April 9, 2010


Apple's arrogance has gone beyond and above anything I could have expected. It is time (for me) to look elsewhere.

Apple's arrogance has gone beyond and above anything I could have expected. It is time (for me) to look elsewhere.

Over the last day you've probably  heard about the new iPhone SDK 4.0 license and how it dictates your development rights. You can read about it here, on itwritings, or here, from Jim ... and you coudl also read about the problem on Allen Bauer's blog  at http://blogs.embarcadero.com/abauer/2010/04/08/38936/ (before it was taken down and replaced with a "Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here." by someone too worried about Apple's lawyers, I suppose).

Weather or not Apple aim is to avoid having Flash applications on the iPhone, possibly killing MonoTouch along the way, is not what bothers me more. It is the attitude that they are spreading that is fundamentally flawed. And this is not about the iPhone only or specifically.

Apples wants developer to use its own compiler and developer tools. Apple forbids applications that might compete with their own (see this recent application rejected because it was using a touch effect that Apple indeed uses). They are using undocumented APIs in their own programs, something Microsoft has been historically very good at, but also legally prevent others from doing the same. They are mandating the development framework, the "original language" you write your programs into... and can force their own rules by not approving an application.

This is also partially true from the Mac platform: as a friend working on tools for the Mac told me recently that some of the features of the operating system are bound to the only language you are supposed to use to program against it, Objective C. If you want to use a cross-platform tool you are stuck. This is very annoying. Despite its willingness to push Visual Studio and its own .NET framework, Microsoft has never got even close to this approach. On the contrary, Microsoft has been willing (with some exceptions when they were fighting Java) to let you write your programs in any language, native or cross-platform, using whatever documented or undocumented API. Some antitrust pressure helped Microsoft avoid bigger mistakes... time they look into Apple practices?

But the problem, again, it not specific to applications and to Apple. It is a trend that I see originating from games console. What it the main difference between a computer and a games console these days? Certainly not the hardware power, but the ability to run whatever application you want on the first, while you are limited to specific applications approved by the vendor and for which the vendor receives a percentage on the second. While you own your computer (and license software to run over it), you basically don't own the games console... as you have severe limitations in what you can do with it (even at the hardware level).

Now do you own your phone? I'm not 100% sure any more, because even Microsoft is apparently going to borrow Apple's model (only Silverlight applications  with Windows Phone 7). What if one day they'll prevent you from calling given numbers? Or stopping Google Voice and Skype (maybe I heard about this...)? I want to won my phone and if I'm developer I want to be allowed to run the software I write on it. Period. I don't need a mere license after paying premium price... What is coming next? Apples demanding for a given type of music or music processing software on iTunes? Yes, this is a parody... but remarkably fit.

I'm not sure where this is going, but I don't like it. Android and other open solutions attract me every day more as a sound approach for my phone and devices. The more iArrogant they'll get, the more I'll try to stay away and rethink about which phone platform to invest into.




Hope that will awake awareness 

I hope Apple's move will awake awareness of the 
dangerous attitude the software industry took in this 
years. I understand the need to protect IP, but it 
looks there are far more than that - they are going 
to maximize revenues damaging customers, although 
some customers probably deserve it when they put 
appearance and fashion over everything else.
I never bought a console because despite its 
complexity a PC always allowed more choices and 
freedom. I always liked Flight Simulator large 
availability of add-ons, both commercial and free - 
and probably that's one of the reasons MS killed the 
franchise too. 
Well, I am happy I never got an Apple, and if the HP 
Slate delivers what it promises, and doesn't choose 
too some kind of lock-in, I guess it will be my 
device to start developing touch applications with 
Comment by Luigi D. Sandon on April 9, 20:44


Their paranoic attitude reminds me very much to
dictatorship... lawsuits for iMonopoly please.
Jobs is making Gates look like a saint! Incredible!
Comment by Javier on April 9, 20:57


The strange things is that many people perceived MS 
as "The Evil" and Apple as "The Good". Maybe it was 
so much much time ago, when Wozniak had still some 
influence. Slate has an interesting article about 
that http://www.slate.com/id/2249872/pagenum/all
Comment by Mauro on April 9, 21:04


For those who want to see Allen's blog post, google 
cache is our friend: 
Comment by François on April 9, 21:12


>>and how it dictates your development rights.
For me the point is still clean content even programs 
or data (like songs). For sure this like the Video 
Game Market --> Exactly - specialiced devices  in the 
end the embedded market, especially when products are 
under steady change.

On Symbian you have C++,... so what's the difference. 
There is 100Mio devices out. You also cannot choose 

I agree with you definitly in one thing. If it ends 
in this decade at the point that everyone who writes 
a program has to pay for running it on an OS (this is 
imho the intention behind .net - beside all 
the "good" related to this approach) ---> open source 
even on the PC or other devices. Then we will start 
good old C/C++ compilers:-) and are also there.

Comment by Michael on April 9, 21:52


I'm writing this on my first and last Apple.  This is a freaking joke.  I 
never thought they'd be that stupid.  I seriously hope they get punished 
for this and start losing revenues.  Hope somebody sues them.
Comment by arni on April 9, 22:14


It's not like Android is all that much better.  You're
not "officially" prohibited from writing in any
language but Java, but have fun getting native code to
run on them!
Comment by Mason Wheeler [http://tech.turbu-rpg.com] on April 9, 22:58


Sent this further comment to an email:

"I think they have a right to force user to buy from 
them only (even if I don't terribly like this) and 
impose quality standards. But as they start imposing 
non-compete rules (your apps should be worse than 
ours) and mandate on the dev tools, this is not about 
quality or about the user experience, it about forcing 
developer not to build software also for competing 
platforms... or making it more expensive to do so. 
That's why I call it arrogance.

But than, of course, developers and end-users can 
choose not to go with them."

-Marco Cantu
Comment by Marco Cantu [http://www.marcocantu.com] on April 10, 00:31


I like Nokia's newest approach. Having linux (maemo)
on your phone/tablet entitles you (user or developer)
to do virtually everything. Install or configure what
you want, develop with what language you want,
distribute as you like. Heck, the freepascal compiler
can already produce apps for it. Strange that i even
have to say: i can change the battery by myself, it
had copy paste from the get-go, multitasking and what
have you. That's the road I'm going... ...happily. I
really don't miss my iphone! goodbye apple.
Comment by Peter Stern on April 10, 01:17


One interesting comment: 
Comment by Marco Cantu [http://www.marcocantu.com] on April 10, 01:50


iPad Dashboard App Rejected For "Contradicting iPad's 
User Experience"  


Welcome to Apple's Brave New world!
Comment by Mauro on April 10, 02:46


 The attitude is born out of the same arrogance that 
is the GPL.  Once it was clear that you could talk 
people into accept restrictions like that AND even 
push it foward themselves like some sort of manifest 
destiny, it was only a matter of time before a 
company tried it.

And honestly, this isn't really new for Apple.  They 
have been going down this road pratically forever.  
The iPhone merely made it plain for everyone to see, 
and the iPad made it impossible to ignore.

This is the attitude that everyone accuses MS of 
having, but now that everyone can see it clearly, MS 
has never even really come close.

Thankfully, there are new products brewing such as 
HP's Slate that one again offer freedom back to 
developers - even the GPL crowd, as it is only a 
matter of time before it boots linux.

(do not construe me as an Open source hater.  The BSD 
license and its variants provide true open-ness for 
everyone as opposed to GPL's freedom only for some)
Comment by Xepol on April 10, 03:07


Google cache still has Allen's blog post:

Comment by Thorsten on April 10, 04:36


 It's their stuff - you can still develop for other
platforms - what's the problem?
Comment by Errr... on April 10, 09:30


About the "It's their stuff - you can still develop 
for other platforms - what's the problem?" stance...

Suppose MS had policies of the kind Apple has when it 
developed VB. How do you think that would have 
effected Delphi and visual and component development 
in general?

By the way, in EU MS was fined heavily for Abuse of 
Dominant Position but MS behaviour was naive compared 
to Apple's

What are EU regulators doing now? Sleeping? It's high 
time they wake up!

Comment by on April 10, 13:01


 MS stopped supporting VB for the Mac in Office 2008 - Tablet 
computing is relatively young and maybe if Apple dominate and are 
anti competitive for over a decade then the EU will do something.  
Also, Dominance isn't an issue - MS where penalised for abusing a 
monopoly position, for being anti-competative and restricting the 

As has been mentioned here - there are a number of tablet 
computers on the horizon, from other vendors which will be able to 
make full use of any talent out there that is not being used on 
developing Apps for Apple products.

Apple licence has changed in order to prevent programmers (ahem) 
who are, for want of a better word - dependent on flash - which they 
see to be an old technology that is as we all know - completely 
unsuitable for multi-touch devices and has a history of being less 
than stable.

Apple appear to be sticking to open standards rather than proprietary 
technologies - which can only be good.

Like I said - you don't have to develop for the iPad or any of Apple's 
other mobile devices.

By the way - MS Windows Phone 7 - doesn't support Flash. 

