Apple Backs Down on Developer Restrictions

Apple has relaxed its rules on the use of third-party development tools for the creation of mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The company has revisited sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 of the iOS Developer Program licence, retracting some of the restrictions that it brought in earlier this year.

The first two sections relate to the use of tools that allowed developers to write code in languages such as Adobe Flash and then port them to the Apple iOS platform. The third section relates to restrictions on the use of third-party software from the likes of AdMob, Flurry and Distimo, used to collect data related to app usage.

In a statement issued today. Apple says:

“The App Store has revolutionised the way mobile applications are developed and distributed. With over 250,000 apps and 6.5bn 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.”