9 September, 2010
In an unexpected statement today, Apple have again changed their stance on the use of third-party development tools. In particular, they say that “we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need”. Daring Fireball has a nice summary of the key changes to the terms and conditions.
This puts us all back to where we were last year, with Squeak again being a realistic choice of development environments for use on the iPod Touch, iPhone, and of course the iPad. John MacIntosh’s port of the Squeak Virtual Machine to iOS, and Bert Freudenberg’s work on multi-touch support will prove very useful resources in getting keen developers up and running quickly. Unfortunately, Apple explicitly rule out any applications that can download additional code after purchase, meaning that Scratch on iOS is probably still out of bounds.
There’s already lots of speculation about what’s driven this change of heart, based on the timing of this announcement (just after the big Apple event last week), its low profile release, and its terseness (reminiscent of Steve Jobs’ rather direct written communications), but whatever the cause, Squeak developers have cause to celebrate!