Apple Relaxes Restrictions For iOS Apps, Adobe & Google Respond

by Ferman Aziz

Along with issuing clear guideline for iOS app developers regarding what exactly will get their apps rejected, Apple delivered some completely unexpected and rare good news too which is causing a flurry of excitement all around. Apple states in the official document that it is

relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code.

This is a major step backwards from Apple’s previous extremely strict and controversial stance which did not allow any third party development tools to develop iOS apps. It was in April this year that CEO Steve Jobs wrote an ‘open letter’ on Flash and expressed no inclination to allow third party tools, saying:

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform,

It’s unclear as to what caused this change of heart but the miracle has happened as the biggest aspect of this change is that it has opened doors for Flash to feature on iOS apps. We all know that Apple (or Steve Jobs, to be frank) is allergic to Flash, in fact its behaviour borders around hostile towards it and experts and users both were of the opinion that it would be a cold day in hell before we’ll see Flash content on iOS. It looks like hell has finally frozen over as now apps developed in Adobe Flash CS5 will be allowed in the Apple app store.

When Apple banned developers from using Flash to build iOS applications in April this year, Adobe said it would no longer invest in the Flash CS5 feature that lets developers create Flash apps for the iOS platform. After the unexpected relaxation from Apple, Adobe promptly responded welcoming the move by calling it “great news for developers” and announced that it will resume development on Flash Professional CS5. Adobe’s statement reads like this:

Apple’s announcement today that it has lifted restrictions on its third-party developer guidelines has direct implications for Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, a feature in the Flash Professional CS5 authoring tool. This feature was created to enable Flash developers to quickly and easily deliver applications for iOS devices. The feature is available for developers to use today in Flash Professional CS5, and we will now resume development work on this feature for future releases.

This however does not mean that users will see Flash inside a browser on an iOS device. Adobe points out that “Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.”

Google is also among the companies that will benefit from the relaxed restrictions as it is now possible to include non-independent ad networks, such as AdMob, in being able to serve ads on iPhones and iPads. Previously it was only independent ad-serving companies which Apple allowed to serve ads and hence Google’s AdMob got killed. Now, Google has also issued an official statement on its Mobile Ads Blog saying:

Apple’s new terms will keep in-app advertising on the iPhone open to many different mobile ad competitors and enable advertising solutions that operate across a wide range of platforms.

Let’s see how far companies and developers, along with giants like Adobe and Google, are able to stretch the relaxed restrictions and succeed in getting Apple’s approval for their products.

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