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Apple Drops Part of iPhone Developer NDA

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the squawky-wheel-gets-degreased dept.

Cellphones 175

ds writes "Apple, this morning, announced they are dropping the iPhone Developer NDA in respect to released software. Previously, iPhone developers were legally bound even after their software had been released." Another reader adds, "Early release software is still covered, but this should bring about increased developer interaction, as well as a slew of iPhone dev books." The complete message about the NDA change can be seen for now at Apple's iPhone Developer site, and is reproduced below."We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software. We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don't steal our work. It has happened before. While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others. However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone's success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released. Thanks to everyone who provided us constructive feedback on this matter."

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About freaking time (1, Redundant)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221869)

Seriously, what took apple so long?

Re:About freaking time (5, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221933)

They were probably waiting for Android to be released.

Android (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221937)

They wanted to wait for the Android release so the API could not legally borrow too heavily from the iPhone API.

At least, that seems like a reasonable guess...

You Have To Be Joking (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222263)

Apple is facing a mass exodus of phone developers with their constant blunders from secrecy and rejecting apps that threaten their own apps.

The cellphone industry is rapidly moving to Android as their standard platform with Motorola being the latest large cellphone company to embrace Google's open source OS with a ramp up of their internal Android team to 500 people.

LG and Sony are next in the queue for Android phone releases and there are huge numbers in the pipeline after them including devices that fall between cellphones and mini-laptops.

To suggest that there is some sort of secret and valuable information in the iPhone SDK that anyone cares about is absolutely inane.

This is just the first step in Apple's fade into niche irrelevance in the cellphone market. Look for future attempts to fend off Android with dropping the fees to release iPhone apps, development on machines that don't require overpriced Macs just to do simple phone app development, and all the other silly shit Apple has going on with the iPhone.

   

Re:You Have To Be Joking (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222395)

BWAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAA! Yeah, the industry is rapidly moving to Android, a platform that has only just seen a released product that is middling at best and has yet to gain a foothold in the market. Yeah, there's a mass exodus of developers from the ridiculously lucrative iPhone market. Yeah, the iPhone is the only competition for Android and vice versa, so Blackberry and Palm don't figure into it at all.

I fucking hate FOSS fanboys.

Re:You Have To Be Joking (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222507)

Where did you get all that from "Apple doesn't want a potential competitor to use any of their code"?

Re:You Have To Be Joking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224437)

I fucking hate FOSS fanboys. - said the raving Mac fanboy from under Steve Jobs ass...

Re:You Have To Be Joking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222439)

This is just the first step in Apple's fade into niche irrelevance in the cellphone market.

Well, it indeed WOULD have been that way if not for this.

development on machines that don't require overpriced Macs just to do simple phone app development

Well, sorry I don't think this is feasible. Yes you could build GCC as a cross-compiler but what about Xcode?

Re:You Have To Be Joking (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222453)

Apple is facing a mass exodus of phone developers with their constant blunders from secrecy and rejecting apps that threaten their own apps.

Did you just make that up?

The cellphone industry is rapidly moving to Android as their standard platform

Even if this is true... so what? Since Apple doesn't offer their platform to other makers, why would they care what other makers use?

This is just the first step in Apple's fade into niche irrelevance in the cellphone market.

If you take a step back, you'd see that they are already in a niche - supplying just a tiny fraction of cell phones. However, as they always seem to do, they picked a very profitable niche. If it gets too competitive, I wouldn't expect to see them hang around.

Re:You Have To Be Joking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25223141)

The cost of a machine that is suitable to do iPhone development is $600. Mac-Mini. Presumably you already have a mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

Re:You Have To Be Joking (2, Insightful)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223203)

This has as much credibility as "Year of the Linux" and "iPod Killers"

Android has yet to ship and create a healthy ecosystem that can be monetized by developers. It's all conjecture now. Just about anyone knows about the iPhone. The brand is really hot and in demand. NDA whining is confined to nerd elite who have found an issue and want to run with it as if it affects the majority of people. It doesn't.

Apple is really shielding itself from all kinds of legal minefields. This issue isn't black and white as some make it out to be. Every company out there wants to see shelves stocked with books targeting their platform. NDA prevents some publishers from releasing books which only goes to prove that Apple isn't doing this to be antagonistic. They have assumed the risk because the alternative could be much worse.

Re:You Have To Be Joking (5, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223231)

I disagree. I think that the market is largely driven by what consumers want. Apple has a huge head start--they are quite literally years ahead on hardware/software integration, having released a product that has yet to see any equal in overall end-user experience. People absolutely love the iPhone. Relatively speaking, they haven't even heard of what the competitors are offering, and even the recent release of Android has received minimal attention by comparison.

Now that I've established the context, it's easy to see why handset manufacturers and non-AT&T providers in the US are embracing Android. It is their best shot at competing with Apple. They moved too slow, lacked long-term vision, and failed to concede to Apple's demands. And now they're scrambling to keep up. iPhone + iTunes + App Store = killer combination. This has nothing to do with FOSS. Face it, few people have even seen what Android does, let alone have any real-world understanding of how well it will integrate with a variety of handsets and carriers. Because it hasn't happened yet. Maybe it'll be a competitor, maybe it won't. But I can confidently say that whatever the outcome, it won't look or feel nearly as clean as an Apple product.