Comment by Err on April 10, 16:22


@Err - What you said is understood so far and is 
accepted considering the IPHONE. 

And concerning the IPHONE this is accepted. But if 
this is going to be strategy for OS/X Mac too - this 
can happen - then have fun the same way I had with 
Comment by Michael on April 10, 19:23


I don't think there has been any indication that this apply to OS X, it 
seems to be exclusive to the iPhone OS, where battery life, processing 
power etc., is relatively limited.

It's the reaction, more than the sentiment (which seemed to have 
strayed somewhat - excuse me if I do too!) that I find surprising; with 
the iPhone OS, well, it is what it is - a mobile operating system.

I've used the iPad, it's  the first of its kind, with the limitations that 
come as a result, but it has incredible potential even in it's infancy.  It 
genuinely is a new paradigm and it seems, that as such, new 
techniques/technologies must be employed to make it successful.  
Unfortunately the price of progress is progress, which in reality is a 
synonym for change.

An indication that Apple is on to something is the fact that it's 
competitors are following suit. 

Windows Phone 7 looses all backwards compatibility, it's a clean start 
if you like - resulting in the loss of some functionality that was 
available in previous incarnations of Microsoft's mobile platform.  
This is a brave move, but one that was obviously deemed necessary 
as it becomes more obvious that the field of play has irrevocably 

The new tablets will suffer from the fact that they are trying to 
implement a similar product to the iPad using operating systems and 
software that failed to make the grade first time around.  The reason 
for this - they weren't designed for the job.  When you try to shoe-
horn existing technology into a product that simply wasn't designed 
to handle it - you are left a product inferior in form, implementation, 
ergonomics and Human Computer Interaction. 

Those that embrace the new paradigm will see themselves in a better 
position than those who lament the past.

Apple has supplied the tools and the market to monetize talent in a 
way that has not been available before.  The sheer number of startups 
as a result of the App Store is phenomenal - and it keeps growing.

Returning to OS X.  In it's current form the desktop OS would be 
unsuitable to follow where a mobile OS leads.  

As an aside - the idea of an App Store where I could download quality 
software straight to my PC is something that should be exploited.  
Imagine purchasing MS Office and having it on your computer in the 
time it takes to download.  But this is unlikely for a desktop operating 
system - Microsoft is unlikely to go for the 70/30 split and for all the 
past rivalry apple would not want to loose Microsoft as a software 

So much for brevity.
Comment by Errr... on April 10, 20:17


@Err: I agree with you and as long as the OS/X for 
Mac or the OS/X server stays "Open" enough then I see 
no problem at all.

Mobile devices are embedded devices and people buy a 
device. Hardware is the sin ... In the end if 
something fails --> The device does not work. So 
restrictions will have to be applied. A handy is 
still for people the POTS one can carry around. A 
Phone that hangs up is not accepted ... and IPOD that 
fails sometimes is maybe annoying but the problem is 
not so vital ...

On the PC we are not used to vendor restrictions 
anymore ... because almost every detail is hidden and 
protected via an API layer ... 

Being somewhat realistic ... HTML 5 and videos in the 
end are enough, maybe little challanging in the 
beginning but I personally have a storng believe that 
not every application will rewritten as webapp, but a 
frame coded in a native compiled technology and an 
embedded HTML viewer is a way of presenting dynamic 
content and the more power the declarative 
description provides the easier the development is in 
the end ...

Comment by Michael on April 11, 10:52

iArrogance (more links) 

Two more links to relevant posts:

- Steve Job's response to a blogger... seems to push the 
idea the goal is a platform "lock-in". Developers can 
choose: http://www.taoeffect.com/blog/2010/04/steve-

- Tim Anderson follow up comment about that same post: 
Comment by Marco Cantu [http://www.marcocantu.com] on April 11, 16:08

iArrogance or iUserStupidity 

If you don't like you have the total , repeat, total freedom to buy other 
phone like android.

Apple is a monopoly ? No
Is your company ? no

don't like , no buy.

Is simple.

Is that i did. 

I actually develop for Android and i purchased and Acer Liquid.

Please, don't cry like a children and scream like girls

Comment by ozofeliz on April 11, 22:01


Comment by Err... on April 11, 22:29


On Tim Anderson blog, according to Tim himself on 

"Allen Bauer points out some of the difficulties in 
interpreting Apple's new iPhone programming restriction 

See http://bit.ly/dbKqkp
Comment by Marco Cantu [http://www.marcocantu.com] on April 11, 23:42


One issue that many have overlooked is this clause
"only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may
compile and directly link against the Documented APIs
(e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs
through an intermediary translation or compatibility
layer or tool are prohibited)."

