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Iphone Apple Your Rights Online

Apple's iPhone Developer License Agreement Revealed 483

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-agree-not-to-be-google dept.
nigham writes "The EFF is publicly disclosing a version of Apple's iPhone developer program license agreement. The highlights: you can't disclose the agreement itself (the EFF managed to get it via the Freedom of Information Act thanks to NASA's recent app), Apple reserves the right to kill your app at any time with no reason, and Apple's liability in any circumstance is limited to 50 bucks. There's also this gem: 'You will not, through use of the Apple Software, services or otherwise create any Application or other program that would disable, hack, or otherwise interfere with the Security Solution, or any security, digital signing, digital rights management, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iPhone operating system software, iPod Touch operating system software, this Apple Software, any services or other Apple software or technology, or enable others to do so.' The entire agreement (PDF) is up at the EFF's site."
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Apple's iPhone Developer License Agreement Revealed

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  • by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:43AM (#31413480) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure what the uproar is about...if you agree to develop apps for Apple's devices, this is the agreement you sign. If you don't like it, don't make apps for Apple products.

    Am I missing something? This has nothing at all to do with "My Rights Online"...IMNSHO.

  • by SOdhner (1619761) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:43AM (#31413482) Homepage Journal
    At least the part quoted in the summary sounds like I assumed it would. They've got the high ground and there's no good reason not to have this sort of agreement. Interesting, but not even a tiny bit surprising.
  • Maybe its time ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phoxix (161744) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:44AM (#31413490)

    ... to change Apple's icon to be borg like the way Microsoft's [fsdn.com] is ?

    That 1984 commercial gets more ironic by the moment.

  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:45AM (#31413514) Journal

    Of course, if you as a little guy always want to get fucked over by the big guys.

  • by jcombel (1557059) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:51AM (#31413584)
    the big deal is that there is an entire marketplace being controlled by a party with interests that conflict with the entrepreneurs that would be setting up shop in that marketplace.

    to rephrase the mantra: if microsoft had these requirements on developing software for Windows operating systems, you'd be typing up a furious reply condemning "M$."
  • Gem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:55AM (#31413644)

    There's also this gem: 'You will not, through use of the Apple Software, services or otherwise create any Application or other program that would disable, hack, or otherwise interfere with the Security Solution, or any security, digital signing, digital rights management, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iPhone operating system software, iPod Touch operating system software, this Apple Software, any services or other Apple software or technology, or enable others to do so.'

    Ok, could you please explain to me how that's a "gem". I'd have thought that it would be obvious that Apple would not approve an app that circumvents DRM. Yes, I know, it's your device and you should be able to do what you want with it. Yes, I know that DRM is evil and should be circumvented (and destroyed). Yes, I know all of that but how would anyone in their right mind think that Apple would actually support circumventing DRM, especially their own?

    Sorry, I know it's now all cool and whatnot to hate on Apple for everything and anything but I totally do not see anything worth getting riled up about here. If you don't like their products, don't buy them. If you don't like their developer's agreement, don't develop for them. On the list of "Big Bad Evil Companies", Apple is pretty damn far down the list and, really, if you're going to view this "gem" as a reason to view them as evil then you're just trying to find any and every excuse to hate on them.

    Non-issue. Boring.

  • Big Fat Hairy Deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turb (5673) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:59AM (#31413696) Homepage

    If you were to take the Apple agreement and compare it to many a confidentiality agreement or similar agreements when two companies are working together you'd find the language etc etc etc are pretty much the same.

    But alas that kind of reality check doesn't make good inflammatory "news" nor get the slashdot crowd up in arms to advance someone else's agenda.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:02AM (#31413728)

    If MS had this policy, they wouldn't control 90% of the market. Apple's policy is more like how when you go to Disney World everything is controlled by Disney.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:03AM (#31413740)

    I also don't get why there's any uproar at all about "if you make apps for our store, please don't try to hack our store". I'm pretty sure that any shop like Tesco will have at least an implicit "if you want to sell stuff in our shop, please don't make one that disables all our security scanners" in their agreement.

  • That's it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AgingYoungRebel (805563) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:06AM (#31413788) Journal
    Gee if this is the work of the evil empire the world is safe.
  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:10AM (#31413842)

    What does google doing anything have to do with Apple running a commercial in 1984?