I've also heard that despite a lot of grumblings by iPhone developers, they generally like the business model. Steve Demeter, for example, is on the record for saying he has no intention of bringing Trism to Android. This coming from a guy who made a quarter million in two months off his blockbuster game. So I don't think you're telling the whole story here. It's the secrecy they don't like, and with this latest turn, Apple has done the right thing.

Frankly, I'm amazed that you didn't get modded down. Your bias is so clearly showing and you lack any evidence to back up your outrageous claims. I think Android can be huge, and I like that Google has stepped up to provide more competition in the mobile computing market. I hope it lives up to the high expectations that the industry has set for it, but I'm not holding my breath because judging from how Motorola, Sony Ericsson, RIM, Palm, Samsung, LG, Nokia, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, etc. have behaved in the past, I don't think they're going to all have some kind of Voltron moment and band together to bring down the "evil Apple."

After all, you're just cheering for one evil corporation to smite the other. Personally, what matters to me most is whether I get the user experience and customer service I expect. If Android facilitates this goal, then I'm all for it. But you won't catch me talking complete bullshit just because I have a stick up my ass about a particular company. That's so last decade.

Re:You Have To Be Joking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224471)

Apple has a huge head start--they are quite literally years ahead on hardware/software integration, having released a product that has yet to see any equal in overall end-user experience.

Do you work in the PR or marketing department? What does that statement really mean? Every cell phone ever produced has hardware and software and they are integrated. Hell, every device with a CPU has some type of software that is integrated to work with the hardware. What makes Apple special and so much more advanced on this?

The iPhone has specific issues that people do not like either. Oddly, these complaints do not seem to reach a critical mass of complaints until Apple releases x+1 and then everyone claims how much better and more functional the new version is. My proof of that is how many people buy just about every new version of iPod and iPhone within days of its release? If these people loved the existing product so much, why are they litererly standing in line so excited about the newest version with the newest features?

I do fully agree with you general statements about Apple shaking up the market and getting other companies off their asses in an attempt to compete. More actual competition is always a benefit to everyone.

But you won't catch me talking complete bullshit just because I have a stick up my ass about a particular company. That's so last decade.

Really? What about this statement?

But I can confidently say that whatever the outcome, it won't look or feel nearly as clean as an Apple product.

I find this statement odd as well

People absolutely love the iPhone. Relatively speaking, they haven't even heard of what the competitors are offering, and even the recent release of Android has received minimal attention by comparison.

Okay, people may love the iPhone and I'll even throw the iPod in there as well. But... Using your own words, many people made this decision about the iPhone and the iPod being the "best" products out there in their field but yet they can't even name or have not seen or used any of competitors products.
All that matter is the person is happy with what they bought though.

Laughable (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224623)

Do you work in the PR or marketing department? What does that statement really mean? Every cell phone ever produced has hardware and software and they are integrated.

Yes, poorly.

Oh now I see - you posted AC so as not to taint your real user account with the stain of your complete lunacy.

Re:You Have To Be Joking (1)

fatandsassy (1171701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223355)

This is just the first step in Apple's fade into niche irrelevance in the cellphone market.

Actually, isn't this move arguably their step back away from that edge? The developer backlash from the App-denial situation (and the NDA situation) was threatening to put them in a bad spot, and this is a decision in the developers' favor.

Look for future attempts to fend off Android

I think Android is going to have to grab a bit larger of a foothold before we can feasibly credit a move like this as being defensive. There's plenty of room in the market for some competition as both platforms take bites out of Windows-based smartphones.

You should be citing (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223661)

Do you have any actual evidence or citations to support your claims?

Re:You Have To Be Joking (1)

riegel (980896) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223775)

hmm "by Anonymous Coward"

just to do simple phone app development

Apparently the Anonymous Coward has never used an iphone app.

The Joke Speaketh (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223791)

Apple is facing a mass exodus of phone developers with their constant blunders from secrecy and rejecting apps that threaten their own apps.

As an iPhone developer, I could only pray that would be true. Contrary to your assertion though there seems to be a pretty good inlflux of new developers, and thus new competition, into the iPhone application development realm. And of course, lifting the NDA means all of the most experienced developers can now offer help to everyone, further increasing developer interest and retention and shared knowledge (not that a lot of that was not happening already, but now that books can be published...).

The cellphone industry is rapidly moving to Android as their standard platform with Motorola being the latest large cellphone company to embrace Google's open source OS with a ramp up of their internal Android team to 500 people.

Awesome for Android (which I like and may also develop apps for at some point), sucks to be Windows Mobile. Not sure I see any impact on the iPhone though.

To suggest that there is some sort of secret and valuable information in the iPhone SDK that anyone cares about is absolutely inane.

To suggest that many best practices for advanced development techniques have been easy to find is far more inane. Yes you know there's a UITableViewController. Do you know how to make cells using Interface Builder? Or how to have a text view become first responder as you enter a screen?

This is just the first step in Apple's fade into niche irrelevance in the cellphone market.

Careful there, your spittle is starting to obscure your writing.

Just another funny Apple Hater I guess. Tired of having his normal user ID pummeled by reason...

