Apple to developers: Conform or die

Apple to developers: Conform or die

Summary: In an email blast to registered iPhone developers this afternoon, Apple warned developers to test their apps with iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 right away.


In an email blast to registered iPhone developers this afternoon, Apple warned developers to test their apps with iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 right away. Beginning immediately, any submission to the App store that doesn't work right under the latest beta will not be approved. (Gosh, I hope the beta doesn't have any bugs in it.)

In addition, when the production 3.0 comes out for everyone this summer, existing apps that aren't compatible face removal from the store at Apple's discretion. Here's the full text:

App Store submissions now being reviewed on iPhone OS 3.0

Test your app with iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 today.

All apps must be compatible with iPhone OS 3.0 Millions of iPhone and iPod touch customers will move to iPhone OS 3.0 this summer. Beginning today, all submissions to the App Store will be reviewed on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0. If your app submission is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, it will not be approved.

Existing apps in the App Store should already run on iPhone OS 3.0 without modification, but you should test your existing apps with iPhone OS 3.0 to ensure there are no compatibility issues. After iPhone OS 3.0 becomes available to customers, any app that is incompatible with iPhone OS 3.0 may be removed from the App Store.

Begin testing now iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 and iPhone SDK 3.0 beta 5 are now posted to the iPhone Dev Center. Start testing today to ensure your application runs on iPhone OS 3.0. Visit the iPhone Dev Center for additional development information including iPhone SDK Release Notes for iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 and Getting ready for iPhone OS 3.0.

Some developers are already crying foul. Alasdair Allan comments:

It is a burden if you only have one development machine. Applications developed under SDK 3.0 can not be submitted to the App Store review process, even if they were developed under the SDK 3.0 but targeted at 2.x.

That means, if you only have one Mac to develop on, or one iPhone or iPod touch to test on, then you're effectively locked out from submitting new applications to the App Store until Apple release 3.0 to the public, or possibly only slightly before if we're that lucky. Effectively this brings a halt to app releases or updates to existing apps already in the store from small developers until much later this year...

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Mobility, Software Development

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • What if end users don't want 3.0?

    What if I'm an iPod Touch user and don't want to paid for the upgrade?

    I know a few friends still on iPod 1.0. They can make do with no AppStore. If Apple is forcing 3.0 down to developer's throat, does it mean end users also being forced to pay the upgrade?

    Guess Apple is not recession proof after all or they don't have to do this kind of money grabs.
    • It's a free upgrade..... so why wouldn't you want it?

      Enough said.
      • Not sure that is the case for iPod Touch users

        I remember reading about a USD10 charge for Touch users, whilst free
        for iPhone users.
        Richard Flude
      • Upgrade may not be free

        For some previous upgrades there has been a charge for iPod Touch owners.
        Ed Burnette
      • Umm, because I've come to depend on my applications

        I depend on my applications produced internally by my company. The company can't schedule the resources to upgrade these applications to 3.0 until well after its release.

        This isn't an uncommon scenario.

        I feel worse for companies that have standardized on the iPhone than individuals, but there are a number or reasons not to upgrade, at least not right away.
      • 'Cause It's Not Free

        I-Pod Touch users, like myself, have to pay $10. I wouldn't have bought the I-Pod touch had I known that I would be forced to upgrade and had to pay for it to boot! Apple is worse than Microsoft by a long shot.
        • Surely you jest

          And you found this where?
        • You are not forced to upgrade.

          As for the fee, there's nothing new about this. You can continue to use
          your iPod (please note the spelling) Touch just as you always have.
  • Apple has complete apathy for developers. nt

    • Dear god, cry me a river

      You're either a partner with Apple or a burden
      - you seem to be one of those programmers who
      think they can shovel stuff out the door and
      never taking responsibility for the maintenance and further development of the said piece of

      Apple want a top notch experience for their
      customers - it can be only be achieved by them
      pulling their weight along with third party
      developers - I suggest you look at the amount
      of flack Microsoft get because of half baked
      third party developers who are more in tuned with ripping off the customer than serving
      • Heavy handed approach

        There are better ways to do this.
        Ed Burnette
        • maybe

          but your headline gets the hits
        • Name one...

