And so he listened. The NDA is dead- finally. It was holding back developers and users alike. Apple received bad press because of it. Innovation was stifled due to it. And I don’t believe for a second that the NDA could protect any kind of IP. But you have to give Apple credit- they listened. Many people were angry and ready to jump ship. I know I was. This stops that- for now.
But it does not prevent it from occurring in the future. Apple still has a ways to go with the iPhone platform. The next biggest thing to kill the closed App Store. It is fine to have an App Store, but not the App Store. I can understand that users what to be sure applications to crash or kill their phone; that they would like some vetting of the applications. An App Store is perfect for that.
Nonetheless, keeping out all applications is harmful to the platform. There are many applications that Apple would not approve that could be useful. And on top of that, the process for submitting applications is horrible. A developer can work for months- months better spent on other task- only to have the applications rejected for some vague reason. That also stifles innovation. Developers will not risk writing the great applications, the game changing ones, for that reason.
The next step is to change the application approval process. Developers should submit an idea proposal: “Our application will do <idea>. This is how it will work: <operation>.” Apple then gives preliminary approval to the idea. The developer writes the application and then submits that to Apple. Apple then can ONLY reject for bugs or features that obviously deviate from the submitted idea. That is how it should be handled.
Still, this is a good day. Apple listened (however long it may have taken them). That is a good thing. That shows they do care, and they do follow the news. It shows that developers and users can change problems with Apple- even if its only the big ones. They should be applauded for this. Granted it is not the first time we have seen them do it, but it shouldn’t be celebrated any less because of that.
Thank you Apple, and thank you Steve.