Re:You Have To Be Joking (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224209)

Apple is facing a mass exodus of phone developers with their constant blunders from secrecy and rejecting apps that threaten their own apps.

Are there many developers at all? And exodus, where do they go? They program in ObjectiveC, if they don't do iPhone, they can only program for OS X and OpenStep. I thought those who programed on iPhone must have done some kind of programming on OS X.

The cellphone industry is rapidly moving to Android as their standard platform with Motorola being the latest large cellphone company to embrace Google's open source OS with a ramp up of their internal Android team to 500 people.

If Motorola doesn't move to Android, where can they go? Graveyard? And if Apple didn't do the NDA thing, will Motorola move to iPhone? No XXX way.

LG and Sony are next in the queue for Android phone releases and there are huge numbers in the pipeline after them including devices that fall between cellphones and mini-laptops.

They have been doing this for years, nothing for me to see here.

To suggest that there is some sort of secret and valuable information in the iPhone SDK that anyone cares about is absolutely inane.

Why?

This is just the first step in Apple's fade into niche irrelevance in the cellphone market. Look for future attempts to fend off Android with dropping the fees to release iPhone apps, development on machines that don't require overpriced Macs just to do simple phone app development, and all the other silly shit Apple has going on with the iPhone.

From a niche market to a niche market, I don't see any potential problem here for Apple. And why I can only program in java on Android, I like java, but why can't I access CPU directly? Yeah, I know the JIT thing, but it draws juice from my battery. And why the java on Android is not compatible with other's java? If it is not compatible, what's the point of java?

Re:Android (5, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222959)

They wanted to wait for the Android release so the API could not legally borrow too heavily from the iPhone API.

I highly doubt it. Google has their own Mac developers and one of the first apps bundled on the iPhone was a YouTube video program. Google has had access to the iPhone API's long before most other developers. Google Mobile App was available on the App Store since July 3. Besides, IIRC, Android is based on Java whereas the iPhone OS X is based on Objective C. More likely, the fear of iPhone developers leaving for Android was an incentive. Hopefully they'll go ahead and drop the whole darned thing since any Tom, Dick or Harry can sign up for the ADC and download the dev tools.

Re:Android (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223691)

Spend months developing your application under strict NDA terms and get your application rejected because some idiot working at App Store thinks it has potential to be competitive?

I don't feel pity for iPhone developers. It is same as customers. They accept such abuse while buying the device or firing up XCode new iPhone app project.

Java is also object oriented and there is a very object oriented OS in hand which has more than 200 million users. Symbian that is. Symbian developers could release working iPhone apps in full functionality in months time. They also had to mess with stupid "hack" thing let alone fixing their own issues.

I keep saying that Developer should maintain a Windows Mobile or better, Symbian "mirror" of application. Symbian developers can ship their apps in whatever way they want, they can even mail the .sisx file to users. It is a lot different on iPhone official scene. If that idiot clicks "reject" template, you are doomed. You can't even TELL that the idiot clicked "reject" to your potential customers.

You aren't thinking legally (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223863)

I highly doubt it. Google has their own Mac developers and one of the first apps bundled on the iPhone was a YouTube video program. Google has had access to the iPhone API's long before most other developers.

Well of course they had early access - all under an even tighter NDA. Google being able to see the API doesn't matter so much as Apple's ability to say in a lawsuit "there's no way Google could have seen this patented API technique outside of the context of an NDA because the API was not public at that point".

Now it's a whole different argument if that is right or good or would even hold in court. But that's the thinking behind such an NDA, there are not really many other reasons that make any sense at all.

Re:About freaking time (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221947)

I suspect they were waiting for Android. Prior to its arrival, they were pretty much the only game in town, so there wasn't really anywhere for disgruntled developers to flee to.

While you're rewriting history... (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223377)

Prior to [android], they were pretty much the only game in town, so there wasn't really anywhere for disgruntled developers to flee to.

Damn, you mean I've been hallucinating that Palm, Microsoft, and Nokia have been shipping smartphone software since the '90s?

While you're rewriting history, why don't you take care of that annoying hohocaust thing as well?

Re:While you're rewriting history... (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223901)

If what you imply is true, that MS, Palm, and Nokia are "competitors" to Apple, why are developers even bothering with the iPhone?

Let me answer: The iPhone is more lucrative, is growing faster, and is more attractive to the consumer.

If a developer could "simply" switch from the iPhone to a WinMo, Palm, or Symbian phone, then the iPhone wouldn't even need to exist in the first place.

You're rewriting economics too? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224293)

If a developer could "simply" switch from the iPhone to a WinMo, Palm, or Symbian phone, then the iPhone wouldn't even need to exist in the first place.

A developer can no more "simply" switch from the iPhone to Android than "simply" switch from the iPhone to any other programmable handset. Different languages, different APIs, different developer platforms.

But setting that aside, the point is really... the iPhone is a competitor to existing smartphone platforms. The question a year ago was "should developers start developing applications for the iPhone as well as PalmOS, Symbian OS, and Windows Mobile?". Obviously the answer has turned out to be "yes", but it was never a given that it would succeed if you couldn't see iPhone as an option on sites like Handango [handango.com] , and there really was some question as to whether it would take off.

