Apple relaxes rules for iPhone-iPod-iPad applications

Apple on Thursday loosened rules for applications built for its iPhones, iPods, and iPads in a move that promises to make it easier for friends and rivals to get programs on the popular gadgets.

The California company also pulled back the curtain on its long-private review guidelines that third-party applications must meet to get into Apple's online App Store.

"We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store," the developer guidelines said. "If your app doesn't do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted."

The more open stance was expected to appease software makers who have complained about constraints on code for Apple gadgets and the mystery shrouding the App Store vetting process.

"It is a softening by Apple to the developers," said Gartner mobile analyst Van Baker.

"Before, developers felt they were submitting applications into a black hole and had no idea what criteria were applied. Now, in refreshingly frank language, they have an idea of the criteria applied," he said.

Apple is by no means throwing its doors completely open to developers, but they are showing flexibility and communicating more directly with software makers, according to the analyst.

Third-party applications are key to the popularity of smartphones.

"With all the high-end smartphones, if you don't have applications the devices don't have much appeal," Baker said.

The new licensing rules would allow developers to write programs with Adobe's Flash video software and then convert them into the iOS format acceptable to Apple.

Apple has banned the use of Flash on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and Thursday's revision of the rules still does not permit the use of Flash on the devices.

"A developer can start in Flash and end up in code acceptable to Apple, but that doesn't mean you can run Flash on the iPhone or iPad," Baker said. "You would need to download the Flash Player on the device, and you can't do that."

Instead of Flash, Apple devices support video built using HTML5, a fledgling software format created by a group of technology firms including Google and Apple.

Apple left plenty of room for discretion in the application vetting process.

"We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line," Apple said in its guidelines.

"What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, 'I'll know it when I see it.' And we think that you will also know it when you cross it."

The California company said it had listened to developers and took much of their feedback to heart.

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

Apple mobile gadgets run on an iOS software platform. Blocking the download of code is seen as a security measure to prevent hackers from slipping malicious software onto devices.

The looser rules should make it easier for software makers to craft similar versions of App Store applications for smartphones that compete with iPhones.

It appeared as though there was also the potential for Apple gadgets to be opened to applications serving ads from Google or Admob, which is owned by the Internet powerhouse.

"This is great news for everyone in the mobile community," Google vice president of product management Omar Hamoui said in a blog post. "We believe that a competitive environment is the best way to drive innovation and growth in mobile advertising."

Adobe shares soared on Wall Street on Thursday, gaining 12.11 percent to close at 32.86 dollars while Apple shares were up 0.06 percent to 263.07 dollars.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

    £6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: .Net / SQL Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer - PC/Mac

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links