          • Application Certification

            Use a certification approach and mark the applications that are certified for the given OS version and let the consumers decide whether they want them or not.
          • What a joke certfication is

            Just look at Windows over how much certification is a joke. Microsoft could have demanded that all applications must only use the safe win32 calls (as outlined in the documentation that accompanied Windows XP SP2 (yes, they've had over 4 years to upgrade their software)), using new API's (Direct2D/DirectWrite) instead of old (GDI+) multi-user compliant. Certification ultimately has been show just how useless it is when it comes to the quality, or there lack of, by Windows software vendors.
          • And what makes you think Apple's testing will be any better?

            You can argue/disagree on what critieria is used for certification, but at least the certified for Windows XP software runs on Windows XP, Certified for Vista runs on Vista, etc. As a company, I can check exactly what tests my software must pass to be certified. Also, Windows certification is done by a third party, not by Microsoft.

            If I get software that isn't certified to run on my OS, I know there is the possibility I will have issues, but that is my choice.

            Apple doesn't even define what criteria they are testing the software against. Basically if Apple doesn't like the way it runs, it won't get published. Of course, if course if going with Apple was about choice I'd have a blue ray on my Mac.

            Fortunately, there are other sources to get software for your iPhone besides the AppStore.
        • Quality...Tough concept for some...

          Cripes Ed! Don't you think that quality anything needs to follow strict
          processes? Good stuff isn't easy and that's why there is so much frigging
          junk out there. If you want to make junk there are plenty of services that
          will flog half-baked apps.

          If you want to build stuff for Apple there is a minimum that you need to
          meet. Deal with's a good thing for users!

          It's nice to see a company that is actually worried about the user for a
          change rather than just making obscene amounts of money selling shite.
          • Quality?

            So outsourcing their hardware to China was about improving quality? Charging more for the same Intel based, Chinese built hardware is about quality?

            I was recently in an Apple store, and spent some time looking around at all the different models. I was rather interested by the fact that only the all aluminum case appeared to be of any quality. The plasitc cases on the other hand, and most were plastic, are very cheap looking, and seem very flimsy.

            I also noticed that all MacBooks are nearly identical. You can have what Apple wants you to have, or you have to choose another brand. Not much choice in there.

            Now a lot of people would think I'm being anti-Mac/Apple, but in reality, I'm offering a point of view that many PC users would have when walking into an Apple store for the first time. If Appl really wants to improve it's image, it needs to relax. This death grip on controlling every aspect of the Mac world is starting to feel a bit totalitarian.

            Isn't this what the Mac people claim about Microsoft, and yet here Apple is doing the same sort of things? Just my opinion.

            I'm sure many will disagree as their favorite computer company can do no wrong, but in reality, Apple is like all other computer companies. They are in it for the profit, not the quality. They tell you it's about quality to get your money.

            I invite anyone to cite a source that proves otherwise.
          • Apple isn't worried about the customer

            Apple doesn't give a damn about what customers want. How long have people been begging for features like cut and paste or fm radios? They also won't allow third parties to develop Apps to supply some customer demands. The approval system is foggy and inconsitant, passing trash like "Shaken Baby" but rejecting an Nine Inch Nails App is a prime example. PC World has documentation of many apps thet seem to be from quality developers that Apple rejects for no particular reason. I fail to see how a South Park or Trent Reznor based App will diminish the quality of the I-Phone or the Touch.

            Cow, I think more people will "deal with it" by reconsidering another Apple purchase in the future; I know I will.
        • And when you come up with something as compelling

          you can use a different approach.

          You see, you are a Windows-centric user so you are geeky and love
          the challenge of fixing something that doesn't work or playing around
          with it.

          Apple customers have no time for this and I can tell you that when 2.0
          came out, lots of apps didn't work with it. It was a long time for some
          of them to get up to speed.

          Good for Apple, I think they should kick ass and take names because
          that's how they keep the people on their toes and keep the quality up.

          The apologists from all the other platforms see the results: mediocrity
          and a lack fo dependability.

          Good for Apple and boo-hoo for you, you whining, thin-skinned critic
          who has most likely invented nothing compelling, not even an opinion!