Apple Gives iOS Developers a Little More Language Leeway
Apple has quietly updated the iOS Developer Program License Agreement, relaxing a restriction on interpreted code that has effectively kept Adobe’s Flash platform off the iPhone–but not enough to allow it on.
When Apple (AAPL) last updated the agreement, in April, the following text was added to section 3.3.2.
No interpreted code may be downloaded or used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Documented APIs and built-in interpreter(s).?
This text banned cross-compilers like Adobe’s (ADBE) Flash-to-iPhone utility, which would have allowed apps written in Flash to run on the iPhone. But the change also seemed to restrict the use of interpreted languages like Lua, which figure prominently in games like Tap Tap Revenge. Now Apple has tweaked the restriction, adjusting it to permit the use of interpreted code, provided it is used only for minor features and with Apple’s written consent. Here’s the updated text:
Unless otherwise approved by Apple in writing, no interpreted code may be downloaded or used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Documented APIs and built-in interpreter(s). Notwithstanding the foregoing, with Apple’s prior written consent, an Application may use embedded interpreted code in a limited way if such use is solely for providing minor features or functionality that are consistent with the intended and advertised purpose of the Application.??
So, a small change but a significant one. Cross-compilers, Flash and middleware platforms are still forbidden, but–with Apple’s explicit blessing–popular game engines or libraries like Lua and Unity 3D are not.