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Summary:

Apple’s iPhone OS4 announcement included a lot of potentially exciting developments — and one that left some app developers reeling. That l…

Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses iPhone 4.0 in Cupertino
photo: Tricia Duryee

Apple’s iPhone OS4 announcement included a lot of potentially exciting developments — and one that left some app developers reeling. That latter would be clause 3.3.1 in the Terms of Service developers must sign to make approved apps, language that bans the use of toolkits to compile apps that work across platforms. If I go much deeper into an explanation, it likely will be too technical for most and not enough for developers but the upshot is this: the change could have a major effect on content producers trying to find effective ways to program across platforms and on Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE), among others. It’s also another sharp reminder of Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) control over the process, a plus for some and an increasing flashpoint for others.

So what does Apple CEO Steve Jobs have to say about the furor? In typically terse e-mail replies to Apple developer Greg Slepak — who told Jobs “I love your product, but your SDK TOS are growing on it like an invisible cancer” — Jobs gave the nod to an explanation by Daring Fireball’s Jon Gruber about Apple’s reasoning and said letting others in the middle leads to sub-standard work. Apple doesn’t want apps to work the same across devices; it wants iPhone/iPad apps to be singular and best used on its own devices.

The e-mail exchange is posted here. Gruber, who who first noticed the change, followed his original post by explaining why the lockout makes sense for Apple. Jobs calls that post, which concludes that Apple is doing the right thing for the company and its users, “very insightful.” Gruber offers the difference between the native Kindle app for iPhone and the not-native (and not as good, he says) Mac version as an example. Jobs’ reasoning: “We

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  1. embrace fragmentation

  2. The only thing Apple cares about is getting customer’s money. Make it easier for said customer to use anything not bought from Apple? Yeah right…

  3. my guess… when other people are experiencing all the internet has to offer with Andorid and Window mobile OS. or with Chrome OS and not the IPAD … then people will make the decision with their dollars…If you only want to view 75 percent of the internet and you call that freedom to get what you want then stick with apple … Creating a closed environment did not work for AOL but hey maybe apple users feel a gate keeper is right for them

  4. apple fans and apple users will like regardless…. because apple gives and dictates and they like a company that does this

  5. This is a declaration of war. It’s all about capturing and controlling the development platform. Here are my thoughts: http://bit.ly/9Gn95A

  6. @harry, I don’t think that’s really the case. Even the afore mentioned Gruber (probably one of Apple’s staunchest apologists) doesn’t think this is necessarily a cool move. Gruber has also been a big critic of Apple’s behavior in the various application approval incidents.

    Because you like Apple products and are a fan of them it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’re perfectly happy with everything they do. The jailbreak community is evidence of that.

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