Apple does a 180, allows third-party development tools on iOS

This seems to be “patching up boo-boos” week at Apple. Barely a day after releasing its iOS 4.1 update, which fixes several serious bugs with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G, Apple has updated its iOS Developer Program license to lift the ban on third-party development tools:

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.

Apple writes that it’s also making its app review guidelines public, giving developers a peek at what drives app refusals and removals.

These newly loosened restrictions may re-open the door to Adobe’s development tools, which let programmers port Flash CS5 content (including games) to iOS. Adobe announced in April after Apple initiated the ban, “We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5. However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.” Perhaps the new license will reverse its decision.

Now, I don’t doubt developer feedback contributed to Apple’s backpedaling today, but the firm might have had other, more practical motivations. Namely, word got around earlier this year that federal regulators planned to launch a probe into the tightened developer license. Continuing to shut out third-party development tools wouldn’t have just angered developers; it could have landed Apple in legal trouble, too.

Comments closed
    • A_Pickle
    • 12 years ago

    Alright everyone, ready for this?

    This is a step in the right direction. Good on you, Apple. I still find the requirement to use the App Store unacceptable, just as I find the App Store approval process completely unethical and out of line with the spirit of information technology.

    That said, this /[

    • shank15217
    • 12 years ago

    Right because free software doesn’t attract bad self promoting developers that charge $5 for a ping utility like they do on the apple store… The best thing apple can do to survive is to mimic android.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 12 years ago

    I agree with Disco…some of this comes due to the threat of Android phones.

    I have some control over what phone work provides me, and just went from a Blackberry to a new Droid 2. The Blackberry wasn’t bad, a functional business tool. The Droid is just plain cool.

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    Good. It is also great that they apparently reversed their decision on the third-party ad networks in the revised TOS: §[<http://googlemobileads.blogspot.com/2010/09/update-on-apples-terms-of-service.html<]§

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    q[

    • cygnus1
    • 12 years ago

    call me when i can beat steve jobs… screw apple. my itunes account, with a ridiculous password, got hacked today

    glad i didn’t have a debit card attached to it, only about $40 dollars in credits on the account

    • jdaven
    • 12 years ago

    That made me laugh! 🙂

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 12 years ago

    Looks like we still wont get Flash support then 🙁

    • blastdoor
    • 12 years ago

    I’m a little skeptical that potential legal problems would have prompted this move. The FTC would only have a gripe with apple if they found that apple had quasi-monopoly power, which apple clearly doesn’t have.

    So I’d say the issue here is competitive pressure.

    • mikehodges2
    • 12 years ago

    Haha, nice one! Best yawn yet i reckon 🙂

    • Corrado
    • 12 years ago

    Seeing as the majority of apps ‘purchased’ from the Apple App Store are paid, and the majority of apps ‘purchased’ from the Android App Store are free, I’d say Android isn’t exactly going to win over developers like that.

    • Deanjo
    • 12 years ago

    Yawn, wake me up when they make an iPhone shuffle that dials randomly by shaking it.

    • blastdoor
    • 12 years ago

    This one is actually pretty good 🙂

    • BlackStar
    • 12 years ago

    Winner! 🙂

    • Cyril
    • 12 years ago

    Looks like you’re correct. Post updated.

    • teryan2006
    • 12 years ago

    They are now alllowing 3rd party development tools, NOT APIs.

    • Disco
    • 12 years ago

    looks like they are acknowledging that Android is a threat to their intended world domination

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Wake me up when they embed a Nano in a iPhone in an iPad in a Mac mini in a Macbook in a Mac Prog{<.<}g

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Doesn’t this take away some of the /[

    • potatochobit
    • 12 years ago

    so does this mean the amiga guy can sell his app or not?

    • Dodger
    • 12 years ago

    Kinda misleading and confusing headline, APIs and Developer Tools are not the same thing.

    • 5150
    • 12 years ago

    Yawn. Wake me when they do a 360 hardflip and a 360 inward heel.

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