Cook: Apple may open select iOS APIs to third-party developers

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that third-party developers would slowly gain access to iOS application programming interfaces (APIs) in the future, allowing for apps to integrate with higher functions of the iPhone and iPad.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the D11 conference. | Source: AllThingsD


Of the myriad topics crammed into Cook's one hour interview at the D11 conference on Tuesday was whether the company's mobile OS would become more "open" to developers, that is would Apple give up some of its notoriously strict control of iOS,

"Of course," Cook told AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. "On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you'll see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience. So there's always a fine line to walk there, or maybe not so fine.

Cook said he believes customers pay for Apple to make certain choices on their behalf, such as a system's security and stability.

Mossberg referenced Google's Android lock screen assets as an example of being open to developers. Specifically, he pointed to Facebook's Home Android launcher, saying he heard the social network offered a similar solution for iOS.

"I've see some of these settings screens, and I don't think that's what customers want," he said. "Do some want it? Yes."

In the future, Cook said he expects iOS to become more open, but hinted that the control would ultimately lie in the hands of Apple.

"So you'll see the bobbleheads?" Swisher asked jokingly, referring to Facebook's Chat Head feature.

"There's always more the companies can do together," Cook replied. "I don't think that that's one."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    I recall just the other day expecting this to happen, in order to allows Services to be leveraged ala NeXTSTEP/Openstep; and more importantly within an entire OS X/iOS Ecosystem.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I wonder if Forstall's departure has anything to do with this or if it was going to happen anyway (now that Steve is gone).
  • Reply 3 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member


    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    I wonder if Forstall's departure has anything to do with this or if it was going to happen anyway (now that Steve is gone).


     


    I feel Steve more than Forstall.

  • Reply 4 of 29
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I recall just the other day expecting this to happen, in order to allows Services to be leveraged ala NeXTSTEP/Openstep; and more importantly within an entire OS X/iOS Ecosystem.

    But aren't private APIs becoming public APIs par for the course with their SDK?
  • Reply 5 of 29
    vl-tonevl-tone Posts: 337member


    Isn't it what they've been doing ever since they released the iPhone OS SDK? Anyone remembers how restrictive it was at first? There are hundreds of things that iOS devs can now do that they couldn't back in 2008.

  • Reply 6 of 29
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    I'm happy about the control Apple has over what developers can do. Developers are always treated like some kind of gods in the tech press and they generally don't deserve it at all.

    What I'd like to see is Apple get it's finger out of it's ass in regards the moral censorship. Apple wants to be the Disney corp of the 21st century, keeping us all safe from naked bums and any religion that isn't Christian.

    Censorship is wrong. It does no "good" at all. It never has.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    But aren't private APIs becoming public APIs par for the course with their SDK?


     


    I expect an actual set of shared Public Services APIs that extend the functionality of Cocoa/iOS Frameworks to work together which will be part of the Ecosystem branding I expect moving forward that ties in iCloud, AppStore, iBookStore, iTunes, OS X, iOS and all the hardware [Workstation, Desktop, Laptop, AppleTV, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Family, unknown product(s)].


     


    These will be a series of same tier services across application platforms, hardware platforms and then a vertical tier to address up to the Enterprise, Content Publishers [Entertainment Industries] and Government sectors.

  • Reply 8 of 29
    nagg05nagg05 Posts: 5member
    "I've see some of these settings screens, and I don't think that's what customers want,"

    Dad knows what his kids want.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    spacepowerspacepower Posts: 208member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I'm happy about the control Apple has over what developers can do. Developers are always treated like some kind of gods in the tech press and they generally don't deserve it at all.

    What I'd like to see is Apple get it's finger out of it's ass in regards the moral censorship. Apple wants to be the Disney corp of the 21st century, keeping us all safe from naked bums and any religion that isn't Christian.

    Censorship is wrong. It does no "good" at all. It never has.

    Can't you just open mobile safari and view all the naked bums you want?

    I think Apple censors the apps that show naked bums because they could be legally liable for content shown in thoses apps, content that they have no control of. Like kiddie bums.

    It's all about potential lawsuits. Apple isn't censoring the web, they are censoring apps that they distribute, and for which they can be sued.

    Maybe you should get your head out of your ass and think logically.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    As long as these are downloadable options that I can choose not to bloat up my devices with I say go for it. I still think they should be vetted by Apple, go through the App Store etc.

    A great idea my cousin had was make keyboards etc downloads as needed. And things like fonts, iMovie themes, pages templates. And give more options.

    She did a whole little series on ideas for iOS 7 if anyone cares to take a look.
    http://wearefangirls.blogspot.com/search/label/Apple
  • Reply 11 of 29
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    gazoobee wrote: »

    What I'd like to see is Apple get it's finger out of it's ass in regards the moral censorship. Apple wants to be the Disney corp of the 21st century, keeping us all safe from naked bums and any religion that isn't Christian.

    Censorship is wrong. It does no "good" at all. It never has.

