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Apple permits third party dev tools but bans "amateur hour"

Fri 10 Sep 2010 7:33am GMT / 3:33am EDT / 12:33am PDT
Developer ToolsMobile

Unity, AIR in, but crude content and use of iPhone as a dev training ground is out

Apple

Established in 1976, Apple is a multinational corporation (corporate headquarters based in California)...

apple.com

Apple has released its hitherto mysterious App Store approval guidelines to developers, as well relaxing its attitude to third party formats.

Despite fears that a cull might be looming, Apple will now allow games and applications created and exported with tools such as Unity and Adobe AIR. As long as the resultant Apps do not download any further code, they should in theory make it past the approval process.

While this means that developers may now use Adobe applications to export to iPhone from Flash, direct use of Flash itself on iPhone remains disallowed. It is nonetheless a significant step forward from Apple's previous, and very public, antipathy towards the format.

In similarly unexpected move from the iPhone creator, Apple has attempted to clearly spell out its thinking on the App Store approval process as a list of updated and tightened developer guidelines (available in full as a PDF here).

"Excessively objectionable or crude content" is out, as is any attempt to harvest information about users from their new Game Center IDs.

Apps must also be politically sensitive. "Enemies within the context of a game cannot solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity," reads the document.

Despite yesterday's release of GTA: China Town Wars HD, the depiction of realistic weapons in a context that encourages crime will also cause scowls amongst Apple's approval staff.

Perhaps most interestingly, the document suggests a clampdown on throwaway and duplicate titles. "We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don't need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn't do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted."

The guide also discourages the use of the App Store as a training ground for new developers, which may limit the potential for breakout and viral hits.

"If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you're trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour."

Apps labelled beta, demo and trial will be rejected, as will those with evident crash bugs or that do not offer the functionality suggested by the title.

Apple does offer a right of appeal for Apps that are deemed to contravene these tightened rules.

10 Comments

Paulmichael Contreras Contributing Editor, PlayStation LifeStyle

10 0 0.0
"Excessively objectionable or crude content...Enemies within the context of a game cannot solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity"

What a bunch of s**t. People should be free to make whatever game they like for this platform and sell it. Don't like a title? Then DON'T BUY IT. Your sales will reflect how much of a quality title you've created. Although really, for more mature gaming I go to my actual gaming consoles, so I guess in the end I really don't care what the dictator known as Apple has to say.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paulmichael Contreras on 10th September 2010 8:47am

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Antony Cain Lecturer, Wakefield College

263 21 0.1
"Despite fears that a cull might be looming, Apple will now allow games and applications created with tools such as Unity and Adobe AIR. As long as the resultant Apps do not download any further code, they should in theory make it past the approval process.

Use of the Flash plugin, on which Apple has very publicly clashed with owner Adobe, remains disallowed, however."

I'm getting confused... I thought AIR was the Flash plugin that converted to iPhone format. Only had CS5 for about 2 days but it definitely looks that way from where I'm sat. So... banned or not? :)

Posted:4 years ago

#2

Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer

112 18 0.2
Antony: What it means is that Flash itself still won't run on iOS devices. But you can now *create* apps in Flash, so long as the final compile is into native iOS code.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Antony Cain Lecturer, Wakefield College

263 21 0.1
Makes sense :) should probably say Flash player instead of plugin in that case

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Anthony Colin Rodgers CreativeDirector, Exient Ltd

6 0 0.0
Que about a billion useless flash apps being added to the app-store. *sigh*

That said, I am pleased to see the end of companies like "LOLriffic Stuff" and the ever present iFart... :)

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Luke Giddings Programmer, Supermassive Games

23 5 0.2
"2.9 Apps that are "beta", "demo", "trial", or "test" versions will be rejected"

So does that rule out all the 'lite' versions of apps?

:-|

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Jonny Hope

3 0 0.0
At the first poster, i don't agree with that. Sure Apple is censoring in common, but this paragraph you will find everywhere in the world. It's not intended to have racist apps in the app store, which makes any minority mad and in the end cause the injury or even death of peoples on the streets because of riots following that published app.

I dont know where you live, but it looks it is behind the moon.

Oh and by the way, who is buying Apple products anyway? Not me.

By the way, we live in a society, you cannot do whatever you like and tell others "if you dont like it, please just shut up"

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jonny Hope on 10th September 2010 2:03pm

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Gregory Keenan

102 11 0.1
Apple and the walled garden all over again: All hail android! (for now...)

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Jithin Rao Producer, Ubisoft India

3 0 0.0
This move from Apple shows that they are going to support the professional game development network for a long run now. As of till date it was an Indie platform and thats good :).

Posted:4 years ago

#9

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend

257 562 2.2
Not sure what to make of this.

Firstly, I suppose it will be better overall for the app store not to have more pointless apps wasting the valuable eye space that is in short supply. But on the other hand this does encourage internal censorship (for whatever reason) and refusal to let apps that don't 'sing Apples tune' on their store.

Android could be a passive winner in this if they aren't careful.

Posted:4 years ago

#10

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