But that's how the market works. Not because there's a "need" for any specific new competing platform, but because competition drives improvement. Just because the iPhone is flavor of the week doesn't mean that there's no competition for it.

Re:You're rewriting economics too? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224517)

If we want to be specific/pedantic, we're talking about consumer oriented smartphones, and for the majority no Palm or Windows device qualified.

Nokia had a few, but they were expensive or largely unavailable (N95) until the iPhone was also available (in the US). If we are therefore talking about consumer smartphones and software, then NO, Palm, Nokia, and Microsoft have not been shipping software nor smartphones since the 90s. Consumer smartphones are a recent (in the last two or three years) thing.

Re:While you're rewriting history... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224503)

Damn, you mean I've been hallucinating that Palm, Microsoft, and Nokia have been shipping smartphone software since the '90s?

Like comparing Apples and Oranges.

While you're rewriting history, why don't you take care of that annoying hohocaust thing as well?

I don't need to. It was done before I was born, and taught to me in history class. Here's a hint: it didn't happen because the secret police intimidated everyone into following a bunch of crazies. It happened because the state of the world was such that people were ready to follow anyone who was crazy enough to lead them against their oppressors, so they elevated the least crazy people around that were willing to do it.

It all has to do with the contrast between societies based on the association of free men and societies based on the rule of law. In societies based on the rule of law, you end up with conniving bastards who twist a societies laws against itself for personal gain, and eventually, inevitably, you need to shatter the fabric of society and massacre the perpetrators. It's a cyclical thing.

Recovery time needed (3, Funny)

DodgeRules (854165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221967)

They had to recover from the clubbing they got from developers.

Re:About freaking time (1)

Chundra (189402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221989)

Their stock price hadn't tanked enough?

Did uncle Steve have any alternative? (2, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223005)

Let's just check the facts:

Número uno: The internet hated the NDA. Not only the goodwill and fanboyism that Apple gets for free was up for grabs; but also there was a real chance that Apple might become the new Microsoft in public opinion.

Número dos: Google does not fight the internet, and brought out Android. Android is gonna get some traction, not least for being open-source, for coming up with cool apps that google awarded prizes for, and for securing your developer's rights to distribute.

Número três: The market is down. It's going to get worse. In fact, we may have crossed the point of no return. The USA might have hyperinflation and all that comes with it.

So Steve had no alternative. The question is, for how long will the draconian measures at the app store still exist?

When will developers be sure of their investment?

Re:About freaking time (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223937)

I don't get this: first post and it gets modded redundant? Leave it to Slashdot to understand logic.

So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (2, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221913)

Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

If I read this right, does that mean developers still can't publicly bitch about their apps being rejected from the store?

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (5, Informative)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221999)

No. The NDA only covers Apple's stuff, it does not and cannot cover yours. (Developers couldn't talk about their stuff, but only because talking about their stuff implied talking about Apple's stuff.)

When Apple says unreleased software they mean their unreleased software. You can talk about your unreleased software all you want, so long as this doesn't involve things like betas of new iPhone OSes.

In other words, the policy is going to be the same as it is for Mac OS X, where prerelease versions are covered under non-disclosure but you can talk about publicly released versions all you want.

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222145)

Now I'm really confused. So you're saying that developers can talk about their stuff because it's theirs, but they can't talk about their stuff because it implies talking about Apple's stuff?

Me head hurt.

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (4, Informative)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222341)

Is that really so hard to understand?

Any piece of code that elucidates Cocoa Touch/iPhone OS functionality couldn't be disclosed, because Cocoa Touch/iPhone OS was under the FNDA. It may be the developers' code, but it can speak volumes about the structure of the iPhone SDK.

Now, the only code you can't distribute is code that uses new features in prerelease versions of the OS/SDK.

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (5, Interesting)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222565)

Yes.

You write code. You can talk about that code. But if that code is based on somebody else's code, and that somebody else has that code under NDA, and your code implies information about their code, then you have to keep it under wraps.

More concretely, Apple's NDA cannot prevent you from discussing your own code. But if your code contains information about the iPhone code, you can't discuss that.

Now that things are being lifted, you can discuss the iPhone code and therefore your own code which relies on it. The only remaining restriction is that you can't talk about iPhone code which isn't public yet, and by implication any of your own code which relies on the non-public changes.

So this change covers only their prerelease software, and by extension any of your software which contains information about their prerelease software. But it doesn't, and can't, cover your own prerelease software by itself.

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222393)

Gewalt was referring to Apple putting NDA notices on rejection letters [slashdot.org] .

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222585)

...And? I knew what he was referring to. His implied connection was wrong, as I discussed.

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (3, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222085)

f I read this right, does that mean developers still can't publicly bitch about their apps being rejected from the store?

You have been reading an announcement about a change in the NDA. Whatever is in that announcement has no legal value whatsoever. Trying to search for a deep meaning in each word of this announcement is completely pointless. If you have a changed NDA in your hands, then whatever that changed NDA says is the new rules.

Also note that Apple _always_ puts all its own unreleased software under NDA. Therefore XCode 3.1 (which was and is needed for iPhone development) was under NDA until it was released a few weeks ago. So "unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released" is exactly what Apple has always said for many years, iPhone or no iPhone.

