Apple Loosens Death Grip on App Developer Agreement

by Matt Klassen on September 10, 2010

There is little question that Apple is known for its innovation, intuitive products, and as a marketing juggernaut, but what the California-based tech giant is also known for is its overly-rigid protection of its operating system and the draconian death grip it holds on its app developer agreement.

Just over three (3) months ago Apple made headlines for all the wrong reasons when it once again changed its much maligned application developer agreement, restricting developers from using certain programming languages and from inserting competitors advertising software into Apple mobile applications. All this in addition to the now infamous changes it had made a few months previous that banned the likes of Flash and other foreign app invaders.

But if there’s anything that will make the popular kid on the playground beg the other rank-and-file children to include him back in the group, it’s the arrival of an even more popular kid: a kid named Android.

In response to the soaring popularity of the Android OS, Apple has actually loosened some of its more restrictive developer agreement policies, finally allowing app developers to program in languages other than Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript, which could very well reopen the door for the Adobe’s beleaguered Flash plug-in, something users and developers alike have been begging for since the restrictions were put in place.

Further, Apple has also altered its restrictive policies towards external advertising in Apple applications, which should come as good news to Google with its recent acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMob.

And, just in case Apple hasn’t gone far enough for your liking, the company has also stated that it will post clear Application guidelines for developers, explicitly communicating the process that each app goes through to determine its inclusion or exclusion from the App store.

While Apple claims that these changes are coming at the behest of developer and consumer feedback, it doesn’t take a market whiz to see that Apple is threatened by the recent meteoric success of Google’s mobile OS Android. The little green droid that could has wretched a significant chunk of the mobile OS market away from Apple and RIM, and there’s no way Steve Jobs is going to take that sort of insult without a fight.

But can anyone with a track record like Apple really ever change?

What do you think? Is Apple turning over a new leaf, ready to try on Google’s Do No Evil moniker for awhile? I will admit, if Apple is genuinely opening up its iOS to the foreign app invaders it has repelled for so long, I may have to rethink my longstanding opposition to a company that I have had little good to say about for a very long time. If this is merely a marketing ruse, I guess I’ll just have a little for fuel for the fire.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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Gaurav September 10, 2010 at 5:57 am

Whatever the reasons be, it’s a welcome move by Apple. And I’m glad there was no “open letter” drama this time around. Understandably, Adobe is ecstatic on this announcement as well – http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2010/09/great-news-for-developers.html

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