To any of you who get tired of incessant griping, remember: sometimes, people listen — especially if the griping is well-reasoned and constructive. Such seems to be the case with Apple’s NDA on mobile application development. Apple announced today:

…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.

To Our Developers

I would be remiss if I didn’t give Apple some credit for making this move. This is what really matters: being responsive to criticism. We’re seeing some tremendous innovation in development for the iPhone and iPod touch, and in the mobile arena in general, from new kinds of synths and music making applications to Star Trek-like controllers. It’ll make a big difference to those developers to be able to talk.

And, speaking of which, this now means we can have all of those developer discussions that were crippled by the NDA. So, developers, we’d love to hear from you.

  • I'm not sure I get why the NDA remains in place for developers of unreleased software. Wasn't one of the big gripes about the NDA that it prevented from programmers from soliciting peer review of code and the like?

  • Steve, I think that's in regards to unreleased *Apple* software, not the software the developer themselves is working on. So that makes sense.

    Now, the issue is whether Apple can clarify the approval process.

  • Oh, that makes much more sense. I'm sure Apple's support for iPhone developers must have been crazy busy the past few months.

  • I am surprised you didn't make the connection of such an announcement with the release this week of the first Gphone – based on Google's open source android OS for mobile.

    I am looking forward the the future of music apps on android very much.

  • MonksDream

    I agree with you, Paul. The future looks bright for handheld music apps with an actual open-source platform to work with. However I think the great advantage of the iPhone/iPod Touch is as hardware, rather than software. A handheld device that's aware of its orientation and location, can connect to a variety of networks, has a reasonable amount of storage, and responds to touch?. No wonder developers drool at the possibilities and are frustrated at Apple's restrictions on how they can *use* that hardware. I haven't seen anything yet on the Android front that's comparable. The T-Mobile phone doesn't come close.

    More on-topic though, Apple's iron control over app development and distribution strikes me as them trying to avoid what happened to IBM in the 80's: creating the standard and watching everyone else but them profit from it. Or, more likely, making sure they profit first and most..

  • Gphone definitely deserves its own post; that's why I didn't mention it here. I have no doubt that helped apply pressure to Apple. On the other hand, many of the developers on iPhone/iPod are Mac developers, by definition, so I think it's not just a fear that they'll migrate to the very different development workflow on Gphone.

  • Damon

    Chaz Fontain was caught critizing Apple. Has not been seen since. Scorsezy movie in the works set in Vegas. Joe Pesci appearance statistically likely, depending on what happens with that big spinny crunchy thingy they built in Sweden designed to spur a rivalry between the big bang and black holes, both of which are known to be really good in concert.. Chaz Fontain has no comment, as he has not been seen since. Not exactly sure when since started, since since started late.

    This has been an approximately random cause using the word arbetray is a bit to predictable slightly troll anti-troll communicative. Or, just a pointless stupid.