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.

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

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003