Steve Jobs Responds To Section 3.3.1

Steve Jobs responded to a few more e-mails about the iPhone developer rules. The rules are that developers are prohibited from using Adobe Flash on the iPhone. Adobe has created a package called Packager for iPhone in CS5 that allows you to create applications in Flash and then cross-compile them into a standalone iPhone application.

This means that Flash developers would not be expected to learn a new language to make an iPhone app. But then Apple decided to change their iPhone OS 4 SDK terms of service. In section 3.3.1 of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, it now reads:

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Many developers have been protesting and there is now a Facebook group called I’m With Adobe. It almost reminds me of the I’m with CoCo campaign.

Greg of had an e-mail conversation with Apple CEO Steve Jobs about the changes in the terms of service.

Below is the first e-mail Greg sent out:

Hi Steve,
Lots of people are pissed off at Apple’s mandate that applications be “originally written” in C/C++/Objective-C. If you go, for example, to the Hacker News homepage right now:

You’ll see that most of the front page stories about this new restriction, with #1 being: “Steve Jobs Has Just Gone Mad” with (currently) 243 upvotes. The top 5 stories are all negative reactions to the TOS, and there are several others below them as well. Not a single positive reaction, even from John Gruber, your biggest fan.
I love your product, but your SDK TOS are growing on it like an invisible cancer.

Jobs responded:

We think John Gruber’s post is very insightful and not negative:


Greg read Gruber’s post and then sent a response to Steve Jobs by saying:

Sorry. I didn’t catch that post, but I finished it just now.

I still think it undermines Apple. You didn’t need this clause to get to where you are now with the iPhone’s market share, adding it just makes people lose respect for you and run for the hills, as a commenter to that article stated:

“So what Apple does not want is for some other company to establish a de facto standard software platform on top of Cocoa Touch. Not Adobe’s Flash. Not .NET (through MonoTouch). If that were to happen, there’s no lock-in advantage.”

And that makes Apple evil. At least, it does in the sense that Google uses the term in “don’t be evil” – I believe pg translated “evil” as something along the lines of “trying to compete by means other than making the best product and marketing it honestly”.

From a developer’s point of view, you’re limiting creativity itself. Gruber is wrong, there are plenty of [applications] written using cross-platform frameworks that are amazing, that he himself has praised. Mozilla’s Firefox just being one of them.

I don’t think Apple has much to gain with 3.3.1, quite the opposite actually.



The conversation ended by Jobs saying:

We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.

[ via Techmeme]

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

Steve Jobs Responds To Section 3.3.1 Comments

  1. BIGM says:

    I agree with Apple, 80% of apps are crap and are deleted after a few weeks,
    thats not a good app and not how apple what to be seen as having a junk yard of crap apps ? Would you delete Photoshop after a couple of weeks ? No, why ? because it's a good bit of kit, and Apple want to keep that inline with there image.

    I am not a developer but have been investigating starting a development company, I have seen 1,000 of bedroom chancers on the fourms….

    Yeah man lets make an app and cash in, lets make an app called twitbook, it's a cross between a twit and a book we will get 1,000 downloads a day and we will spend it all the profit on weed, yeah man good idea ! Ok lets start… we can't code but we can use 3rd party apps that even my mum can use and we are done.

    Yeah I am exaggerating slightly but thats how the market is going, it means that the app store is constantly full of shite with shite apps and will get worse if these 3rd parties are allowed to run riot to let any Tom Dicks and Harrys to release apps, which will happen if it's allowed to. Apple does not want to encourage that and nore do I, I want quality not quantity apps.

    This is a new phenomenon for the world so Apple are bound to make mistakes on how they operate it and they have realised this is a bad thing that is happening to THEIR brand.

    I have seen so many good serious developers with good apps, they complain they are not getting seen on the app store and above is the main factor for that, piles of it.

    These guys can code with their eyes closed and yes the 3rd parties apps maybe an inconvenience but I am sure they can work round it and actually get the coverage and sales they deserve.

    In the short it's not good but the long of it is that it will be good for the people who know what they are doing hence brining us apps that don't sit on our phones for a few days and get ditched.

    Why are people screaming about this ? It's all about money on both sides,
    not future development of the up and coming kids, end off.

  2. appleLover says:

    Firstly, all apps made using 3rd party software and not 'shite', many enjoy places in the top50 atm!

    and secondly apps made using only apple software are not automatically GOOD APPS. in fact id have to say that the bulk of crap apps clogging up the marketplace ARE native xcode apps. Third party software requires a good deal larger investment that a $99 appl dev membership, and that higher pricepoint actually encourages producing a higher quality product. and lastly all third party app producing software requires some amount of coding, there is currently no application that just makes apps with a button press. But that not the point, this has nothing to do with quality app development or the tools used to that gain, but in quality control. keyword CONTROL.

    If apple wants to control the amount of low-quality apps in the appstore, then first they should be prepared to stop bragging "185,000" apps in our store at every keynote they deliver, and second start making a serious effort to screen and manage those app submissions to the store. and lastly and most importantly they should restructure the appstore itself to make finding the well produced apps easier for users to find. thats what apple does best. Help the user find the best product, dont go all big brother and try to smash out all the inferior products from existance. thats anti-competitive behavior, and it alienates their developers.

    Im sick of hearing people support apple on this. its just wrong.

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