Does the Apple developer NDA still make sense?

I for one don’t feel comfortable breaking the agreement I signed when joining the developer program. Not everyone feels that way, and while it bothers me, I can only control what I do. I strive to cover and discuss only what Apple’s made public. It only seems right.

Food for thought from Stephen Hackett.



  • I think a more interesting question is whether the seed program continues to make sense to Apple given the lack of compliance with the NDA.

    Do they really get that much out of seeding to all registered developers vs. seeding to the 100 most important ones?

    I ask this as a member of the former but not latter camp. There’s no question it helps me, but does it help Apple to seed so early?

  • I’ve been wondering the same as it seems every year more and more non-developers get access to Betas. (I read an article yesterday that more people are on iOS 7 than iOS 5)

    In a way it’s a good thing that so many people are engaged with iOS and excited about updating. The down side is the million “reviews” that come out about software that isn’t finished. Not sure what Apple does here.

    Locking it down to only “important” developers is a ridiculous idea that will alienate the people that make the iOS ecosystem so great.

    • Ted_T

      Q/A, bug reports? Auto-generated crash dumps? Who cares who these people are, they are helping Apple a great deal. Do you really want all kinds of bugs to hit the fan the day of the 7.0 release?

      • Apple already seeds to the important developers earlier than the rest of us.

        I don’t see much difference TO THEM between seeing to the rest of us six months before or two months before the product ships. We’re probably not generating that many unique bug reports they don’t already know about.

        The reason the earlier seeds are so awesome is it helps us get our apps ready.

        Given that, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point Apple says “fuck them” and does what it promised: doubling down on secrecy by giving us the last couple builds only.

        • That would be sad. Placing more of a burden on developers in the name of “secrecy” doesn’t seem wise IMO.

          • Oh, I’m completely with you there. But the more valuable they decide secrecy is and the more frequently the seed program is the source of the leaks, the more likely it is that they’ll do something about it.

          • I actually think, at least with this version of the OS the “leaks” have helped Apple.

            The initial reaction to what was shown of IOS 7 at WWDC wasn’t very favorable from a lot of the tech media. People actually using it has calmed a lot of the initial knee-jerk reactions.

    • EVula

      Apple needs to disable an account’s ability to leave app reviews if the account has upgraded to iOS 7.

      I also like Steven’s suggestion below that betas only be released broadly later in life, while the first few are highly targeted… but the problem there is that, while some development firms would definitely qualify, all their individual developers need to have access as well, which muddies the water.

      • I was referring to the premature reviews of iOS 7, not apps.

        • EVula

          Ah, my bad; I know in previous iOS betas, there’s been an issue with non-developers getting access to the latest iOS version and leaving bad reviews for apps that don’t work yet. Jumped to a confusion about your comment.

          • Yeah that’s another part of the added confusion of regular users getting access to beta software. I’ve seen lots of people who don’t even understand what a Beta is asking how they can get iOS 7.

      • I’m with you there, but I remember developers wanting that with iOS 5. And I’m sure they wanted it with iOS 4, too. 🙂

  • matthewmaurice

    Wait, so Victor Agreda is saying that since Apple isn’t suing bloggers who break NDAs anymore it can only mean Apple wants the bloggers to break them? Talk about “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Anyone else remember when Apple as being pilloried for trying to “muzzle” bloggers and being secretive to the point of paranoia?