9/09/2010

Government pressure forces Apple to Change its App Policy

There were good reasons why Apple didn't want programmers to use Adobe programming that allows the writing of programs that can simultaneously run on multiple platforms. Apple didn't want this because it would result in programs that only contained options that are present on all the platforms and not let them take advantage of Apple's unique capabilities. Apple and its customers will lose from this anti-trust pressure.

In an uncharacteristic about-face, Apple Inc. loosened its control over software development for its iPhones and iPads as the company feels heat from a U.S. antitrust investigation and rising competition from mobile devices powered by Google Inc.'s Android software.

The move gives software developers more freedom to decide how to build their applications, or "apps." It will relax restrictions Apple introduced in the spring that had effectively blocked use of programming technology from Adobe Systems Inc. and potentially impeded Google's AdMob ad network from serving ads to Apple apps.

The concession comes after the Federal Trade Commission launched an inquiry around June to determine whether Apple had violated antitrust laws with the earlier policy. It isn't clear if Apple's move Thursday was in response to the FTC's investigation, but it will likely be carefully scrutinized by the regulatory agency, said people familiar with the situation.

An Apple spokeswoman didn't respond to requests for comment about the FTC probe. The FTC declined to comment. . . .

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2 Comments:

Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

As an individual whom has written programs for various platforms I have to disagree with your position Dr. Lott.

If, as you say, writers will not be able to access 'unique capabilities', that is Apple's fault. The reason I say this, is that any microchip driven device can be programmed on different levels that are only restricted by the type of programming platform one is writing with.

For example, if one programs in assembly language, one has complete and utter control over the machine. In the case of Apple, I have to assume that the Adobe Systems programming interface is too 'high level' which does cause restrictions in one's ability to have very fine control over the program being written. Even with the aforementioned problem, any type of programming interface must be tailored to the chipset of the device being programmed, and the iphone's chipset is well known.

In all my years of programming, I have noticed time and again, that when a platform is open, competion amongst programmers does occur, and this leads to better code being written.

With the history of Apple and Microsoft taken into context, I can easily see why Apple is adamant about protecting its interests. After all, Apple developed a window/icon driven interface that Microsoft took advantage of...

9/10/2010 1:30 PM  
Blogger Rob K said...

Not that I think the government should have forced them to, but they were shooting themselves in the foot with that policy.

9/10/2010 2:24 PM  

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