Apple Developer Agreement Worsens

Rob Beschizza at Boing Boing points to a post by John Gruber where he noticed in advance of the iPhone OS 4.0 announcement, Apple changed the developer agreement to bar third party development tools. Gruber prevaricates on whether this move is largely about Adobe or not.

I think it is irrelevant as it provides another data point which establishes a trend of shabby treatment of developers by Apple. Beschizza in his commentary suggests it may be in service of Apple’s vaulted “experience” but I reject that contention. I would say that their irritating approval process is enough to ensure user experience regardless of the internals or provenance of an application. Plus, if a cross compiled application just isn’t as peppy as a first class competitor, shouldn’t the market decided whether good enough is less preferable to a presumably “superior” app that takes full advantage of the native capabilities of iPhones, iPads and iPods?

They are furthering an agenda of lock in. If a shop wishes to diversify their offerings by also targeting other platforms, they have just increased the price of doing so. Maybe that has some nebulous advantage to the user but it seems like a piss poor way to enable a compelling market for third parties. Of course, vendors could always just “use the web”, Gruber’s stock response to anyone criticizing Apple’s closed eco-system, as if that is in any way comparable to even cross compiled native applications.

One Reply to “Apple Developer Agreement Worsens”

  1. I think Developer rights is the wrong tag. We’re talking about software freedom here and regardless if you’re a developer or not, you can benefit from software freedoms such as the freedom to share, the freedom to control your own machines or the freedom to pay a developer to make changes for you.

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