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back to article Steve Jobs lectures devs, dodges antitrust action

Over two years after the debut of the iTunes App Store, Apple has finally provided developers with guidelines describing what apps are and aren't acceptable for inclusion in what Steve Jobs has called Cupertino's "curated platform." Apple also removed restrictions from its iOS developer license that brought good news to Adobe, …

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Anonymous Coward

How about competing App-stores?

I think I'd feel a lot more comfortable with the whole iPhone model if there was a choice of App-store. Even if you could only pick one App-store, and were stuck with your choice, having a choice of "curators" and policies would be a definite improvement.

Of course, there's nothing in it for Apple, as long as their App store monopoly isn't considered a monopoly........

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Jobs Horns

Ain't gonna happen

...that's about as likely as iTunes supporting multiple music retailers.

Unless Jobs gets his cut of the sales it ain't gonna happen.

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Jobs Halo

It's Apple's platform, dammit.

It's Apple's platform, dammit. I don't hear you bitching about MS or Sony curating their platforms (Xbox Live and PS Network).

For non-techies (who, despite what Register readers think, make up 99.9% of the population) a curated platform is exactly what's needed. They are Apple's customers and it should be up to Apple what they sell to them, not a bunch of Unix-bent sysadmins like you lot.

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Jobs Horns

Sony

Apparently you have not heard me bitching.

Evil jobs for there is no Evil Sony icon (yet?)

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Anonymous Coward

Er

Do you also think it should be up to your estate agent what you can buy down at the furniture store? It amazes me how willing some people are to let businesses have so much control over what they're allowed to do. You're not renting the iPhone, you paid for it, it is legally yours. As long as you aren't reverse engineering it or directly screwing them out of money why the hell should they have any say in how you use it?

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Headmaster

@AC "Er" Posted Friday 10th September 2010 09:16 GMT

I would very much have liked to vote you up as I agree with most of what you say, (businesses must not have so much control over what we are allowed to do). But the problem is if only you had not added "As long as you aren't reverse engineering it". If its legally my property then I can do with it *whatever* I like. If I want to open it, reverse engineering it to program it, or even hit it with a hammer until flat and nail its dead carcase to the wall as an artwork!, then legally its my property!

Reverse engineering it to sell new reverse engineered clones is morally wrong. However reverse engineering to program it just to get more usage out of *my legal property* is totally ok no matter what the control freaks in the company want me to believe.

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Anonymous Coward

@MinionZero...

"If its legally my property then I can do with it *whatever* I like" Absolutely. However, when you buy these electronic devices that run pre-installed software, you agree to a software licence. So while the hardware is yours, you merely have a licence to run the software under the terms of said licence, as is reverse engineering. Opening it is fine, so long as you accept that your warranty is void and that Apple are under no obligation to make it easy. If you really feel the need to smash it with hammer, that is your choice, but again, the warranty will possibly be rendered void.

"However reverse engineering to program it just to get more usage out of *my legal property* is totally ok no matter what the control freaks in the company want me to believe." Sorry, but no. If it's directly programmable hardware, such as a BIOS, it isn't fine at all.

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FAIL

Corporations are trying to dictating to us all too much...

@AC: "Sorry, but no. If it's directly programmable hardware, such as a BIOS, it isn't fine at all."

So if I buy a car and pull it to bits to then write a manual of how to repair and modify it, then that is wrong is it? ... In which case you better tell Haynes Manuals their business model is and has been illegal since 1960. The point is morally its no different buying a car to do this or buying a computer to do this *whatever the companies try to say, or even try to game the legal system to say", morally its the same concept.

If I own it I will pull it to bits to mod it and frankly to hell with any product from any company that says I can't do that. At worse if they make it so hard to mod it, they will just loose a sale as I won't buy their products plus I will also instead get and support something that is more open and usable to me. So these corporate control freaks loose doubly, not only in lost sales, but also in the creation and support of an open product that competes with their closed product.

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FAIL

@MinionZero. Again..

Before I begin, it's 'lose'; 'loose' means the same as 'slack'.

"In which case you better tell Haynes Manuals their business model is and has been illegal since 1960." I imagine that they do it under licence, and generally when you buy a car you don't agree to the same thing as a software licence.

"The point is morally its no different buying a car to do this or buying a computer to do this *whatever the companies try to say, or even try to game the legal system to say", morally its the same concept." Morally? Oh do behave. Apple, or for that matter any of the other device manufacturers, do not stop you from taking devices apart. They are under no 'moral' (FFS) obligation to make it easy. They are under no 'moral', or legal, obligation to honour any warranty on the device if you have wilfully damaged it and yes, that includes trying to repair it yourself.