    A commercial which had nothing to say about privacy (it isn't the damn novel, it's a short ad) I might add.

    Apple ran a commercial about non-conformity to the corporate machine, and now is being that conformity requiring corporate machine itself. Of course they always have been, with their interface guidelines and so on...

    Can you point me to where google ran a superbowl ad about how the rest of the world was all about a lack of privacy and being spied on, and that google was different?

  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:14AM (#31413880)

    Of course, if you as a little guy always want to get fucked over by the big guys.

    Nobody is forcing you to develop anything for any platform. If you want to develop for the iPhone, you can, but you have to agree to Apple's terms. You don't like their terms? You don't get to develop for the iPhone. Well, at least not through the official channels.

    It's Apple's phone. They don't have to allow anyone to develop for it. They could keep it a completely closed platform with no 3rd party apps at all if they wanted to. That's their choice to make, not yours (barring jailbreaks/cracks/whatever). Obviously some people don't like such a closed platform... And it will affect their sales... But that's something Apple needs to weigh when making their policies.

  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:17AM (#31413922) Journal

    That's like saying don't develop your games for Windows and allowing Microsoft to set a lot of restrictions and control over it. There's little next to nothing more options. It still doesn't mean that big corporations should be allowed to fuck over the small guys and put them into some asshole contract.

  • Re:Gem? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:19AM (#31413970)

    The slashdot kids (often kids in their 30s) seem to think Apple is bad because it detracts from this holy Linux-on-the-Desktop and Linux-on-the-phone that is the 'One true way' or whatever.

    Despite the fact that Linux isn't ready for the desktop and won't be anytime soon because coders aren't designers. Apple and Microsoft employee designers.

    And Linux on the phone? The Android experience feels so vastly inferior to an iPhone I dunno what to say. Its cluttered, its less responsive, its just as expensive. Get a clue and become productive people, aka not wannabe sysadmins.

  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:20AM (#31413984) Journal

    Obviously, that's the legal side of things.. I still don't think it's the correct thing to do. Apple has become the most dickhead company in the industry, far surpassing Microsoft or any other. Completely locked-down model, asshole contracts with developers etc.. Sure they're legally allowed to do so, but it's assholish move nevertheless.

  • by isolationism (782170) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:21AM (#31414006) Homepage

    I know most users won't give up their iPhone/iTouch over their dead bodies -- and I've already invested in an iTouch, and I don't want to throw it away either while it still works.

    But I'm done giving money to Apple for their mobile devices. I just got screwed buying an unlicenced cable because I didn't think charging CAD $55 was a reasonable price for a $3 output cable; turns out you either pay the piper or live without, because Apple (and their licencees) all chip their accessories now and the iPhone won't work without detecting one. The only exception seems to be charging, which I only discovered after spending another $50 or so to buy an AC-USB plug and another cable.

    I am equally sick of forking out money every time I sneeze. Maybe it's unreasonable of me, but I somehow feel like I shouldn't be paying $10 for an ssh client, and that I shouldn't have to essentially "break the law" to use the underlying operating system features. I totally understand that to even develop for this thing costs you >$100/year; maybe I've been using Linux for too long.

    I very much hate trying to interoperate with the device using Linux (it doesn't; not even a little bit; yes I've tried Wine and all the other native apps; it's not supported). Total waste of time. It's a good thing I have a token mac mini as an HTPC or it would be a total wash.

    I recently needed to piggyback files from one windows computer to another and didn't have a USB key handy. But here was my iTouch. Done deal, right? This should be easy. Wrong. I couldn't put a zip file on it when mounted via USB, and I couldn't download the file directly from the web using Safari either. I ended up doing the job with a portable audio recorder, because yes -- even though this device has no reason to support anything but audio and audio metadata files, it didn't actively gun down any attempts to do otherwise.

    Mobile devices seem to boil down to the same dilemma as on the desktop; you can either use Linux and have the freedom and choice -- which, for now, typically means either a lot less choice or a lot more effort to get things up and running like the state of affairs a decade or more ago; or you can grab your ankles, hand over your credit card and enjoy an overall smoother experience so long as you keep feeding proverbial quarters into the machine.

    I've been holding out hope that the Nokia N900 comes to Canada in an 850MHz flavour but it looks like I'll be waiting in vain; time to decide whether to suck it up and deal with only EDGE connectivity or consider going to a different flavour of evil/greed from Apple.

