∞ Apple promises greater transparency and flexibility for App Store developers

A new statement from Apple would seem to indicate a more conciliatory and open approach to its relationship with developers of software for iOS devices. It’s great news in particular for developers who rely on cross-platform software toolkits, which seemingly ran afoul of Apple’s SDK license earlier this year.

“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,” reads the statement.

“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,” said Apple.

Earlier this year Apple raised alarms in the developer community when it changed its iOS developer SDK license agreement to require developers to create apps “originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript.”

On the surface, this appeared to be an attempt by Apple to restrict Adobe Systems from offering Flash to iPhone app conversion services, a feature it promoted as part of its Creative Suite 5 software. Indeed, shortly after Apple made its announcement, Adobe abandoned its iPhone app building technology.

Unfortunately, Apple’s wording also put in potential jeopardy many other software toolkits that have been developed over the past few years to offer iOS development capabilities. Developers became concerned that almost any multiplatform middleware used to help ease their development of iOS apps might run afoul of Apple’s restrictions.

“This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need,” said Apple.

What’s more, Apple said that for the first time since the App Store went online, the company is publishing review guidelines to help developers understand how apps they submit are reviewed by Apple staff.

“We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store,” said Apple.