Remember Steve Jobs' rant about how he didn't want Apple to be at the "mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers"? Well, it seems that Apple has backtracked ...
Earlier this year Apple made some sneaky changes to the iOS developer license. One big change that the new license bought with it was a ban on the use of intermediary tools to create apps. This made life inconvenient for developers who wanted a simple way to generate fart apps (although Apple seems to be putting the brakes on further fart apps), and it killed off a feature that Adobe had added to Creative Suite 5 that allowed developers to easily port Flash apps to the iOS platform. This upset Adobe, which then complained to the FTC.
That was then, this is now:
We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.
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. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.
So, why has Apple had a change of heart? Because of upset developers? Because Adobe was upset? Or maybe because the FTC has been taking a stern look at the Cupertino giant? Let's put it this way, I don't think Apple cares one jot what developers or Adobe think.
On top of relaxing the restriction on third-party dev tools, Apple is also, for the first time, publishing the App Store review guidelines:
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.
Why says Apple never backtracks on things? Although the company is a master at making retreats seem like a giant leap forward.