In April, Apple added language to the previous agreement restricting apps that linked to the documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool. While the change in the language affected many 3rd-party development tools (such as Unity, Titanium, and MonoTouch), it was largely seen as targeting Adobe. Adobe was set to release Flash CS5, and was advertising that software's Flash-to-iPhone publishing option. The new restrictions would forbid apps created with that feature from being accepted into the App Store. Adobe abandoned work on the feature shortly thereafter. Now with the new iOS Development License Agreement, Apple has essentially reversed its position. Adobe has announced that it will resume work on its iPhone Flash tool.
As someone who uses both Apple and Adobe products extensively, I'm quite pleased at this development. I understand Apple's desire to have an approval process that ensures that the apps submitted to its store conform to a certain standard of quality. However, the initial restriction on third-party tools seemed mostly arbitrary and anticompetitive. It makes no difference to the user how the app was created, only that it works. If apps created using a third-party tool fail Apple's quality standards, then the app should rightfully be kept out. If the app performs as well as an app created using Apple's preferred development software and is secure, it is hard to justify keeping it out. Will this change make it easier for developers to also create products simultaneously for Apple's competitors, such as Google's Android platform? Yes. But the only one who loses from this arrangement is Apple. For consumers and for the health of the mobile marketplace as a whole, it is a win.