You misunderstand "release", iPhone OS versions (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222117)

If I read this right, does that mean developers still can't publicly bitch about their apps being rejected from the store?

"released software" means APPLE released software. As in, you can talk about API versions that are out in public but not versions that are still developer preview only.

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (2, Interesting)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222171)

If I read this right, does that mean developers still can't publicly bitch about their apps being rejected from the store?

While the wording is a bit ambiguous, and I don't know what it means for bitching about rejections, I have a pretty good feeling that what they're talking about when they say "software" is really Apple software, i.e. the stuff that makes up the iPhone SDK, not the applications that you are developing. In other words, once this new agreement is in effect, we should be able to freely discuss the iPhone SDK in its current release form; we will not, however, be able to discuss the unreleased betas of the next iteration (which Apple usually gives registered devs access to). I think this is much better, because any person that wanted to can see Apple's tutorials and download the SDK anyways, so it was a little ridiculous to have it under NDA. Now if you're just not allowed to talk about the unreleased features, that seems a lot more reasonable.

...which should now make it totally legit to open source software that targets the iPhone - I know people have already done this (Oolong Engine comes to mind), but technically people that did this were in a gray area, where they were probably violating the NDA, but betting on the fact that Apple wouldn't come after them as long as they weren't doing anything too sneaky. It's good to have it cleared up, finally.

Back to your original point, though, IIRC the rejection letters that many received actually came with their own NDAs attached, so I'm not sure that this new agreement will have any bearing whatsoever on that.

Re:So you still cant bitch about being rejected? (1)

firewood (41230) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223991)

If I read this right, does that mean developers still can't publicly bitch about their apps being rejected from the store?

Note that this announcement is about the SDK agreement. It says nothing about the App store agreement, which might still cover communications from Apple about submitted apps.

Developer's app? (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221921)

Here's hoping we'll see a developer's app that runs entirely on an iPhone / iPod Touch.

Open source? (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223101)

How about open source? Can we build FOSS for the thing now?

You always could (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223897)

How about open source? Can we build FOSS for the thing now?

There are already a number of iPhone projects on Google Code that were there before. It was just a question before if you wanted to risk you developer status and App Store distribution ability to add to them... now that's lifted iPhone OSS should be more abundant.

Re:Open source? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223993)

Why can't you?

1) Write app for iPhone
2) Release source; mention availability of source in app
3) Host source outside iPhone

Just because the end user needs a $99 dev key to upload the app to their phone doesn't make the app non Open Source. Does the requirement that you own a several hundred dollar computer make RockBox any less open source? In this case the cost of the devkey can be considered the cost of the PC.

What is going to happen in the future as more devices use open source but cannot themselves download, compile, or modify the source? Will it be not considered open source if you are forced to purchase a PC in order to modify and compile the source?

Re:Developer's app? (1)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223139)

Here's hoping we'll see a developer's app that runs entirely on an iPhone / iPod Touch.

What would it do?

Re:Developer's app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25223157)

Well, if you're developing for a jailbroken phone, installing the compiler, etc., on the phone is the easiest way to do it.

I wrote about how to install it on my blog: So I Made My iPhone Say Hello World [kd6.us]

But Apple's SDK license agreement restricts you from writing any applications that execute other code, download plugins, or use non-Apple-standard interpreters. Basically, SDK-legal apps are intentionally crippled. My analysis of the SDK agreement: So I Don't Agree [kd6.us]

I see no way that Apple will lift the restrictions on what you can develop, even though they lift the NDA.

It used to be "The first rule of iPhone development is you don't talk about iPhone development." This goes away, but the second rule of iPhone development is and will remain,

"You only write what Apple says you can write."

Unless you use the open toolchain - but then you get no AppStore, and can only deploy to jailbroken devices.

kb

Why All Bailout Packages Will Fail (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25221925)

I've been thinking about this for a while, but I think I understand why the majority of the American people are against the current bailout package, and why ultimately all bailouts (whether for banks, mortgage holders, or taxpayers in general) will fail.

The root of the problem is not economic but sociological in nature. No amount of economic carrots will fix the problem, despite the fact they may delay the crash or draw it out into a painstakingly long-term affair. Despite the fact that corporate productivity continues to increase, individual productivity has dropped off as people have become depressed with their jobs, which seem to absorb ever increasing amounts of their time and effort.

Americans have become disillusioned with going after material at the expense of building relationships. People are addicted to their jobs and have delayed finding a partner of the opposite sex, getting married, and having children. Their job brings them immediate stability and shiny things; however, they know their long-term stability is at risk.

I think a majority of the population would appreciate a breather from the corporate world, and if there are large swaths of people in the same position, that gives them ample chance to meet with other people who have plenty of spare time in order to build relationships that cannot be built barhopping on Friday nights.

Maybe I'm projecting my thoughts on the populace at large, but I know very few people my age (~30 years old) who have started building a family, and that's quite frankly distressing. The economy isn't everything. The crash will happen. We will survive. Let it happen swiftly and let the recovery happen in the near term.

Re:Why All Bailout Packages Will Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222035)

It's going to be fun to see if anybody mods this up.

It's worthy of both Offtopic and Interesting mods.

