iOS Now Allows Flash (AIR) Native Apps, Unity + MonoTouch are No Longer Possible Conflicts with AppStore Terms
Apple’s official statement on this topic.
Well good news, after the massive frenzy of 3.3.1 in the App Store Terms of Service, Apple has been wise to loosen restrictions on the AppStore for native apps that use scripting such as Mono, Actionscript, Lua and others as long as it doesn’t download any code (for security reasons). The apps have to be AOT Ahead of Time compiled which Unity, MonoTouch and the AIR iPhone Packager for Flash apps all use or the script has to be downloaded with the binary that was approved or an update (Lua scripting for instance).
This is a huge change in stance for Apple and basically allows Adobe Flash based AIR apps to run on the device natively again. I think this is a very wise decision by Apple to let the market decide on what is a quality app while respecting Apple’s concerns about downloading and running code that might create security concerns (non compiled script outside the web sandbox).
The only bummer is that we won’t see a C++ Unity version which was plan b. But the benefits are really great for all types of developers as long as it is safe and with Apple’s latest update, quality.
Developers using Unity, MonoTouch, Adobe Flash AIR Packager, Lua scripters etc are now all safe as long as it is AOT compiled and scripts it uses are downloaded with the binary and not downloaded later (only content and data can be downloaded unless it is in an approved app update).
All your technologies are safe… for now.. dun dun dun…
However Apple also tightened quality control so they will be rejecting bad or duplicate apps, so at the same time this has made it harder to get apps approved if there is questionable quality or too many of one type of app. It is good on the surface but also I believe the store should be an open market where the best app wins, crap will naturally filter out. This is probably a stop-gap for all the apps that will be submitted with AIR or other less complex platforms because more novice users will be submitting them. So this is good for skilled developers on any platform making quality and original content. But it could cause some problems.
Engadget has some nice covereage if you dont’ have access to the iOS developer site:
- Apple’s Official Statement regarding this
- Apple backpedaling on some iOS development restrictions, will allow third party tools and ad services
- Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines: ‘we don’t need any more fart apps’
- Daring Fireball on the new changes