iPhone SDK terms change draws developer ire; Jobs responds

A change in the iPhone developer SDK terms has caused an uproar among some developers, including one who received a response on the matter from Apple CEO Steve Jobs. At issue is section 3.3.1, which includes a statement that “[a]pplications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited.” Although there are several products that offer such a solution, this new language most notably blocks apps developed using Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, which allows developers to create cross-platform applications using Flash Professional CS5.

After explaining his disagreement to the change, developer Greg Slepak emailed Jobs, stating that there had yet to be “a single positive reaction [to the change], even from John Gruber, your biggest fan,” and adding that the iPhone’s “SDK TOS are growing on it like an invisible cancer.” Jobs responded, pointing Slepak to a post by Gruber that Jobs said “is very insightful and not negative.” Following a second email from Slepak that claimed Gruber was wrong and that Apple is in effect “limiting creativity itself,” Jobs again responded, stating simply, “[w]e’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.”

1 comment
  1. Typical Jobs roundabout answer! Fact is he’s not happy with competitive synergy, unveiling of OS 4.0 made it apparent that competition is closing in and he may need to pick up the pace if he doesn’t want to be left in the dust (but we all know that won’t happen, since iphone takes what, 5% of the total cell phone market?).

    I love that the other guys are keeping jobs on his toes. This is just another step in his diabolical plan to keep his mobile platform in the narrow visioned cave that is closed source……and as long as that stands the most frequent and dedicated smartphone user market will open their eyes and flock out of the cave to google’s limitless open source.

    Wow, as a dedicated iphone user I didn’t foresee myself writing something that passionate about android, ever! Well, let’s hope that jobs feels extra generous before OS 4.0 and surprises us with at least tethering in addition to all the other hoopla, even though Wi-fi hotspot is pushing it, I think that would make a huge impact.

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