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Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by princec, Apr 8, 2010.
Yes, Apple is hardly the worst of the bunch... just funny enough, they're the most open.
So we've gone from hate, to acceptance and soon we'll move to love when we see other languages added to apples "approved languages" section of the terms.
You always feel better after venting your frustrations.
Yeah, they're essentially a console platform owner, just with a much more lenient policy on becoming a licensed developer.
No. It's not like a console developer. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony don't care what language (or scripting language, development enviroment) you use, just so long as it runs and meets all the TRC's they're good.
This would be like a console developer if, say, Microsoft insisted that you can't write a single line of code outside of Dev Studio. Or Sony said you can't use any 3rd party libs unless they were developed by SCEE.
The whole reason people are annoyed with this is because there's no good reason for the limitation other than "we want to stuff Adobe" and not caring who gets caught in the crossfire.
It is a closed platform. The fact that their requirements are more ridiculous than usual doesn't really change that; no matter how you look at it, it's not an open platform.
And like I said above, there is a "good" reason for it; from the perspective of Apple's marketing department... Of course, it's bad for us, but I already agreed with you on that in my last post.
Sorry I'm a bit late coming to the conversation. I did want to comment on a couple of points people have made so far.
First, Unity3D should be in the clear...the Unity CEO has said so himself, and I've talked with them myself. Note that "should be" and "is" are not the same thing, and as of yesterday, Unity, Torque, and GameSalad has still not heard from Apple anything. Which is to say at least they weren't told "you're gone".
The 3.3.1 change I see as both a good and bad thing. Hippo has actually already outlined some of the good things, and they have been echoed in other forums and on other sites. Removing the iPhone/iPad from reliance on a third party software layer that may or may not be updated with the features that the Apple devices need (because another non-Apple device which is more popular with Flash isn't quite up to those features) is a real fear (Gruber on his daringfireball site has already echoed this as well).
Flash also does decrease the speed and efficiency of apps, especially games. I won't necessarily agree with the idea that you get more shovelware with Flash-ready software, but Flash is easy to code a lot of low quality games with, and you have to admit that Flash-to-iPhone software would make it very easy to move those onto the App Store quickly.
The Bad: I see this as decreasing the level of creativity that we will have access to as gamers. There are a lot of truly creative and high-quality games out there made with tools that will now violate the 3.3.1 terms. Though the GameSalad CEO states that he believes that they are okay at this moment, I think that this tool is in the most danger of the three I mentioned above. Because you don't have to learn to code with GameSalad, there are a lot of people of varying abilities who are coming out with games. Some great, some good, and some not so good. Many of these people neither know how to code, nor would have the time to do so. This does not invalidate them as designers of games.
There will be far fewer iPhone developers out there now to choose from, and it comes across as almost an elitist attitude (Apple...go figure). A bit of a contradiction from a company that is trying to get more and more people onto the platform.
By getting this agreement, I see iPhone developers and users sacrificing access to creative talent in exchange for better efficiency and the lack of reliance on the whims of a third party software program.
I don't buy it. Any change to Apple's SDK that would affect these "third party software layers" would also be likely to affect native apps compiled against previous versions of the SDK. Apps linked against the new SDK would either benefit automatically (in which case the third party layers would also benefit), or else they'd have to be modified and re-released (which would mean all apps, native and non-native, would have to be checked for compliance).
Sorry, I'm really not describing this very well, so I'll use an example. Suppose that Apple decided to remove that section, and Adobe's CS5 comes out, complete with their Flash-to-iPhone toolkit. Lot's of people start using it, and lot's of apps start appearing on the App Store using that kit.
Then Apple releases an update to 4.0 that includes some cool new features, some of which affect that toolkit in some way..enhance the flash features or help the efficiency or such. Adobe turns around and says, "uh, sorry, we're not going to update CS5 with these features because it would break some of the other platforms that we run on...we have to cater to the lowest common denominator, and you are definitely not it."
Apple no longer has as much control over all aspects of their platform anymore, because they have to wait until Adobe gets around to incorporating their features in the Flash-to-iPhone toolkit. They are controlled partly by Adobe. As you can imagine, that would sting big time for Apple (probably partly on a personal level).
