Apple Opens iOS Development to Third-party Tools

Back pedals from earlier restrictions on iOS Developer Program licenses.

September 11, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Apple Computer Inc. said that it will back away from earlier restrictions it imposed on application developers in its iOS Developer Program, a move it said was prompted by feedback from its developer community for third-party development tools, potentially clearing a path for Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash on the iPhone and iPad devices.

Specifically, in gutting section 3.3.1 of its iOS Developer Program License Agreement and modifying sections 3.3.2 and 3.3.9, the vendor said it now will allow developers to use third-party development tools to create iOS applications for the iPhone and iPad as long as the resulting App Store software does not download code.

Earlier this year in its release of iOS 4.0, Apple banned third-party development tools and insisted on specific programming languages.

In addition, Apple said it has made available App Store Review Guidelines to make clear to developers the rules under which it reviews and accepts submitted applications.

“We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store,” Apple said in a statement.

Application developers for the iPhone and iPad have long complained about not understanding how Apple evaluates and approves applications.

Apple said it has set up an App Review Board should a developer seek redress if the vendor rejects its application.

Apple's revamped rules also allow developers to include advertisements from third-party companies in their applications, a change that drew praise from Omar Hamoui, the former AdMob chief executive and current Google Inc. vice president of product management.

"Apple’s new terms will keep in-app advertising on the iPhone open to many different mobile ad competitors and enable advertising solutions that operate across a wide range of platforms," Hamoui wrote in a blog post.

"This is great news for everyone in the mobile community, as we believe that a competitive environment is the best way to drive innovation and growth in mobile advertising," Hamoui wrote.

According to Apple, the App Store is the world’s largest mobile application platform with more than 250,000 applications and 6.5 billion downloads. The company said that application developers have recorded in aggregate more than $1 billion in sales from the store.

TAGS: developer,iPhone,iPad,Apple,Adobe

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