"At worse if they make it so hard to mod it, they will just loose[sic] a sale as I won't buy their products plus I will also instead get and support something that is more open and usable to me." I doubt that you are Apple's target customer. Here's what could be a very starling revelation to you: the world doesn't revolve around you. Further more, not everyone wants to 'mod' their devices in that manner. In consumer terms, you are in a minority, albeit an extremely noisy one.

"So these corporate control freaks loose doubly, not only in lost sales, but also in the creation and support of an open product that competes with their closed product." Sound's to me that you are a bit of a fandroid. Hey, no-one is holding a gun to your head an demanding that you buy Apple (or Microsoft for that matter). It's amusing that you openista's who are hell bent of forcing 'choice*' on the consumer; so long as it's the same choice that you make...

*NB: I'm not saying choice is a bad thing at all, the fact of the matter is that you 'open' advocates cannot accept that others may actually want the walled garden.

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Grenade

@AC RE:@MinionZero...

""However reverse engineering to program it just to get more usage out of *my legal property* is totally ok no matter what the control freaks in the company want me to believe." Sorry, but no. If it's directly programmable hardware, such as a BIOS, it isn't fine at all."

You couldn't be more wrong, at least in the US, reverse engineering is perfectly legal under US copyright law, regardless of what the licensing agreement says, under the law its allowed. To strengthen that position the USPTO made the exception to copyright law legally allowing jailbreaking. So its not illegal to reverse engineer it for the purpose of using it in a way that was never intended, such as on the network of a different carrier.

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Silver badge
WTF?

How the arrogant have been taught a lesson

I guess that the imperialistic Jobs has learned it is hard to fight the Washington bureaucracy.

The piece says: "... that Jobs & Co believe that it's their role, not yours, to decide what you can load onto your iOS device.

In Apple's paternalistic world, you're an unsophisticated child, unable to make your own decisions. It's not up to you to decide what you want. Apple will take care of that for you."

Maybe the majority of iPhans like this amount of control exercised over them, they certainly have a different take on new product reliability with millions buying the defective Lemon 4 after Jobs admitted there were problems.

The aesthetic appeal of the Lemon obviously attracted many yet they passively accepted a poor quality plastic band which not only detracts from the Lemon 4 appearance but also signals to observers they are looking at a defective phone.

Smart vendors might be able to make money from this large audience with a definable, unusual characteristic.

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Alert

or this version?

the majority of fans just don't see this 'control'. It's like they have a basket, read 'iphone' and they are in the supermarket just browsing the shelves for something to buy, in my local supermarket there are plenty of brands not on the shelves, but plenty of alternatives.

It also so happens that the basket is a very fancy basket!

I'm certain Apple never saw this coming when they brought out the first iPhone, but it didn't take them long to cotton on.

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Terminator

Arrogant me again, you Sexy Jobs!

There are no smart vendors, just ignorant greedy bastards with the Devil's own marketing department... and James Dyson.

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Dead Vulture

uhuh

Yeah, well, frankly I'm glad Apple is telling develoeprs to produce great apps. Enough not just with the fart apps, but also with all of the crappy ugly and buggy software. If these kinds of developers won't adapt then get rid of them.

What's next, Reg, calling newspapers to task because they only report good stories (though less so these days), leaving all the non-interesting stuff behind? I'm a consumer, god-darn-it, and I should have the right to choose for myself.

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Silver badge

Sorry, but I can't agree with you

Of course, fart apps are not exactly what I would consider needed in any way, and I heartily agree with getting rid of them.

Unfortunately, the rule specifically says that Apple can remove apps from the store if there are many others that do the same thing. Fart apps fall under this rule, but any useful app that comes in multiple flavors can also fall under the rule.

It's a case of over-defining a rule which can then be applied to any number of arbitrary situations. You have an app that is competing (doing the same thing) as an Apple-sponsored app ? Poof, they can retire yours because there's already one doing it. Obviously, they're not to retire their own app, now are they ?

I don't like fart apps one bit, but this rule is not a good way to get rid of them.

I don't think there is any good way to get rid of them either, because maybe they actually need to be there. People made them, people downloaded them and people are using them, so why decide to remove them ? Because they are tasteless ?

I find many things tasteless. That does not give me the right to destroy them - much as might sometimes wish to.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Sorry, but I can't agree with you

But it's their company. They have the right to do what they want. Fart apps are not free speech.

What is it with people's ever-expanding definition of what free speech is?

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Anonymous Coward

"...can remove apps from the store..."

The document says no such thing. Anywhere. Neither does it allude or suggest that is the case. What it is saying is that fart apps will likely be rejected *unless* they bring something new and original that offers lasting entertainment and/or value.

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Silver badge

Half a loaf is better than one?

That seems to be a bit of an overly optimistic assessment of the flash situation. Unless it's loaf in the sense of "pinching off a loaf"...

