Apple only dropped NDA concerning released apps


Rotten_appleYou may have heard today that Apple "finally dropped the NDA for iPhone developers".  I’ve seen it on a number of blogs including our sister blog.  I’ve followed the story through and while it’s true that Apple has dropped some restrictions about disclosure they’ve only dropped nondisclosure on released apps.  I believe that means that all other nondisclosure conditions put on developers who use the Apple SDK to develop iPhone applications are still in place. I’m not a developer so I don’t have the full NDA conditions at my disposal but I don’t think this partial release would prevent the brouhaha such as the one that ensued when Podcaster was rejected for sale in the App Store.  If a developer’s app is rejected for acceptance into the App Store it seems to me it might still be under NDA.  You certainly couldn’t talk about your development efforts in progress since the app is not released at that point.  Come on Apple, you WANT developers talking about development.



More specifically, if Podcaster was rejected, a developer is still has the right too (as they always did) to tell the world that Podcaster was rejected by Apple for xyz reason. On the other hand, because communication with Apple is ALWAYS covered under NDA (as it is with nearly all corporate communications. If you have worked anywhere, I am sure you have seen those huge confidentiality sigs attached to all your corporate email) you cannot reproduce their communication. You can however, paraphrase and or summarize it.

This changes nothing with the podcaster communication (which was never restricted by the NDA in the first place).


You seem a little confused. Developers could always talk about unreleased apps. However, the situation would get dicey once they started referencing the SDK and any code (since the code is part of the SDK). With this, developers can continue talking about their apps, and even reference the SDK and related code as long as the SDK referenced is a publicly released version (i.e. the current, or earlier iphone OS versions). They still, however, cannot discuss issues, for e.g. with the unreleased SDK apple may be circulating in private.

The unreleased software covered by NDA is unreleased Apple software. Apple has no rights telling you what you can or cannot say about unreleased software developed by you, and they are not even claiming those rights.


And this change allows developers to talk about development with the general public. Unreleased SDK features are still under NDA, but developers are free to talk about released SDK features. For example:

Despite the URL, it’s really about how the SDK allows iPhone apps to communicate with each other.


The apple is rotten to the core :) This is yet another example of NDAs signed before being read by the signatories…

James Kendrick

I agree, it’s always good to have fewer restrictions. I just wanted to make it clear that all other NDA restrictions are still in force for developers as the whole NDA was not lifted as some articles are making it appear.


I don’t follow you. Having unreleased features and apps under NDA is not unusual, so what’s the problem?

The primary NDA complaint was that even released apps/features were covered, which prevented books, tutorials, presentations, classes, discussion groups, etc. that could help spread the word. It’s that restriction that’s been lifted.

This is Good News any way you look at it.

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