  • by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:26AM (#31414068) Homepage

    It's Apple's phone. They don't have to allow anyone to develop for it. They could keep it a completely closed platform with no 3rd party apps at all if they wanted to. That's their choice to make, not yours

    Sorry, no. You're making a fundamental flaw in your reasonning:
    IT. IS. NOT. APPLE'S. PHONE.
    It is a phone which happens to be designed by Apple. But it belongs to the person who bought it.
    Also, in addition of that, clauses in a software's license which forcibly restrict what you're allowed to do with it. In several jurisdiction, they shouldn't be able to order "don't do that with out SDK".

    The only thing which is theirs and remain under their possession and control is their service.

    In short: They have to refuse presence of some Apps on their on-line distribution channel (like suddenly refusing and banning any adult-oriented App - it's a crappy decision but not a fundamentally wrong one).
    But they have no rights over what end users does with Phones and SDKs, once in their possession, except the limitation imposed by laws such as copyright (the users cannot distribute copies of the SDK, unless their receive proper license. They can create whatever they want)

  • by joedoc (441972) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:28AM (#31414098) Homepage
    Apple is now Microsoft.
  • by Roogna (9643) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:32AM (#31414148)

    After all, you can also just go over and click through the signup to become a developer, and.. big shock here, you're presented with the agreement.

    And as others have said, if you don't like it, then you just don't agree to it. You can -still- develop for jailbroken phones without agreeing to this contract. What you can't do is get into the App Store. Which Apple, like any business is welcome to decide what products they would, or would not like to carry.

    What the EFF needs to spend their time doing instead of this stupid waste of time, is be getting whoever needs to (FCC I guess, probably Congress themselves) to pass a rule or law requiring "smartphones" to be considered what they are, small computers connected to the celular data network, and that because they are -our- property we -must- be allowed to install whatever we desire on them. The idea that any company can decide how their product is used -after- it's been sold is the issue.
    Instead they're wasting taxpayer dollars with FOIA requests to get license agreements that are posted on Apple's bloody website.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:33AM (#31414152)
    Apple's policy is more like how when you go to Disney World everything is controlled by Disney.

    Apple has always made a big thing of pointing its marketing at "creative types" who supposedly think outside the box. This just goes to confirm that what this really means is "You'll think outside the box in the way that WE tell you to, dammit".

    Is it just me, or has Apple become more and more oppressive to users and developers over the last couple of years? Barely a day seems to go by when they haven't fucked someone over.

    [Disclaimer: I am not a Microsoft shill - this is typed on a 2nd-hand 2.16GHz MacBook, and my desktop machine runs Arch Linux.]
  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gmai l . com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:33AM (#31414174)

    Nobody was talking about google until you decided to derail the conversation. What exactly are you trying to argue? That if google is big brother, then apple cannot possibly be (there can be only one!)? That anything apple does is excusable because google does worse? I don't get it.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:34AM (#31414196) Homepage

    Of course... the Apple cult member's first retort: accuse you of being a pirate or a freeloader.

    The fact that I want to do whatever I choose with MY PROPERTY does not make me a "freetard". It makes me a free man.

    So now freetard will be redefined (newspeak) to include anyone that wants to install random non-blessed 3rd party apps on their Mac.

  • Re:Gem? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:36AM (#31414228)

    Let me highlight the significant bits for you:

    'You will not, through use of the Apple Software, services or otherwise create any Application or other program that would disable, hack, or otherwise interfere with the Security Solution, or any security, digital signing, digital rights management, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iPhone operating system software, iPod Touch operating system software, this Apple Software, any services or other Apple software or technology, or enable others to do so.'

    The "otherwise" basically means "in any way whatsoever" (i.e. thus also when not using Apple hardware, software or documentation).

    The "in or by" means that it doesn't mater if the software does not at all target Apple products in any way: if the mechanism is used in or by the Apple software or services you can't do it.

    The "any services or other Apple software or technology" means anything that Apple uses (even if it's as simple as Basic HTTP Authentication in an obscure Apple website).

