Apple's decision to relax its restrictions on the use of third-party tools in the development of iPhone and iPad apps came as welcome news to many developers. But naturally, none welcomed the news more heartily than those tool-makers themselves.
As the Cupertino-headquartered maker of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad hardware explained yesterday
, developers can now build games using any third-party tools and programming languages they like, so long as the resulting apps do not require code downloads from the Internet.
Apple's previous iPhone SDK licensing agreement prohibited Actionscript-coded games developed using Adobe's AIR Packager from the App Store (which it had initially allowed), but the brand-new change will permit them once again.
"Apple's announcement today that it has lifted restrictions on its third-party developer guidelines has direct implications for Adobe's Packager for iPhone, a feature in the Flash Professional CS5 authoring tool," said Adobe in a statement today.
Packager was specifically created for development on the iOS platform, and the company says the feature is currently available for developers to use in Flash Professional CS5. Adobe also said it will "resume development work on this feature for future releases."
"This is great news for developers, and we're hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store," said the company. "We do want to point out that Apple's restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place," it added, touching on an ongoing tension surrounding the two companies.
Adobe isn't the only one particularly pleased: "At Unity we applaud this move by Apple," said Unity CEO David Helgason in a statement. "We are all about enabling people with the best tools imaginable so they can make awesome products." Numerous developers use Unity's tech to build small-sized or browser-based games, and a number of titles on the App Store are already Unity-powered.
"Unity games have indeed been continuously approved throughout the last months," Helgason points out, since any potential restrictions were largely not explored or enforced in the case of the firm's engine. "However, we are very happy for all those devs who can now join the party."