Re:Why All Bailout Packages Will Fail (-1, Offtopic)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222083)

It's worthy of both Offtopic and Interesting mods.

It's not even remotely offtopic?

Re:Why All Bailout Packages Will Fail (0, Offtopic)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222121)

d'oh.... meant not even remotely interesting. /sigh

Re:Why All Bailout Packages Will Fail (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222501)

Yeah, the anonymous coward must travel in different circles than I do... I've been to almost all of my friends' weddings over the last few years. There's really only one of us not married or engaged, and almost all of us have at least one baby. And yes, we're all in our early 30s.

Expect even more non-app store apps (1, Interesting)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25221991)

With this gone, Saurik and other jailbreak devs can release their tools and compilers in binary format now. What this means is that Linux and Windows boxes developers enter the fray a lot quicker without having to navigate the pain that is the toolchain compiler assembling.

On top of that, they can openly discuss apps running on jailbroke phones without fear of reprisal. Hoorah!

Re:Expect even more non-app store apps (4, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222131)

Why would this affect jailbreakers? Why would they have ever agreed to an Apple NDA?

Re:Expect even more non-app store apps (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222243)

Yes, because in order to compile their programs, one of the tools they have to use is apples IPhone SDK that you get from joining the dev program. In order to join it, you have to agree to the NDA.

Rather than risk a future legal battle that would cripple jailbreak development, they wisely played by the rules it looks like.

Re:Expect even more non-app store apps (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222677)

So how did they build all those jailbreak apps in the months before Apple released the official SDK?

Re:Expect even more non-app store apps (5, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222787)

Saurik explains alot of it here [saurik.com] .

They developed using Apple's open-source stuff via darwin-gcc, if I understand correctly. You just never got any of the really cool class headers required to use the neater functions of the IPhone.

In order to make the most with the 2.x firmware, you needed to get the SDK. Once you got it, you agreed to the NDA.

Re:Expect even more non-app store apps (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222989)

Thanks for the info, makes sense now.

Re:Expect even more non-app store apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222367)

With this gone, Saurik and other jailbreak devs can release their tools and compilers in binary format now. What this means is that Linux and Windows boxes developers enter the fray a lot quicker without having to navigate the pain that is the toolchain compiler assembling.

On top of that, they can openly discuss apps running on jailbroke phones without fear of reprisal. Hoorah!

I don't know how you put two and two together and got six, but this has nothing to do with jailbreaking.

Re:Expect even more non-app store apps (2, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222443)

Argh.

Should read

Saurik and other jailbroken-iphone devs

Click here [saurik.com] if you want to get a see what is needed to compile code developed outside of Apple's X-Code.

Summary is wrong, ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222003)

The NDA still covers APPLE'S unreleased software, NOT third-party developers'.

Obviously you don't understand Apple's NDA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222049)

It's a non-development agreement.

You agree not to develop software, hardware, or peripherals, because Apple doesn't want the competition.

Which is retarded.

Too little too late. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222137)

I've put my order in for a G1 and I'll be writing applications for that platform from now on. I spent far too long at the mercy of another iron fisted company [microsoft.com] to want to go back to that kind of situation.

Sorta Like Google... (0, Flamebait)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222195)

"Don't be (quite as) evil"

Oh the benevolent merciful... (2, Funny)

milatchi (694575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222239)

Oh the benevolent and merciful Apple. Thank you for allowing me to speak and allowing me to gaze upon your products. You truly are awesome Apple.
Apple is so great, and innovative, and fantastic. They make the best, most dependable enterprise products, and they treat their developers like gods. I wish Apple controlled the entire computer industry. It would be beautiful , intuitive, and in a word, "perfect."

Stupid iPhone devs (1, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222391)

Developing for the iPhone platform is exactly like slaves manufacturing shackles to be used on other slaves. When shiny is more important than freedom, it says something about one's lack of intelligence/integrity. IMHO. Heh, I laugh in the face of bad karma...

Re:Stupid iPhone devs (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222833)

Yes, it's exactly like slavery. Thanks for such a useful analogy.

Re:Stupid iPhone devs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222947)

apple is gay, and everyone who likes apple is gay.

Re:Stupid iPhone devs (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222853)

Now that this part of the NDA has been dropped, it seems to me that developing for iPhone is no better or worse than developing for any other closed-source platform--Windows, Palm, etc. Maybe not ideal, but not that bad.

Share Cropping Slaves too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25223173)

Let's say one spends their spare time writing a fabulous calendaring widget that syncs Google calendars without jumping through quite a few hoops.

It turns out to be a very successful product. So much so, there are copycats doing the same thing. Let's say that calendar syncing becomes a huge sales category for the iphone. Like all large companies, Apple will swoop in and wipe the devs out by extending calendaring features.

Apple does it. Microsoft does it. I don't understand why anyone would consider building a business solely around either one of those platforms unless you are sticking to a tiny niche.

Re:Stupid iPhone devs (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223845)

Melodramatic much?

Re:Stupid iPhone devs (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224071)

Developing for the iPhone platform is exactly like slaves manufacturing shackles to be used on other slaves. When shiny is more important than freedom, it says something about one's lack of intelligence/integrity. IMHO. Heh, I laugh in the face of bad karma...

Dem sum rich f'n slaves, masser.

