Apple Caves: Apps Developed With Third-Party Tools Will Be Welcome In App Store

Steve Jobs

Apple just backtracked from the most controversial measure it took in its anti-Flash campaign: banning apps using third-party development tools.

Last spring, Adobe released tools to allow developers to use Flash to develop iOS apps. Apple responded by banning any apps created with anything other than Apple’s own development tools.

Apple, and Steve Jobs in particular, insisted that this was a move to protect users — apps built specifically for the iPhone using Apple’s tools simply worked better. But the move outraged many developers, since it constrained how they could operate, and made it more difficult for them to develop for multiple platforms.

Apparently, Apple was listening. And now, Adobe stock is soaring.

Apple’s full statement:

The App Storeā„  has revolutionised the way mobile applications are developed and distributed. With over 250,000 apps and 6.5 billion downloads, the App Store has become the world’s largest mobile application platform and App Store developers have earned over one billion dollars from the sales of their apps.

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 licence 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, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.

The App Store is perhaps the most important milestone in the history of mobile software. Working together with our developers, we will continue to surprise and delight our users with innovative mobile apps.

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