In a significant move, Apple has announced that it is making several changes to its App Store Review guidelines that could ease the restrictions that are currently in place to develop third party iOS apps.
These revisions will make it possible for app developers to use third party development tools and compilers like Flash-To-iPhone compiler as long as these applications do not download any code.
The latest change should particularly affect developers who make use of third party compilers on their apps. You may recall that Apple had banned the use of such third party compiler tools earlier this year close on the heels of the launch of Adobe's Creative Suite 5 application. The CS5 platform introduced a Flash-to-iPhone compiler that made it possible for app developers to bring Flash to the iPhone.
Apple's announcement will also lift the restrictions that were imposed on third party analytics data collection systems earlier this year. Apple had imposed this ban in June after a mobile analytics firm had made use of the collected data to reveal Cupertino's work on a tablet computer. Flurry, the analytics company in question, had revealed that Apple was testing a lot of gaming related applications on a new device that matched the characteristics of a tablet computer; later launched as the iPad. The ban was also seen as a way for Apple to shut off AdMob – a mobile ad network acquired by Google – from its iOS platform.
Apple has also revealed that the company will be making its App Store Review Guidelines public in order to improve transparency of the app review process. While these changes are definitely in the positive direction, analysts believe the changes are a way for Apple to counter accusations from the Federal Trade Commission over the company's anti-competitive measures.
Nevertheless, we look forward to iPhone apps built with these new guidelines in place. You can check out a copy of the newly published guidelines here. Do let us know what you think of this latest announcement.