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Summary:

iPhone Developers ’round the world can breathe a sigh of relief today. Seven months after the release of Apple’s iPhone SDK, the restrictive NDA that Apple placed on the SDK has officially been dropped. We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone […]

iPhone Developers ’round the world can breathe a sigh of relief today. Seven months after the release of Apple’s iPhone SDK, the restrictive NDA that Apple placed on the SDK has officially been dropped.

We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software.

We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don’t steal our work. It has happened before. While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others.

However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

Thanks to everyone who provided us constructive feedback on this matter.

This is great news for everyone involved and will certainly increase the quality of apps as developers will be able to freely exchange information. Of course, the other side of this is that the number of “beginner” apps being submitted to the App Store will most likely greatly increase. I imagine Apple has significantly increased the workload of the staff of people who approve/reject submitted applications. Poor guys.

This is also great news for our iPhone SDK Tutorial. All of those comments about the Apple police knocking down our door thankfully never came true. Props to Apple for doing the right thing.

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  1. “Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.”

    I take that to mean that AppStore rejection notices would still be covered by an NDA, no? This, coupled with the revamped commenting system, are nice first steps – but I’m still a bit concerned about the banning/rejecting of apps based on the fact that they duplicate/compete with Apple’s apps. And I’m a fanboy!

  2. @Bryan Buchs: I don’t know that this letter from Apple really has anything to do with Apple’s overzealous app rejecting. One thing at a time, my friend. One thing at a time. :)

  3. Darrell Etherington Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Does this mean they’ve taken their fingers out of their ears and are finally listening to what iPhone customers are asking for? Dare I hope for OS-wide copy-and-paste? I daren’t. The disappointment would be to great.

  4. Midnight Ryder’s Blog » Apple Understands Computers. Apple Doesn’t Understand Developers. Thursday, October 2, 2008

    [...] been reported all over the place that the NDA has been dropped.  Some of the headlines from it from a couple of popular [...]

  5. Yes, there wan’t be NDA, but Apple offer something else, and nothing changed.

  6. IBM Extends iPhone Development to Windows/Linux Programmers | The Apple Blog Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    [...] now non-existent iPhone developer NDA seems to have been holding back a flood of useful and diverse information. IBM [...]

  7. Apple Loosening Muzzles? | The Apple Blog Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    [...] has not only become more mellow with product leaks.  The recent lifting of the restrictive NDA is yet more proof that Jobs and company are beginning to see that with rapid [...]

  8. iPhone Tech World Tour Announced | The Apple Blog Thursday, October 9, 2008

    [...] this has only been announced since the lift of the NDA ban on iPhone development. Before this, it wasn’t possible for developers to freely communicate [...]

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