computers on any currently supported computer platform at no cost other than download and learning. Whether there will be enough open source apps to make it worthwhile, I don't know. Right now, I've only bought one app, the only kind of third party app that I wanted on my Palms, though the one I used for Palm was free. It's too bad there wasn't a good Palm OS smartphone. Even if the UI has a bit of a dated look, my Zodiac was always snappy and ran without hesitation.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Well, I suppose compared to other systems, it can be cheap. It's cheap compared to trying to make a business out of it, but maybe not so much as a hobby. It depends on the person, some people spend every spare cent on a hobby, others spend much less.

$99 for a hobby is real cheap. Who doesn't spend more than $99 on a hobby over time? If you knew how much I've spent on my fish this year, you wouldn't even mention the $99.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

$99 for a hobby is real cheap. Who doesn't spend more than $99 on a hobby over time? If you knew how much I've spent on my fish this year, you wouldn't even mention the $99.

As I said: "It depends on the person". Some people can buy and fly airplanes as a hobby, others, not so much.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Well, I suppose compared to other systems, it can be cheap. It's cheap compared to trying to make a business out of it, but maybe not so much as a hobby. It depends on the person, some people spend every spare cent on a hobby, others spend much less.

Someone can make apps for regular computers on any currently supported computer platform at no cost other than download and learning. Whether there will be enough open source apps to make it worthwhile, I don't know. Right now, I've only bought one app, the only kind of third party app that I wanted on my Palms, though the one I used for Palm was free. It's too bad there wasn't a good Palm OS smartphone. Even if the UI has a bit of a dated look, my Zodiac was always snappy and ran without hesitation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

As I said: "It depends on the person". Some people can buy and fly airplanes as a hobby, others, not so much.

Still, $99 for a bobby is, er, fish food.
post #40 of 42
According to most of the posts here, it seems only a few knew what the NDA did, my understanding was this:
The NDA prevented iPhone app developers share solutions and ideas amongst each other. So if you were an iPhone app developer you couldn't go on a forum and discuss 'the best way to do such and such...' or if someone wanted to ask questions on how someone accomplished a certain task, according to the NDA that would've been 'illegal'.

A useless thing really, it kinda prevented iPhone apps from evolving leaving each app in its own vacuum further adding fire to the rumors that the iPhone is unstable.
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple drops iPhone NDA for released software