However, any apps created using the native SDK would be able to use the features right then and there, because the features are available right now. But since a large number use the toolkit, Apple is now catering to Adobe as well.
In a way, one could argue that this would be a way for Apple to cut out those using a toolkit that doesn't update itself to a higher denominator.
yup, thats how I understood it (Grubers article). when, for example OS 4.x comes out with 1500 new api calls/features, developers would only be able to use those new features if adobe decide its worth adding them to their 'cross-platform' framework. Apple lose some control of their platform going forward, and the innovations/value they can add to it. Well, thats the argument anyways.
I'm saying native apps would suffer from the same problem. When Apple adds a new feature to its platform, that feature either automatically becomes part of all existing apps (including those compiled through Adobe's tools) or else requires that apps (including native apps) be modified and/or recompiled against the SDK with the new features. In the latter case, Apple would have to reject any apps that fail to conform to the new requirements, be they native or otherwise.
But the fact is that your application won't benefit of the new API functionality (that's what's Apple is saying: If we're including new API functionality, 3rd party layers do not offer them as soon as we hand them out) unless you include them into your software. You have to alter your own software to take benefit of the "improvements" of the Apple API "layer" (i.e. iAd).
Apple's reference to 3rd party software not supporting new features "in-time" is a non-issue. Any 3rd party software developer who doesn't include the new features ASAP will shoot himself in the foot.
Finally it's the consumer who decides which application/game is worth his money. 90% of all games out there have a free trial version. If the game doesn't fit your expectations (in any way; not only "new API features") you don't buy it.
Because before the new TOS the platform was open to 3rd party tools. A whole industry is based upon this. And all of a sudden, Apple decides to close the door on this. There's a whole bunch of game developers working with Unity and wondering if their 8 month effort to write a game for the iPod/iPhone is still valid.
It's not that people *can't* understand it, it's that they don't *want* to.
Don't get me wrong - I don't much like the change, and I think the rationalizations (on both sides) for it are pretty sad.
Still and all, dick move or not, these are Apple's rules. We get to decide if they're acceptable to us. If they're not, we should choose not to develop for the iP*. It probably wouldn't hurt to tell them *why*, as well. Not that I think they'll care until and unless they face a drought of apps (which won't happen any time soon).
On the other hand, bitching and whining about it as though Apple is somehow infringing on our basic human rights isn't an effective choice.
I guess it's a new lesson learned, when you develop for a closed system like iphone, you need to carefully think about the risks even before you start.
I've heard that Python is retroactively revoking a license to develop games.
lol nice try, but with opensource stuff you're safer
And when you want to develop for closed platform X and platform X's owner says that you should use method Y, you better sit down and listen .
Btw, it doesn't seem that everyone clearly follows Apple's rules. Here is an interesting public/shared spreadsheet in google docs about games and apps already in the store which use scripting languages or similar techs - you'll notice some games by big names, some gone #1, etc and in many cases the scripts are in plain view inside the bundles (=directories) .
How do you figure this? If Adobe choose to never expose certain features or expose them badly, thats a world of pain the apple approval process has to deal with.
Lets consider 4.0's new features. I can't discuss them here but broadly speaking, flash doesn't even support them. Go and see the NDA section of the iPhone developer forums. I assume of course, you are an iPhone developer like me, or you wouldn't even be posting here.
The problem is flash's CS5 implimentation isn't exposing new stuff now, so imagine a few revisions down the line. Everything points to Apple being right about this.
With some gentle lobbying and persistent encouragement we can fix the REAL PROBLEM: allowing languages that do indeed play nicely with apple frameworks and pose no threat.
Flash does pose a threat: AS3 isn't capable of interfacing with 3rd party frameworks in CS5 to the level of say mono or C++.
That's more Adobe's problem than Apple's problem.
As long as Apple's technical requirements are clear, users of Adobe's products would generally know better than to submit their non-compliant software for inclusion in the App Store. Apple might still have to deal with occasional submissions from Flash developers who ought to know better, but those rejections would technically be no more difficult than if Flash were forbidden altogether (after all, if no version of Flash complies, no version of Flash need be accepted).
The only threat Apple sees is from developers being able to target competing platforms through a simple recompile.