Apple has given in to developer pressure and done a major about-face with changes to its App Store developer licence terms. Big winners: Adobe and thousands of publishers and developers who rely on its tools.
The original change back in April threw Adobe’s entire mobile strategy into disarray and caught publishers in the crossfire.
It stopped Adobe releasing a tool that converted Flash code — which publishers and developers are familiar with — into Apple’s compiled Objective C — which most don’t know and don’t want to know.
Apple’s change today means the tool that Adobe had developed to work this magic can now be reintroduced and publishers have a way, using tools they’re already familiar with, to get their magazines, newspapers and illustrated books into the App Store.
In addition, Apple has made another concession, this time to publish its hitherto secret rules for accepting or rejecting apps into its app store. Until this change, developers and publishers were flying blind on whether an app or issue of a publication would be accepted.
Apple’s announcement states:
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, 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.