Just months after shocking the developers community by banning third party development tools (notably Adobe Flash) being used for developing for iOS, Apple backed down and is easing the retriction. In a press release today, Apple is “relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code”.
We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. 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.
In addition, Apple is publishing the App Store Review Guidelines document to its developers to clarify some of the things Apple do not want in apps such as pornography, Russian roulette game, apps that alter functions of device buttons, apps that create alternate home screen environment etc.
One last thing, there is now an App Review Board for developers to appeal their rejection.
So is Apple finally listening to its developers? Or is Apple concerned about the FTC probe? Whatever it sure will bolster stronger development of tools around iOS platform which can only be good news for Apple.