Apple revises app store guidelines, opens things up for developers

Apple yesterday revised its app store guidelines to permit the use of cross platform development tools for the iOS platform

When it comes to comparing competing mobile platforms, one of the more frequently voiced complaints against the iPhone has been Apple's somewhat restrictive and seemingly inconsistent app store review guidelines. Suffice it to say, there's been no shortage of app rejections that boggle the mind and rightfully drive developers, and the tech media, crazy. Moreover, Apple's "our way or the highway" approach to iOS development has also been the focus of developer ire as Apple expressly prohibited the use of cross platform development tools.

That all changed yesterday, however, when Apple issued a press release announcing that they would be easing up on many of their app review policies.

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.

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.

In the wake of that announcement, there's already been talk of Google Voice making a return to iTunes,. Meanwhile, Adobe wasted no time in announcing that they will resume work on its Packager for iPhone tool in CS5 which allows developers to port over their Flash apps to the iOS platform.

Apple’s announcement today that it has lifted restrictions on its third-party developer guidelines has direct implications for Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, a feature in the Flash Professional CS5 authoring tool. This feature was created to enable Flash developers to quickly and easily deliver applications for iOS devices. The feature is available for developers to use today in Flash Professional CS5, and we will now resume development work on this feature for future releases.

This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store. We do want to point out that Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.

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