Last week Apple decided to change their policy regarding third-party apps – again. They also published, for the first time, guidelines developers should follow in order to pass the app approval process. Since then I’ve been thinking about the meaning of all these changes and how they will affect the development market.
Some people may wonder why Apple decided to change their position in favor of third-party tools such as Flash. Let’s face it, opening up access to Flash-made applications is simply looking for trouble. There are great Flash developers out there who can build amazing stuff, but the low-entry barrier for Flash will definitely encourage a lot of people, inspired by articles about overnight millionaires, to submit their own fart and flashlight apps. Why would Apple be in favor of such a thing?
The truth is this: opening up to Flash is just a by-product of opening to great tools such as Unity and Unreal, which are necessary to create amazing games. And, as if they didn’t piss off the FTC enough, opening the gates to everyone but Flash would have definitely gotten them in trouble. That’s also why they decided to release those guidelines, as an act of defense. Now that the tools are out of consideration, they are trying to defend the integrity of the store and the experience of their users with tighter guidelines. They made it clear that if your app isn’t “good enough” or is simply just another clone of an already common type of app, you will get rejected. They want developers to bring something to the table, so if you can’t make it better, more appealing or more useful, just don’t waste your time because your app most likely won’t get approved.