And this time we mean it…

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!


Michael Rueger and John MacIntosh are proud to announce that their Squeak iPhone/Touch port is now available for download. The source code, along with installation instructions and other useful resources, is available at a new website:

As had been discussed earlier, Michael notes that due to the legal requirements of the Apple Developer agreement at this time, they cannot distribute a fully functional Squeak VM via the Apple Store. However Licenced iPhone developers can deploy the VM as an Ad Hoc VM for testing to a limited number of devices.

In addition, anyone who has access to the Apple SDK can compile and run the port in the iPhone emulator. 

Michael and John would like to thank ESUG for sponsoring their work.

Squeak on the iPhone!

11 June, 2008

John M McIntosh announced on the squeak-dev mailing list that “I’m pleased to say that I’m one of the 1.5% of the iPhone developer population that has been accepted to officially build applications for distribution via Apple’s iPhone Application Store.”

He’s prepared a 93-day plan to build a new fully documented Objective C based source tree to host the Squeak VM on the iPhone and in addition as a 64bit VM on OS-X. He’s already collaborating with Impara who are looking at adapting the Squeak UI to the iPhone’s multi-touch paradigm and platform widgets, and is looking for further support (and funding) for this work.

John is also looking to offer support for Squeak developers hoping to make their applications available through the iPhone Store, although he notes that Apple has a number of restrictions limiting the types of applications that can be made available in this way.

The screenshot above shows a “visually exciting” 3.4 image running on an iPod Touch, the result of 15 days’ work. John does sound a note of caution: the VM is currently running at a speed equivalent to a 233Mhz 603e PowerBook, and 64MB of memory use is pushing the Apple’s imposed safety limits right to the max, so developers may have to relearn all those optimisation techniques they may have forgotten in recent years!