Apple has finally decided to drop the NDA.
The NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) was set up by Apple when the SDK (software Development kit) was released. The idea being that stopping developers talking about the iPhone code would prevent malicious Apps from appearing, making Apple’s vetting of the apps a little easier.
The NDA seemingly caused more problems than it solved. It prevented legitimate developers from conversing and learning from each other about the iPhone software – the result of which, according to developers, is a lot of applictions that aren’t as good as they could have been had discussions about coding been allowed.
The NDA also restricted the sale of books on developing for the iPhone that would not just have been lucrative to the writers, but also instrumental in creating better functioning apps and increasing interest in the platform.
So, the big question. Why has Apple decided to do this now?
In terms of timing it could quite easily be argued that Apple is a tiny bit worried about the new Android development market which is completley open and has just been released into the wild in the form of a new Android based phone.
Although the market place has not been tested thoroughly and Apps are only just starting to trickle onto the platform, the fact that Android completely open could have big reprecussions on the iPhone developemnt community which is being continually hushed by the NDA.
Why would developers put up with being silenced when they could make better apps in a more open environment?
If this is the case, then Apple is at least willing to concede that the new market in mobile applictions isn’t sewn up by the iPhone and that they are going to have to make changes to keep the development community interested in the platform.
The upshot for the rest of us is that, no matter what the reason, the fall of the NDA should result in much better Apps appearing on the App Store and the iPhone becoming an even more useful/fun device to use.
Again, this signals exciting times for iPhone owners and it ups the ante in the mobile platform wars…