Thursday, September 9, 2010

Apple lifts restrictions for app approvals




In an about-face, Apple announced Thursday that it would change some of the strict and perplexing rules for developers creating content for the iTunes App Store.It is unclear why Apple abruptly decided to change the guidelines.In a news release posted on the company's Web site, Apple said 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 means app developers will be able to use third-party tools to create applications for the iOS platform, something Apple has steadfastly denied in the past.App approval has been a hot button issue between Apple and the mobile developer community, even drawing the normally reclusive company into a very public debate with Adobe, the software company.
Along with relaxing some restrictions on app development, Apple said it would publish the set of guidelines the company uses to approve, or shun, applications. The company notes in the press release: 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.Apple said the reason for these changes point to the company's goal to make "the App Store even better" and that the company is listening to the requests of its developers.But there could be other forces at play here. Earlier in the year reports circulated that the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission were negotiating who could begin making antitrust inquiries to Apple over its stringent App Store restrictions.