Saturday, April 10, 2010

Apple iPhone SDK TOS Section 3.3.1 is unfair

Here’s what the Apple’s latest iPhone 4.0 SDK TOS Section 3.3.1 states:

Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Wow. Just unfair. If they want to tackle Adobe, there has to be a different way. Why tackle the whole developer community that wants to use their favorite cross-platform toolkit/language to develop for the most incredible platform.

After I bought my first iPod, I had no doubts buying the iPhone when it was released. Apple products have an impeccable sense for user experience. Everyone wants to own an iPhone and every developer like me would like to write apps for it.

I was so excited to hear the news about the upcoming iPhone 4.0 SDK release and blogged about it. So many cool enhancements for the developer and useful innovations for the user. Alas! By the end of the day of the release presentation, the news about the SDK TOS Section 3.3.1 was out.

It is very disheartening to see Apple’s stance towards banning cross-platform toolkits/languages to build iPhone apps.

I was drawn to buying a Mac to build apps for iPhone because I could work with my familiar toolkit/language. iPhone SDK was the first sign that Apple wanted to care and welcome developers to write code for its so called closed platform and several cross-platform toolkits were announced and flourished. The TOS Section 3.3.1 announcement is just closing the doors on the developer community. It is not only a loss to the developer community but to the user community as well. I hope the situation is reviewed and rectified by Apple. It is a humble plea…

Read Steve Job’s response to an email from Greg Slepak which sheds some light on the issue.

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