Antitrust, regulations, Apple is full of shyt (4, Insightful)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222543)

When are people going to start bitching about Apple providing an email application in their phone, and then locking others out (as was discussed here earlier).

This is > Microsoft Antitrust (think internet exploder), ESPECIALLY with all the people screaming iphone iphone iphone (think, market penetration).

Not intended as a troll, but I have to wonder, when Apple can INTENTIONALLY lock vendors out of providing applications for their phone (and Apple is the OS and hardware provider here, make no mistake about it, NOT AT&T), but Microsoft gets raked over the coals about bundling internet exploder?

What the fuck? Seriously, what the FUCK?

No IPhone or Apple fan (although I do have a Mac), just gotta wonder, WTF is Jobs thinking?

--Toll_Free

Re:Antitrust, regulations, Apple is full of shyt (3, Insightful)

ProzacPatient (915544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222797)

Oh god, that is exactly what I was thinking!

Apple always manages to piss me off because, in my opinion anyway, they are worse then Microsoft when it comes to this type of thing, furthermore I don't understand how Apple can make one mistake after another and still have an angelic godly image that would otherwise instantly give Microsoft an assload of bad P.R.

I just don't understand people...

Re:Antitrust, regulations, Apple is full of shyt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25223489)

So far I've read a page of (mostly) rants against Apple - Apple hates our freedom, Apple doesn't want developers to write apps, Apple ate my first born child, blah blah blah - and you have the nerve to complain about Apple's spotless, "godly" image? Come on, even Gruber at Daring Fireball has taken them to task over the flimsy rejection justifications - they've had far from good PR lately.

It's hard enough reading the true (and rare, these days) zealot fanboy posts, but you anti-fanboys truly astonish me.

Re:Antitrust, regulations, Apple is full of shyt (2, Insightful)

jamboarder (620309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222931)

While I'm no fan of this lockout, this is not antitrust related since the iPhone platform does not constitute a monopoly in the same, or similar, way that the Windows platform was declared to be. Sure the iPhone platform is the only way to develop for the iPhone. But the iPhone (platform + device) has nowhere near the market share of phones that Windows PCs (platform + hardware) did.

Apple's bundling is not nearly as prohibitive to competition as Microsoft's bundling was. You can develop apps for Symbian, Palm, Blackberry, Android and have a decent chance at competing in a significant share of the phone market. If the iPhone ever gets more than 80% mobile phone market share, then we can start making comparisons to Microsoft.

Re:Antitrust, regulations, Apple is full of shyt (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223053)

This is > Microsoft Antitrust (think internet exploder)

No it's not. Microsoft was ready to kill entire pc manufacturers over the IE/Netscape issue, and they more than had the power to do so.

No independent developer -has- to release on the iPhone.

Seriously, people HATE Apple for completely irrational reasons and back them up with poorly constructed arguments. At least the Microsoft hate has -legal backing- behind it.

I think you misunderstand antitrust... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223221)

When are people going to start bitching about Apple providing an email application in their phone, and then locking others out (as was discussed here earlier).

When Apple is a monopoly with 90% or more of any market?

If I had to buy an iPhone or put up with not being able to call some people on the phone at all, then it might matter that the iPhone is a closed platform under the control of a single company. Actually, I have a better smartphone (since it's actually a smartphone, and can run any damn software without having to let Apple or T-Mobile or anyone certify it) than the iPhone and I don't even bother to use it because, well, I don't even need a smartphone (let alone an iPhone).

Contrast that with Windows. Even with a Mac I *have to* keep a virtual machine running Windows so that I can run software that I need to do my work. That's the difference.

Apple: 5-20% of the home computer market, depending on who you ask, and a negligible part of the phone market.

Microsoft: Phenomenal Monopoly Power (teeny weeny breathing space).

Re:I think you misunderstand antitrust... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224235)

Contrast that with Windows. Even with a Mac I *have to* keep a virtual machine running Windows so that I can run software that I need to do my work. That's the difference.

And more importantly, back when Microsoft were prosecuted and convicted for antitrust violations and when said violations happened (i.e. mid to late 1990s), there was no Apple to speak of. Mac OS was clinically dead and Apple seemed to be going down with it, various Unixes were just as niche as they are now, Linux had barely became stable and featurefull for server use and OS/2 had been freshly smothered by Microsoft. If you wanted to have a flexible, multipurpose OS or if you wanted to make money developing software you ware very much stuck with Windows.

The situation with the iPhone is nowhere even remotely near that.

Re:Antitrust, regulations, Apple is full of shyt (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223827)

I think Apple trusts to their fanatics and fans while doing such absurd things. Such people also has potential to lead them in wrong direction as we have seen in Amelio times.

They made Microsoft Windows Mobile look as "freedom" and people started to defend Symbian on all platforms. Usually Symbian users will buy the device, enhance it to a point that nobody will understand how their phone can boot and bitch about it on Web.

That is a real achievement.To repeat: Windows Mobile looks "open" with "freedom" compared to iPhone Unix/NeXT based OS.

same ol, same ol (4, Interesting)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222599)

We mac developers were led to believe that by WWDC, we'd have an SDK with a lifted NDA. Nope. Didn't happen.