    The "or enable others to do so" means any tool that might help others do so. In my example above (Basic HTTP Authentication in an obscure Apple website) this means Packet Sniffers, HTTP Proxies (unless they have no logs) and in fact any means of intercepting an HTTP Request/Response. In fact (and given that Basic HTTP Authentication is easy to break) it could potentially be interpreted to cover an utility application that would allow you to more easilly read the RFC for HTTP 1.0 or a Base64 decoder (since that's the way the username:password are encoded in Basic HTTP Authentication).

    Here's a plausible scenario:
    - Security researcher accepts this. He/she just agreed to never create any software that would show the weakness in a mechanism that was also implemented or used in any Apple product or service (even if not done by Apple) now and forever. This even if said research and said software was otherwise completely unrelated to Apple software/hardware and was not even done using knowledge aquired in any way from the Apple docs.

  • by Raffaello (230287) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:40AM (#31414298)

    Apple is not preventing, nor can they legally prevent, developers from developing apps for their own iPhones or other people's iPhones. This is why there are many apps available for so called "jailbroken" iPhones.

    This developer agreement is for developers who choose to develop apps for Apple iPhone App Store. You do not need to buy apps from this app store to use your iPhone. You do not need to distribute apps you develop through the apple app store.

    People are free to do what they want if they buy a full price iPhone, and many have jailbroken theirs to work with other carriers as is their right, and written and/or downloaded apps that were written by developers who did not have to and did not agree to the license agreement linked to in TFA.

    However, if you do choose to develop apps for apples own online iphone app store, then yes, you do need to follow apple's rules, because, yes, IT IS APPLE'S APP STORE, not yours.

  • Nintendo? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akido37 (1473009) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:41AM (#31414306)
    Why all the Apple hate, but not Nintendo? Nintendo's policies are far more restrictive, from what I've read, and the developer kit is expensive and difficult to impossible to get for newbies.
  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:44AM (#31414340)

    to rephrase the mantra: if microsoft had these requirements on developing software for Windows operating systems, you'd be typing up a furious reply condemning "M$."

    How is this any different from the requirements for developing for the XBox, Sony Playstation/PSP, or the Wii/Gameboy?

  • by pavon (30274) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:49AM (#31414422)

    FOIA requests for proprietary third-party information can be denied under exemption 4 (5 U.S.C. 552 b 4) . For example, just because Microsoft chooses to allow some government agencies to inspect their code, does not mean that the public is entitled to it.

  • by Raffaello (230287) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:50AM (#31414434)

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." - Lord Acton

    When Apple was the underdog, they weren't in a position to bend developers to their will. Now that they are in the driver's seat wrt mp3 players and smart phones, they can. Most of the time you'll find that when people can do something that is in their interest but screws other people over, they will choose to do that thing, because most people are quite selfish. Apple as a group of self-interested people (a.k.a., a corporation) is no exception. Moreover, the law in the US actually requires that corporations always act in the best financial interests of their shareholders, which has always been interpreted by courts to mean that the corporation has a positive duty to maximize profit in any legal way.

    Apple now has the market power to impose draconian license agreements on their developers. Apple takes this option because having the abilities that this license agreement gives them (e.g., ability to arbitrarily remove any app at any time) increases profit - for example, no lengthy court proceedings over app removal, no defending lawsuits from flyover bible thumpers who think app X is too explicit for their 7 year old children (and your 7 year old is using your iPhone why exactly?)

    When we enshrine selfishness as the highest legal good it should come as no surprise that corporations act selfishly.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:57AM (#31414540)
    No, it's actually more like how when you buy a car, you can only use the manufacturers parts as replacements or additions, only use their fuel and oil, brake pads and shock absorbers, and only buy these things from their approved $Manufacturer branded retail channels.

    Wait, what?
  • by Alrescha (50745) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:58AM (#31414564)

    "Apple has become the most dickhead company in the industry, far surpassing Microsoft or any other."

    Having dealt with Microsoft and used Windows since version 1.0, I have to say that your version of history does not agree with mine.

    A.

  • by cesutherland (903698) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:06PM (#31414690)

    Apple is not preventing, nor can they legally prevent, developers from developing apps for their own iPhones or other people's iPhones. This is why there are many apps available for so called "jailbroken" iPhones.

    Developing apps in this manner waives your rights in any other contracts with Apple regarding the phone. Such as the warranty. That is using the law to prevent people from doing what they want with their own property.

  • by samkass (174571) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:11PM (#31414770) