Apple has launched a pre-emptive strike on stores selling unauthorised iPhone applications, by changing the terms and conditions of the iPhone SDK to make authoring content for such sites against the rules. The terms of Apple's iPhone SDK have been criticised as being too restrictive before, but this time Apple has added a …
Apple are shit
Sod the customers as long as they get your money.
I'm usually the first to defend Apple...
...but this smells anti-competitive to me. You'd have to go some way to convince me that this clause is legally-enforceable.
So, how am I allowed to distribute iPhone apps?
Right, if I'm commissioned by a business to write an app for their own use (err, OK, perhaps an app for British Gas - each repairman has an iPhone with my app which tells them their calls for that day - for instance)
does this mean that it has to be approved and go on the app store? Can't I just put it on my site for the British Gas technical staff to install on everyone's iPhone. WTF?
I doubt it
The jailbreakers are now routinely pirating Apple apps and games, if anything this is making developers actively avoid the Cydia world and hope that Apple stamps it dead as soon as possible.
Apple need to nip this shit in the bud, even i'm getting tempted to re-jailbreak, its hard to compete with free.
As was noted last week, when companies do this kind of practice, the FTC will come a-knocking. Hope Apple's ready.
Now if Microsoft did something like this the EU would want another few hundred million at least! And yes I hate all Apple products (they're marketing is utter genius to be fair, convincing people to buy overpriced poor products) and find my HTC Touch Pro rather good since I can install anything I want on it and not be restricted to the will of one company.
You would distribute them through the enterprise tools.
"Right, if I'm commissioned by a business to write an app for their own use (err, OK, perhaps an app for British Gas - each repairman has an iPhone with my app which tells them their calls for that day - for instance)
does this mean that it has to be approved and go on the app store? Can't I just put it on my site for the British Gas technical staff to install on everyone's iPhone. WTF?"
@AC first post
Have you actually SEEN what those twats over at Hackulo.us are doing? They are making it their mission to ensure that developers are robbed of even the most modest of return on their hard work, whilst waving their sad peckers in the air and screeching on about how they'll force Apple to "re-think" their way of selling apps.
You may not like Apple's tactic, but it's a lot better than putting a flamethrower to the hackers' nuts, which is what I would do...
@ Samuel Pickard
I think there's still the option to release as a corporate edition which you can distribute internally, I'm not sure of the process involved in this or if it still applies with the changes, so maybe I should have not bothered commenting...
FTC and (lack of) enforcement
Under the Bush administration, you could figure that the FTC and other US regulators would either do nothing, or drag their heels until the sun goes cold, or simply slap them on the wrist for being "naughty". Now, they might do something, but they will likely take so long going about it that by the time they do, this policy of Apple's will have the stultifying effect they want on any potential competition. Personally, I hope they get a "brick" upside the head for this cruft!
No, it means that you go through the same method as you would have before – you use that company's private section of the iTunes store.
So if your app is not selected by apple...
...then it is free to be distributed however you like?
I've wrote a complaint to the EU over this EULA. Last time I complained, they said Apple was too small a company to bother with, going up against Microsoft Windows, which is fair enough I guess, OSX is a niche market.
Mobile phones however are super competitive, there is no Microsoft to skew the results, no Windows for the EU to say "well, its going up against MS so we'll give it some slack cause we're anti-Microsoft", when it comes to mobiles, Apple are taking their monopolistic practices from their laptop/desktop sales (which the EU turn a blind eye to) and putting them onto their mobiles.
if MS were to say "ok, you can only use Visual Studio to create applications that can only be run on Windows and can only be distributed by us, if we choose to that is" the EU would fine them millions every single day, lets hope the EU actually grow some balls and take Apple to task over this.
Now I remember...
...another reason why I will never give any of my filthy lucre to this bunch of money-grabbing control-freaks.
One of the reasons that the iPhone works well is the restrictions that Apple place on the App Store to make sure App work well and don't crash the system. I don't much care about people jailbraking their phones thats up to them, but I do care if Apple have to spend time fixing things that hackers have broken cos that does affect me.
SDK licence, or Developer Agreement?
The original Ars Technica piece says that the new conditions are attached to the Iphone Developer Program, not to the SDK download itself. The Developer Program is the extra thing that you have to do, and pay $99 for, to get your programs on the App Store. If that's the case, and if they aren't changing the SDK licence conditions, then it's more like they're saying "You can choose EITHER to be a registered developer and get stuff on the App Store, OR to distribute your programs for jailbroken phones, not both". Which dichotomy may be uncomfortable for some, but is a lot more reasonable than the blanket ban that the Reg article suggests.
Too bad Apple's got this mindset...
Honestly, I like some of their tech, but with their "our way or the highway" attitude, they can go sit and spin for all I care.
iPhone's got some lovely hardware and features, but I'll never support them as long as they treat developers this way.
Google's pulled a tethering app from their Android store... same?
Because the Android phone is an open OS, and the Google store is by no means the only way to find applications. They're just honoring the request of their partner (T-Mobile). However, since Apple takes great pains to make sure their app store is the ONLY GAME IN TOWN, they effectively control what software is and isn't available. (Unless you want to go the jailbreaking route, and risk the provider or apple pushing some hidden 'kill bit'.)
Heaven forbid that you should want to use your phone or iPod touch for reasons other than Apple approves of (which means, things they don't profit from or have plans to try to profit from in the future).
You could have used your iPhone as a celluar modem well over a year ago, but Apple forbid it. Now we find, they're going to offer it in their next OS... that you'll have to pay for. Apple is an extremly dirty company.
well it effected me
Apples closed environment is the reason I didn't buy an iPhone and more and more it looks like the right decision. I'm waiting for the Pre.
Apple shafting its own dev community?
Been there, done that, found GNU/Linux as a result.
When can I get an OpenMoko Freerunner in Aust??? THAT would be NEWS.
........and people complain about microshaft at least they don't _seem_ to care who writes software for windows.Ah which one evil steve or evil bill soddit evilsteve
Tethering and Version 3
"You could have used your iPhone as a celluar modem well over a year ago, but Apple forbid it. Now we find, they're going to offer it in their next OS... that you'll have to pay for. Apple is an extremly dirty company."
Actually, the phone companies didn't want tethering. Also, the version 3 software will be a free upgrade for all existing iPhones, both original and 3G.
Suddenly Microsoft looks positively open. I'll continue to stick with my Touch Diamond, thank you. I can and do have a spare battery, can transfer files willy-nilly over usb/bt/wifi (which should have been the case for iPhone from day 1, with its 8/16 gigs of storage). I can even <gasp> tweak/change/whatever my user interface, have choices of browsers that can download, use a real ftp client, have turn-by-turn gps, or a free gps that can record paths, etc, etc.. Tons of freeware/shareware/payware I can install OTA/from storage/from usb..
iPhone could have been a very good device for me, if it could *reliably* sync with Outlook, have a replaceable battery, and, well, not be crippled by Apple. It is sleek and the UI is very eye-candy. That way the no-multitasking limitation might even be worked around.
Pre still looks very intriguing, but it's very probable I'll get the Touch Pro 2, the brick with the keyboard next. After years with the Treo, I've gotten used to hardware keyboards, it's the one thing I miss on my TD. iPhone is a nice toy, but thank you, I'll pass. I've steered a lot of fellow geeks away from it, to nokias and WM devices.
How is this not anti-competitive
You just know this is going to end in court; I've already heard of some (big) companies that are avoiding developing for the iPhone because of these stupid restrictions.
Seriously, why would anyone invest time and money in developing an application for the iPhone when Apple can refuse to sell it and prevent them from selling it via any other app store?
If that's not an abuse of a monopoly position (the monopoly is over iPhone apps - resulting from their control of the hardware and the licensing conditions they insist on for the developers), then I don't know what is.
Enterprise is still covered by the new clause.
Yeah sure - like every developer codes for enterprise apps!
It ain't no fart app but what if somebody wished to port Python to iPhone, maybe with appropriate extensions/hooks for the UI? That's a big no, according to the developer agreement, as it would enable "third party" codes to bypass iTunes App store.
What if somebody wanted to enable the BT chip to accept HIDs? Like using a regular BT keyboard with iPhone? That's another big no, as the BT does not have the profile, it was not sanctioned by Apple.
What about ScummVM? That's a cool one, I've got Maniac Mansion and Zac MacKracken on my Touch Diamond running nicely, albeit in a tiny screen. I doubt the EULA permits virtual machines and emulators.
List goes on, and you might as what the point is. If the device is a smartphone it's a miniature computer I can tote around, and tinker with as I see fit. It has everything a regular computer system has: CPU, RAM, storage, I/O and an operating system. iPhone is cool hardware, it's a shame Apple is abusing its power of Monopoly. And I'm not against Apple making a profit, oh no. But this much greed is frankly quite off-putting.
> When can I get an OpenMoko Freerunner in Aust??? THAT would be NEWS.
We've sold a few to aussies already - most of the distributors listed on the openmoko site will ship wherever you want.