Apple Widens the Door for App Developers

As recently reported in the NY Times, Apple has released it’s guidelines for the ways in which developers are able to create new applications.

According to the release, Apple plans to lift a ban, circa April 2010, which would allow developers to use third party tools to design applications. This move would provide developers with a smoother conduit in which to allow foreign mobile applications (such as ones that run on Adobe’s Flash technology) to be converted to run on Apple’s hardware.  What is more, Apple has announced that they will allow applications to run advertisements which are from external companies:

Apple’s new rules also specify that developers can put advertisements in their applications that come from outside companies. Its earlier rules had raised some questions about whether developers would be limited to using Apple’s iAd service, locking out companies like AdMob, which is owned by Google.

Omar Hamoui, the former chief executive of AdMob who is now the vice president for product management at Google, said in a blog post that the changes were “great news for everyone in the mobile community.”

“Apple’s new terms will keep in-app advertising on the iPhone open to many different mobile ad competitors and enable advertising solutions that operate across a wide range of platforms,” he added.

Why all the sudden changes? Why after years of never publishing their guidelines for applications does Apple start now?

Jenna Worthman, writer of the NY Times article suggests that analysts say “the moves on Thursday were a sign that Apple was growing increasingly aware of competition in the smartphone market, and was trying to be friendlier to the developers whose applications have helped drive the success of its products.”

With Apple’s new laid back attitude towards its free market developers, one wonders how some developers are handling the news. The article asserts that the news may have come as a welcomed relief:

“This is gold. This is great,” said Dom Sagolla, chief executive of Dollar App, a mobile development company based in the Bay Area. “It feels like we’re finally getting a clue about what Apple wants.”

“This is a document I’ve been wanting to see for two years,” said Raven Zachary, president of Small Society, a software development firm. “It’s going to foster the creation of better apps because we know going in what to do and what to avoid.”

This next generation of application regulation should provide a more flexible, diverse and fostering environment for WEEELS to flourish in. As we make the transition, be sure to roll with WEEELS.