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"crushing cars with your face"

Holy shit, maybe I should get an iPhone after all.

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Grenade

my 2 cents

intercourse Mr. Jobs and the fornicating horse he rode in on.

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Silver badge
Go

It's Jobs' right to decide!

And it's my right to decide to buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone.

Between Jobs' condescension and being spammed by Google AdMob, at least I can root my Android phone and kill AdMob. I can't do anything about Steve's 'tude.

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Black Helicopters

So many opinions aside...

t sounds like Apple is interposing themselves as a quality assurance firm, between the software developer and the user - and it's Apple's ball, Apple's bat, and (in Apple's own views) Apple's own baseball diamond, so they set the rules about how people get to play on the field, if at all.

If it's not hardly a democratic approach, but it's not a government either. In Apple's view - even the customer's own iPhone is still Apple territory, and King Jobs reigns ><

I think that it would naturally bear some contrast to the policies used, on other mobile platforms, in implementing each one's major (i.e vendor-provided) approach to the "app store" pattern.

In that, I'm familiar with BlackBerry App World, as a user of the same It seems to me that BB App World would is using a completely democratic policy, there, simply supporting availability of applications, on the platform.

Though I've yet to find any applications providing "mature rated" content, there, I've not set out to find such, either - save for one curiosity-compelled search for a Playboy app's description, a search that yielded a description of an application not even hardly risque.

Even so, BB App World isn't the only place one can go to - given an "out of the box" BlackBerry - as to install applications on the same.

I presume that the case may be quite similar, on the Android and Maemo platforms.

Back to discussing Apple, specifically: I think their policy can be read as it being an odd development after recent ideas about "intellectual property rights".

So long as they don't go into real estate, I guess I'm alright with it....

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Flame

Yay!

More self destructive policy from the land of the iTards!

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Gold badge
Alert

O_o

"It's not up to you to decide what you want. Apple will take care of that for you."

Apple dictate your desires to you. Google will predict your desires before you knew you desired them. So it Google telling Apple what to tell you to do?

Egads!

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Anonymous Coward

OW!!!

O_o indeed. That's made my head hurt a little bit.

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Terminator

Thank You

"In Apple's paternalistic world, you're an unsophisticated child, unable to make your own decisions. It's not up to you to decide what you want. Apple will take care of that for you."

Thank you, Reg, for telling me what to think, because, you know, I wouldn't be able to decide without your help. I'm happy to join the rest of your sheeple readers.

Having said that, I'm a little concerned, as a developer, that there are restrictions. The restrictions, as they stand now, are outside the applications I am developing and have developed, but on the same token, I think it stifles creativity. I'd hate to be the guy who comes up with a great innovative idea, spends a year developing it after his work day, just to be denied.

Unfortunately, it's still the best thing going right now for freelance developers.

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Users

"In Apple's paternalistic world, you're an unsophisticated child, unable to make your own decisions."

Given the existence of millions of spam-spewing zombie PCs created by letting people make their own decisions in the Windows world, Apple may have a point.

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Anonymous Coward

Author has a problem with Apple it seems

Might I suggest said author simply ceases to write about Apple products?

I have had WinMob phones bricked through shite software, I have not had the same problem with my iPhone. Sure I am restricted in what I can install, but I am pretty confident that when I do install something it won't break my device.

It is simple: if you don't want to be shackled with the restrictions Apple place on their devices, don't buy an Apple device.

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Apple's customers aren't the same now

Since the iPlodes, forget the tech savy Macusers from 1984, you just get consumers and a lot of kids. These ones like to have a lot of choice so, having an iPlode is certainly fine but if you have more choice elsewhere you could change your mind and buy something else. That's why SJ left some of his restrictions.

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Silver badge

"If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps."

Thank you, Apple, for finally saying in public that you are thin-skinned and vindictive. Now it's official.

Personally, I think that Apple would never have published anything concerning app rules if there hadn't been people trashing its behavior in the press. And that goes for a lot of other companies as well, probably most of them since very few companies have the balls to acknowledge an issue if they are not legally forced to do so (and sometimes, even if).

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Jobs Horns

So much laughter, so little time...

If Jobs were a politician he would be somewhere right of the BNP. He's worse than our ex-Labour leaders who ingested paranoia for starters, mains and desserts. 'Control freak' just doesn't do the man justice.

At the end of the day, the iPhone is just another mobile (phone) device, the iPad is just another tablet ad iNfinitum! Personally I prefer functianality over design, functionality over fart apps, democracy over dictatorship.

My old iPhone died gloriously, on the wrong end of a hammer. It made a wonderful video. Truly wonderful!