    Every store has a right to sell what they want and not what they don't. If you don't like Apples view on the issue protest with your wallet and buy something else
  • Reply 12 of 29
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,362member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    I'm happy about the control Apple has over what developers can do. Developers are always treated like some kind of gods in the tech press and they generally don't deserve it at all.



    What I'd like to see is Apple get it's finger out of it's ass in regards the moral censorship. Apple wants to be the Disney corp of the 21st century, keeping us all safe from naked bums and any religion that isn't Christian.



    Censorship is wrong. It does no "good" at all. It never has.


     


    Your statement is ridiculous and childish. Vendors can choose whatever the **** they want to stock in their stores, Apple included. Most of what is "censored" from Apple's store is also not found on Google or Microsoft's stores. When Apple sells to such a broad market, there has to be certain guidelines. I've seen nothing to suggest that these guidelines are extreme, or irrational. If the specific content you'd like isn't on the appstore, you only have, oh I don't know, the entire internet to get it form. Appstores are curated by nature, including the Play Store. A black and white statement like "censorship is wrong" is so utterly childish. Every single thing in life is censored to various degrees, depending on context. 

  • Reply 13 of 29
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,017member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I'm happy about the control Apple has over what developers can do. Developers are always treated like some kind of gods in the tech press and they generally don't deserve it at all.

    What I'd like to see is Apple get it's finger out of it's ass in regards the moral censorship. Apple wants to be the Disney corp of the 21st century, keeping us all safe from naked bums and any religion that isn't Christian.

    Censorship is wrong. It does no "good" at all. It never has.

    Fine. Go to pornhub dot com on your iPhone or iPad, and realize you can use that finger for something else. It's only apps, not the Internet. Jeez.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you'll see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience. So there's always a fine line to walk there, or maybe not so fine.


     


    I hope this is an indication they'll be allowing the user to designate preferred 3rd party apps for certain tasks (eg: email client, browser, calendar, maps, camera, weather, banking).


     


    If Apple are really savvy they will leverage this to expand Siri's capabilities to access information within 3rd party applications. I think developers would be very willing to program their data in a way Siri can interface with in exchange for permission to handle mailto: links or mapping coordinate referrals. Siri is already good at a limited set of skills but the potential for her to become an AI bridge to broker informational transactions between apps is exponentially greater. There is a reason she's still in beta, afterall.


     


    I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Cook said he believes customers pay for Apple to make certain choices on their behalf, such as a system's security and stability.


     


    Tim gets it 100%. So pumped for WWDC!

  • Reply 15 of 29
    poksipoksi Posts: 482member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post


    Isn't it what they've been doing ever since they released the iPhone OS SDK? Anyone remembers how restrictive it was at first? There are hundreds of things that iOS devs can now do that they couldn't back in 2008.



     


    Exactly! This is out blown, so-called news.

  • Reply 16 of 29
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,674member
    vl-tone wrote: »
    Isn't it what they've been doing ever since they released the iPhone OS SDK? Anyone remembers how restrictive it was at first? There are hundreds of things that iOS devs can now do that they couldn't back in 2008.

    Multi tasking comes to mind, yes. First only for available to stock apps, later for 4rd party apps.
    charlituna wrote: »
    She did a whole little series on ideas for iOS 7 if anyone cares to take a look.
    http://wearefangirls.blogspot.com/search/label/Apple

    Good to read, thanks for the link.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    On this issue you are just plain wrong! Apple has every right to run their store as they see fit. Honestly how would you like it if you where running an appliance store and some ass walked in said you need to line your shelves with porn. In effect that is exactly what you are doing
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I'm happy about the control Apple has over what developers can do. Developers are always treated like some kind of gods in the tech press and they generally don't deserve it at all.
    Well this I agree with, it is one of the reasons I've stayed with iPhone. In any event Apple has been continuously opening APIs and adding new ones as they stabilize. Frankly question like this is vain attempt to get Cook to spill the beans on something. A fishing expedition if you will.
    What I'd like to see is Apple get it's finger out of it's ass in regards the moral censorship. Apple wants to be the Disney corp of the 21st century, keeping us all safe from naked bums and any religion that isn't Christian.
    When was the last time something to do with religion ever censored?
    Censorship is wrong. It does no "good" at all. It never has.
    Censorship by the government is certainly wrong but a business is free to run the way they please. If Apple wants a kids safe store good for them.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    stike vomitstike vomit Posts: 195member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post



    As long as these are downloadable options that I can choose not to bloat up my devices with I say go for it. I still think they should be vetted by Apple, go through the App Store etc.



    A great idea my cousin had was make keyboards etc downloads as needed. And things like fonts, iMovie themes, pages templates. And give more options.



    She did a whole little series on ideas for iOS 7 if anyone cares to take a look.

    http://wearefangirls.blogspot.com/search/label/Apple


    After reading your cousin's blog I get the impression that what she really needs is an Android device.


     


    Just sayin'...

  • Reply 20 of 29
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post


    After reading your cousin's blog I get the impression that what she really needs is an Android device.


     


    Just sayin'...



    Are all the improvements she wants in iOS really in Android already - if so Apple is really doomed.

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