We mac developers were led to believe that by July 11 when the iPhone 3G was released, we'd have an SDK with a lifted NDA. Nope. Didn't happen.

Now they tell us that the NDA will be lifted at some point in the near future. What's changed?

Re:same ol, same ol (5, Insightful)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222971)

Android.

Re:same ol, same ol (3, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223455)

Also Symbian fixing their only issue. The closed source kernel. It was taken way more seriously than some people in Cupertino expected. No industry fight happened too.

Funny is the Android release and Symbian going open source is also happening thanks to iPhone. Nobody can say Apple doesn't change things. I could never imagine Nokia and their biggest rivals agreeing to make Symbian open source. Even Flash 3 lite release which is rumoured to be free download for end user is Adobe's iPhone and Silverlight reaction. They asked millions of dollars from manufacturers before.

If Apple just allowed actual competition in iPhone itself without lame excuses like security and battery life?

Re:same ol, same ol (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224347)

Let me know when there's a nice ipod-like device with 8-16GB of flash, a nice touch screen (with or without keyboard), sans-phone that runs Android, for about $250. Then I'll get excited about Android. In the meantime my ipodtouch is everything I've ever wanted in a PDA, except that the open source ecosystem is very stunted, thanks to Apple's controlling view of things, and also the so-called shareware scene that has always pervaded Macdom. Paying a buck for some stupid little app doesn't sit well with me, especially when I'd often write the app for myself for free based on OSS if I could, but I can't. I don't own a Mac that I can run Xcode 3.1 on, I don't want to pay apple for a provisioning key.

The moment I can get an equivalent device to the ipod touch that runs Android, I'm there.

Re:same ol, same ol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25223311)

There's a difference between what you believed and what's been publicly stated.

Just because the first two things were common sense things on your wish list doesn't mean that it was on Apple's wish list either.

[citation needed] (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223697)

We were "lead to believe" by *who*?

I have no memory of Apple saying that we would have an SDK with lifted NDA by WWDC or July 11th. Can you cite any example to the contrary?

Re:same ol, same ol (1)

phamlen (304054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223763)

You still believe things you hear at WWDC? The WWDC is great primarily because it tells you what won't happen in the next year. It's kinda like when you add "in bed" after a fortune cookie fortune; except in this case, you add " ... NOT!"

Re:same ol, same ol (2, Funny)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224187)

The OP has too many TLAS in his SP. GP says WTF?

Guys (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25222759)

I really have to pee

New NDA (1)

GottliebPins (1113707) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222813)

There are three rules for the new non disclosure agreement: 1) Don't talk about the non disclosure agreement 2) Don't talk about the non disclosure agreement 3) Don't talk about the non disclosure agreement

That can't be right! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223089)

Apple has made a vast success of evil! [today.com] The slickness of total control. Freedom from the burden of choice.

Never mind. I'm sure there'll be an article on RoughlyDrafted [roughlydrafted.com] explaining precisely how this was all part of the plan and is absolutely the best possible move anyone could ever have made and we'd all have to be foolish not to have realised this was precisely how it was going to play out, and also Microsoft sucks. It'll probably have that really funny graphic of a Zune-headed Ballmer running screaming from the Zune Hindenburg.

(I like RoughlyDrafted, and his facts are generally accurate, it just gets a bit monotonous at times ...)

Re:That can't be right! (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223289)

All corporations are evil... or at least certifiable sociopaths.

You can only trust a corporation (any corporation) as far as the market will let them go.

Apple is no exception.

When Apple has 90% of the cellphone market, I'll worry about how evil the iPhone is.

This apparently isn't apple-related news... (1)

WillyDavidK (977353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223407)

Is anyone else still trying to figure out why this wasn't posted under Apple-related news? I monitor the regular /. feed as well as a specific apple-related feed, and if I hadn't signed on at just the right time to notice this one flying by in the main feed, I would have completely missed it.

71st Post! (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25223677)

71st Post!

A day late, a dollar short (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25223779)

Screw Apple -- at every turn, they try and be the biggest dick the can get away with. Only after an uprising about this, cancelled books, etc, do they relent.

Plus, you still can't create better email clients and web browsers, so screw them.

Hopefully android will kick ass -- at least it's not hobbled by a bunch of beret-wearing douchebags.

Thank you google ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224295)

So should apple devs be thanking Google for this or is it just cooincidence?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224399)

The thing is, a big side effect that the NDA had was that it prevented people from putting together books, tutorials, videos, etc. on how to actually develop using the SDK. Apparently, Apple thought that everyone already knew how to program in Cocoa and Objective-C. At least iPhone book an Amazon lists in the description "this book will be released as soon as Apple drops the NDA".

I'm not sure if this was an oversight on Apple's part or if they intended it this way. Remember that Apple initially didn't even plan on offering an SDK -- they were going to make you program sites to Safari. Apple makes great products from a user's standpoint, but from a developer's standpoint Microsoft has kicked their butt for years.

Only books (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224663)

The thing is, a big side effect that the NDA had was that it prevented people from putting together books, tutorials, videos, etc.

Actually there were already a lot of videos and tutorials around for iPhone development. The only thing the NDA really affected was books (since publishers are very risk adverse) and more widespread communication from developers leery of violating the NDA.

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