A little less than 5 months after they made changes to the wording of their licensing that all but banned any Flash-derived applications from the iPhone; Apple has changed its mind. Today, Apple removed license restrictions for software developed for iOS in large part to developer feedback and discontent.
In a statement Apple said that “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“. The Flash to the iPhone saga is one that has been raging for years, with Adobe finally circumventing Apple’s existing restrictions by creating software that allowed developers to convert Flash Apps into native iPhone apps. This is when Apple made the change that they reversed today.
At the time Apple changed its licensing, Adobe was working on bringing Flash-derived applications to the iPhone. After the change, Adobe subsequently scrapped that project. As it relates to Adobe and their plans if any to reinitiate the project to bring Flash to the iPhone is unknown. One thing that we do know though is that Adobe didn’t come to its decision to scrap its Flash-to-iOS project lightly, and resurrecting it wouldn’t trivial. Making this situation even more interesting is that after being spurned by Apple, Adobe allied with Google and focused on throwing massive amounts of support behind its Android OS, which ironically is now iOS’s most direct competition. All new Android devices can run Flash Player 10.1, something that while Apple owners might not openly admit to, are more than a little jealous of.
Apple also made changes to its review guidelines for applications submitted to the App Store. The new guidelines seem to imply that Apple now will start focusing much more closely on quality rather than quantity. In the new guidelines Apple states “If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted…We have lots of serious developers who don’t want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour.”