@Tom 79: "Unfortunately, it's still the best thing going right now for freelance developers." What? You seriously want me to believe that as a freelanceer I can make more money from the AppStore than I can from my usual core business? Laugh? I nearly died! LOL! Ha ha ha! (Ok, I concede, it may provide a nice potential revenue stream, but the 'best thing going right now for freelance developers."? I think not.

Fanbois... Get a life... Get real and remember... It's just an overpriced phone, an overpriced tablet and an out of control iDictator. LOL! My sides are starting to hurt form all the laughter.

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Tight L

"Adobe System's stock, perhaps not coincidentally, soared over 12 per cent during Thursday trading following the news."

That they have this much effect on the fortunes of others right now kinda tells me that they won't be able to dodge the antitrust bullets for too long.

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Jobs Halo

Anti-trust

How is forcing developers to use the built in webkit not anti-competitive?

MS got done for bundling IE with Windows, where you could still use a different one if you so desired.

This is like MS saying you can write your own browser but you have to use our engine to show the pages and run the JavaScript. If they did it they'd be fined to oblivion.

What is it with Apple that so many people are willing to bend over and take it dry? Seriously, I don't understand. Shiny just doesn't cut it.

Before the flames, I hold no real allegiance to any company, but I like to be able to do what I like with something that is legally mine.

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Anonymous Coward

Because there are ways around it...

ask Opera.

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Grenade

Watch the app numbers

If the number of apps drops in correlation with the amount of duplicate guff (fart apps) then the police are adhering to rules.

However, if Apple make an announcement of "300,000 apps to choose from", then you know the cops are still bent.

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Gold badge

spam and estate agents

"Given the existence of millions of spam-spewing zombie PCs created by letting people make their own decisions in the Windows world, Apple may have a point."

No, that's down to WIndows' inherent security failings. I can put whatever I want on my Ubuntu box, people can even put whatever they want on OSX boxes, and they aren't going around spewing spam.

"Do you also think it should be up to your estate agent what you can buy down at the furniture store?"

Funny you mention that, because when Frank Lloyd Wright sold people houses, he then reportedly proceeded to tell them what furniture they had to buy to go in each room and where they could put it. Apparently people went along with it!

Anyway.. I don't think Apple did anything to avoid antitrust problems. This just feeds Apple's ego, IPhone is not big enough to have antitrust problems, there are better phones on the market that have plenty of sales and plenty of installed base. In this case Apple is allowed to restrict the phone however they want (I do think, however, the owner can reverse engineer whatever they want on the phone. And, no, when I buy a phone I don't agree to a software license.)

I'm glad Jobs changed his mind on restricting what tools programmers can use to make apps -- that was entirely arbitrary and pointless, if the app meets performance and quality standards and sticks to documented APIs, it shouldn't matter how it works internally. That said, I still wouldn't own or program for an IPhone in a million years.

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Anonymous Coward

Whether or not...

you think that you aren't agreeing to software licence, if you start using the device, the agreement is implied. I suggest that you read the T&C's. If you don't agree, don't use the phone. Simple.

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Bronze badge

*nix boxes not sending spam?

sendmail

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Grenade

RE: my 2 cents

I was recently GIVEN an iPhone, so I figured what the hell I’ll check it out. I didn’t bother activating the cellular part of it as AT&T coverage in my area blows. So I decide to configure it to do simple SMTP email; it failed, because Apple doesn’t support the type of authentication my ISP offers. So, I went with hotmail… I’m a wireless engineer by trade, so I was rather startled by the less than stellar throughput. After perusing iTunes and the litany of applications, I found a few that I was interested in so I downloaded them and was somewhat taken aback by all of the “meet girls in your area” adds. Shortly after installing iTunes, Bonjour screwed up the security software I run on my laptop. Don’t ask me how, but after systematically installing and reinstalling Apple’s software, I was able to consistently able to duplicate the problem.

I’ll concede that it’s a cool little toy, but it’s flimsy and after having it for about 2 weeks, I can tell that if I were using it like my regular phone, it would have died about a week ago, because it’s simply not durable enough.

Based on all that, after reading how Mr. Jobs wishes meddle in the development of software that could only benefit the sales of the iPhone brand, I have no interest in using it for anything other than novelty purposes.

Yes, it’s certainly their product line and they can peddle/license/control it any way they want, but they won’t be getting one damn dime from me, because I despise the rigidity Apple is infamous for.

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Go

Putting the boy ...

...in "fanboi". Yep, those of us that use other than Apple products are certainly poor, uneducated buffoons, but we are poor, uneducated buffoons who chose for ourselves. We are free to f**k up all we want and that's how I for one want it. If I f**k it up; I fix it up. Unlike Apple's Lemmings that simply follow the leader and give up that bit of personal decision making freedom.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Doug Glass

You must be SO proud making that stand. Do you also like to "fix" your car yourself? Remind me never to be a passenger with you.

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