I’ve had the designs for several iPhone apps floating around in my head for the last year. Nothing fancy. And not things I could sell (ideas related to my day job). An internet/client/portal kind of thing. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any real time to get beyond the design stage – and no incentive to do more than tinker. Maybe someday. Anyway…
Apple changed the Developers Agreement for OS 4.0 yesterday. There’s been a mild uproar from the usual suspects — folks whom it would never affect anyway since they never plan on doing Apple/iPhone development – for whatever reason.
The basic idea appears to be that – if you (developer/software co.) want to sell your iPhone app thru the iTunes AppStore, you have to use Apple approved software dev. tools. Of which there appears to be only 1. XCode 3.2.3+. And Apple approved API’s and libraries. Which means – C, C++, and Objective-C (which is C with a twist of Smalltalk syntax). And none of the cross-platform tools ->
Some pundits claim it’s a shot across the bows of Adobe, since it basically kills off their CS5/Flash to iPhone app generator (that they are supposed to announce/release next week. Ouch.). (Another skirmish in the Apple/Adobe Flash-wars?)
Another possible victim is Novell’s MonoTouch (It lets you use Mono (Novell’s .NET clone) and C# to develop iPhone Apps.)
And then there’s iSqueak – a version of Squeak (Smalltalk) for the iPhone. Not sure where it fits in – it might survive since it IS built with XCode. (Not that you can get it from the App Store since it breaks at least one App Store rule. But the the person who ported it to the iPhone has used it to generate several iPhone Apps that are in the store.)
I believe there are a could other similar cross-platform development tools that violate the new rules but I don’t remember them.
The point? IMO – Ordinary mortals (aka non-developers and non-tech-pundits and non-tech blog denizens) aren’t going to care, as long as developers keep writing new and interesting software for the iPod/iPhone/iPad platform.
Me? I couldn’t afford the Adobe tools anyway. Monotouch was $1000/year the last time I checked. iSqueak? I’ve been tinkering with Squeak for years but never written anything “real” (I just like the environment). So none of those really affect me.
Apple only charges $99/year for their iPhone Dev. program (aka access to the App Store) but XCode is free (It just requires a Mac to run it on. And a test device would be good when using beta versions of the iPhone SDK.)
So the rule change doesn’t affect me personally. I couldn’t afford the possible commercial non-Apple cross-dev tools anyway. And I’m not one of those people who thinks Apple is evil so it doesn’t really upset me.
But I really need to find the time to do something :-).