Chicken Little and 3.3.1’s Great Big Loophole
I thought someone else would say this, but either they haven’t or they didn’t say it loud enough and now I can’t take the waiting any more, so here goes:
On April 8th, Apple added some onerous conditions to section 3.3.1 of their iPhone Developer Agreement, explicitly prohibiting interpreters, translation layers and cross-platform toolkits from the Apple Store. It set off a wave of discussion that still echoes around to this day, and it pretty much killed Flash dead.
Much as I hate Flash, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the reaction from most of the programming community:
The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
— Pretty much everyone
Some bloggers even complained that kids wouldn’t be able to grow up learning how to program in Apple’s Brave New World. What?
— The oddly-overlooked truth
Local applications are already dead. Whether they’re on the desktop or on the phone, their days are numbered. The resurgence in phone apps for the iPhone / iPad is a temporary blip. The future is in the cloud, in the browser and on servers.
In fact, with 3.3.1 Apple has shot itself in the foot by ensuring that all the best developers are going to work extra hard to get their applications running in the browser; a bit of a home goal for iAd and a gift to Google – and the rest of us. After all, web apps are fundamentally easier to develop and support.
So here’s to Apple’s 3.3.1 clause and all its consequences: Thanks, Steve!