This could easily be taken to mean that I cannot even
create my own internally used framework to abstract
some set of Documented Apple APIs! This is even if I
use the proscribed tools! In the strictest sense of
the wording here, If I call a function I wrote that
in-turn calls an Apple API, I've called their API
through and "intermediary translation."

This also means that third-parties cannot create
libraries intended to improve the usability of Apple
APIs, even if written in ObjectiveC, C or C++! Is
Apple so arrogant that they feel their APIs are
perfect and cannot be improved upon?

How will Apple enforce this provision? Will they start
decompiling or disassembling *my* application? Isn't
that forbidden under the DMCA? It seems that if I were
to do the same to Apple's code, they'd be me like
stink on a skunk...

Some will say, "well, surely they really mean x-plat
libraries or runtimes." However, I've dealt with
enough cases involving patents and copyrights to know
how lawyers would deal with this clause. It is simply
too broad, and allows too many interpretations that
its mere existence will drive many away.
Comment by Allen Bauer [http://blogs.embarcadero.com/abauer] on April 11, 23:52

Better to act before it is too late 

Just a note to those saying "what's the problem? You 
can buy an Android or whatever else".
Beside the fact that Android has strong restrictions 
too (as the upcoming Windows 7 Mobile), the problem 
is if we just look up to the point of our nose, we 
could find ourselves trapped in a future we could not 
If Apple restrictions demonstrate to work and a big 
revenue generator for the company, ensuring lock-in, 
hindering development for other platforms, and 
killing third party tools, surely the others will 
In a few years we could return to a very fragmented 
IT market where only the vendor-supplied tools are 
usable to develop on a given platform. If someone 
recalls the mainframe and Unix market of the 1970s, 
well, that could be the model.
Comment by Luigi D. Sandon on April 12, 11:18


The warning signs were there long ago.

Imagine compelling users to install a program (data
gathering, security loopholes), just to be able to buy

Yet that's precisely what the clueless public does.

Go buy something else if it bothers you.
Comment by DelfiPhan on April 12, 13:17


A few more links (as I really, really don't want to 
blog again on this, which is not my topic):

Steve Trefethen not surprised by Apple:

An Ironic "Bravo, Apple":

Corona figuring out if they are doomed:

Dan Grisby abandoning iPhone:

Comment by Marco Cantu [http://www.marcocantu.com] on April 12, 17:21


I programmed in-house industrial solutions on the
Apple][e. There was an amazing selection of add-on
cards from 3rd party companies for all sorts of
industrial purposes.

Then the Mac arrived; a "closed" machine, and I think
you even had to register with Apple to be allowed to
develop for it.

But a quiestion no-one has mentioned yet: How does
this affect Embi's Cross-Platform plans?
Comment by DelfiPhan on April 13, 14:24


"But a question no-one has mentioned yet: How does
this affect Embi's Cross-Platform plans?"

This does not affect Mac OS X, or was Embarcadero planning an iPhone 
toolkit?  Would have been nice.   Hey, if that was the plan, you can still 
use C++Builder, even if the VCL is Pascal. (?) 
Comment by Phillip Woon [] on April 14, 07:20


I think David Pogue from the NYT got it right: There 
are two camps approaching the iPad (and also the 
iPhone), developers and users.

Developers look at this and are horrified.

Users look at this and ask, "Is this going to create a 
better experience for me?"

One can make a compelling case for the success of 
Apple's moves in the iPhone/iPad development 
arena being at developer expense, and in favor of a 
coherent user experience. From my perspective of 
trying to develop a decent cross-platform app built on 
Adobe's AIR platform, I can attest that it's almost 
impossible to create an app that is truly satisfying 
on both Mac & PC platforms using any such tool.

If you want to write a decent Mac app, use Mac-
oriented tools and libraries, and devote appropriate 
resources to them. If you want to write a decent app 
for the Palm Pre (for both of those users), then use 
the tools that leverage the features of the WebOS. If 
you want to write something for the iPhone/iPad, use 
those tools, and remember that "port" is a 4-letter 

If this kind of clause was the only way for Apple to 
ensure that iPhone/iPad apps would be written with 
tools & libraries custom to those platforms, then I 
expect to see user-satisfaction remain high, and for 
those platforms to remain successful, and therefore 
attractive to developers. With all due respect to 
Marco, the hoopla over this clause strikes me as 
developers wanting to hedge bets against the 
success/failure of various markets, which will then 
favor those who hone skills for a specific target.
Comment by Tim Gooch [http://timthefoolman.com] on April 19, 17:21


"I've used the iPad, it's  the first of its kind, 
with the limitations that come as a result, but it 
has incredible potential even in it's infancy.  It 
genuinely is a new paradigm and it seems, that as 
such, new techniques/technologies must be employed to 
make it successful."

