Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Apple allows 3rd-party iPhone dev tools, posts review rules

updated 09:30 am EDT, Thu September 9, 2010

Apple opens up iOS limits following Adobe scrutiny

Apple today made a rare about-face in policy today and reversed its ban on third-party development tools for iOS 4. The company said it was now "relaxing all restrictions" on what was allowed and would let developers write iPad and iPhone apps with Adobe's Flash CS5 or other kits beyond Xcode. The only limit is that the finished apps can't download any code of their own, it said.

"This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need," Apple said.

Along with the decision to loosen the controls on software, the company also said it has published the App Store's Review Guidelines that had previously been kept private. "We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store," the company explained.

Both changes show a significant change of heart at Apple, whose chief Steve Jobs insisted on the earlier ban on outside tools as necessary to preserve quality by preventing lowest common denominator apps or the same delays that plagued the transition to Mac OS X and Intel-native code. Critics, including Adobe, had rejected the argument as it dictated "how you create" apps and conveniently made it difficult to write an app for another platform. Until now, a developer had to either buy separate tools for iOS 4 and every other platform or else make a choice of one over the other, which could be prohibitively expensive for an independent developer. It also discouraged the creation of tablet magazines and other formats that needed impromptu workarounds to meet Apple's new rules.

Publishing guidelines should also reduce problems with one of the largest complaints of iOS app development, consistency. With many rules kept secret, developers often weren't aware of subtler points that could see an app rejected. They also couldn't mount a defense against an app rejection since they didn't know whether Apple might be contradicting its own rules.

Some of Apple's decision today may stem from an FTC investigation into the policies. Instigated by Adobe, they alleged that Apple might be violating antitrust laws by discouraging development for competitors.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    -8

    You Just Never Get It

    They Plan ahead.
    Apple App library just jumped by Androids number.
    Everyone will now get to do a one on one comparison of the competing software APIs.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. xfrgtr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010

    -24

    android

    Where are the apple fanboys criticizing android for being open,HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    -13

    This was expected by many

    At the time they banned Flash, several people told me its just a temporary ban to put a kink in Adobe's plan, and they know from day one, they'll have to backtrack it, but they'll do what damage they can.

    I admit I didn't put much thought into this particular move of Apple's but looks like those people were correct.

    It's just ashame some of the fan's actually thought Flash was evil, and now they'll be praising the arrival of all those apps created in flash and converted to a standalone executables.




  1. JuanGuapo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +2

    Surprised.

    While I'm glad to see Apple has the fortitude to make bold decisions, this one I thought was surprising. There are a lot of c*** apps and I thought their decision to ban 3rd party tools was a good one, kept a lot of sloppy code out of the app store. I guess I was wrong, it doesn't matter about the tools but the developer who is putting it out there.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2008

    +11

    What?

    "Until now, a developer had to either buy separate tools for iOS 4 and every other platform or else make a choice of one over the other..."

    The development tools for iOS are free. They don't cost a dime. I have them installed, I can create and simulate iOS applications, and I don't remember a single cent leaving my pocket in order to have this capability.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +3

    I'm not sure about Flash being evil,

    but it does seem to slow things down in my opinion. Others say it is full of bugs. Maybe not evil, but it's nothing to brag about. I wonder if Apple is starting to backtrack on running Flash on iOS. I still don't like the idea of whatever programming code is used for iOS can be used on other platforms. It seems like Apple would be hurting itself by allowing that. Maybe the FTC investigation did put some pressure on Apple to give in. How does Sony and Nintendo get away with controlling their own code so nobody else can use it?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -14

    Re: What?

    The development tools for iOS are free. They don't cost a dime. I have them installed, I can create and simulate iOS applications, and I don't remember a single cent leaving my pocket in order to have this capability.

    Um, they are only 'free' if you own a Mac. If you don't own a Mac, they cost a minimum of $600 (cost of mini).

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Re: Surprised.

    There are a lot of c*** apps and I thought their decision to ban 3rd party tools was a good one, kept a lot of sloppy code out of the app store. I guess I was wrong, it doesn't matter about the tools but the developer who is putting it out there.

    Duh. You can make c*** apps with c*** code with XCode just as well as with Flash or .Net or HTML5 or any other language.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -10

    Good news

    Especially for people like me that want to create an app but have no coding experience, and nor are inclined to learn. Now we'll see see GUI apps for making iPhone apps.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004

    +3

    Developers should know how to code.

    If you intend on developing for the platform, you should know how to code for the native platform. If you are developing something like a magazine, I can understand why you might want to be able to use flash but if you can, try creating a native version eventually for the sake of your end users. Content and "code" should be separate.

    I hope that Adobe does start actually work with Apple to create a tool that actually creates decent native code (Objectiv-C) that is then compiled in X-Code instead of the binary blobs they were creating before. If their tool outputs code instead of a binary, there is a chance that the code can be optimized a bit. At the very least, the startup and save state code should be emitted as native and then you can have it "load" the converted "flash" content.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Adesso Compagno X Bluetooth keyboard

The shift from typing on physical keyboards to digital versions on smartphones and tablets hasn't been an easy for many consumers. Fro ...

Polk Audio 4 Shot headset

Sound quality and design are two of the biggest areas of focus for manufacturers when coming up with a new gaming headset. Depending o ...

Patriot Supersonic Phoenix USB 3.0 drive

USB thumb drives aren't the end all solutions for data transfer and traveling needs. Sometimes people want something with a little mor ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News