Seriously? Tablets have been around for many years, 
and we all know the iPad is the iPod Touch with a 
larger screen, not a "new paradigm". It's a big 
device for running widgets. 

It also doesn't pioneer some type of novel new 
operating system or operating paradigm as you go on 
to claim but not explain. Windows and Linux have been 
embedded-device capable (and used) for many years. 

"As an aside - the idea of an App Store where I could 
download quality software straight to my PC is 
something that should be exploited.  
Imagine purchasing MS Office and having it on your 
computer in the time it takes to download.  But this 
is unlikely for a desktop operating 
system - Microsoft is unlikely to go for the 70/30 
split and for all the past rivalry apple would not 
want to loose Microsoft as a software 

Install Linux and you can have an "app store" with 
thousands of applications on your desktop. :-)

Those saying you can always develop for something 
else or buy something else... Steve Ballmer once got 
testy during an interview and stated that if they 
wanted to, Microsoft could make it that only their 
programs ran on their OS. He quickly added that they 
weren't going to do that, but that they could. 
Imagine if Microsoft forbade the use of Delphi code 
on its machine? With a monopoly market share, you 
wouldn't have much of a choice of developing for 
something else, would you? With Apple making a run at 
the big smartphone makers, if it achieves that type 
of dominance or somewhere near it, it could be in a 
position of being able to dictate everything to 
developers, killing off the products of competing 
tool makers, etc. That's why these restrictions are 
not a good thing. 

Tim, the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch is owned by the 
consumer, not by Apple. It's up to the consumer to 
determine what type of experience they want to have 
with the device once the sale is complete. Apple gets 
and should have control over the intrinsic functions 
of the phone/pad, but not over the applications. The 
developer of an application running on the device 
should just as rightly be the one to determine how 
their customer experiences their application, not 
Comment by Joseph Mitzen on April 21, 01:29


Reply to Joseph Mitzen

I'll explain what I meant by new paradigm.  Firstly it is necessary to 
take the iPad as an entire product - by that I mean software and 
hardware.  There have been tablet computers in the past and well 
weren't they a roaring success.

They tried to use a desktop operating system, that was not designed 
to be used in on a tablet - Microsoft made some concessions to the 
tablet format, but like with most things they try to innovate they failed 
- miserably.

I see the iPad as re-imagining of the tablet - one that was designed 
from conception to work on mobile devices.  I think it has done so 
admirably, it works very well and the software is pretty damn good 
even at this early stage.  It is for this reason that I called it a new 
paradigm.  Like the move from the Horseless Carriage to the Motor 
Car.  In essence the same - but very obviously different.  

The software available for the iPad is not simply a collection of 
widgets, I'll assume you haven't used an iPad yet - if you have, well 
then you have interesting ideas about what constitutes a widget.  I'm 
aware that with some applications the definition maybe slightly 
blurred - this could tumble into an argument on semantics, and I'm 
won't be drawn into that.

Linux - has amazing potential. I test and evaluate software for the  
corporate environment and it just doesn't pass muster yet.  Maybe 5 
years down the line, but probably a bit longer.

Apple still has a relative small percentage of the smartphone market 
- however on the mobile internet it's a different story.  It is trying to 
move the internet away from proprietary plugins like Flash.  (Why is 
this a bad thing - its a pollutant)

Microsoft released Silverlight to compete with Flash - again a 
proprietary  plug in - Apple opted for an open standard.  In order to 
maintain the open standard or stop developers writing what is 
essentially Flash and porting it to their products it amended it terms 
and conditions.

You're right, Apple hardware (software is an entirely different story) 
products once bought belong to the purchaser.  If you have a 
problem with the iTunes/iWhatever ecosystem - Jailbreak your device 
and go run naked in the rain.

However, if you want to be in Apple's game there are rules which they 

This is the thing - Apple still has a pretty small pretty small footprint 
in the PC and Phone world.  The idea of them having any kind of 
dominance is premature - let alone abusing a monopoly position.

My point is I still don't see the problem - a niche computer/software 
manufacturer  changes some terms and conditions and the world and 
his grandma are up in arms.  When the entire industry has been over 
a barrel for coming up to 20 years.  Get some perspective.

Apple make good products - you would have to be out of your mind 
to think that their success is down to marketing or the hipster love 
for the latest shiny accessory.

Excuse the typos and I'm aware I rambled a bit.  
Comment by Err... on April 23, 01:27

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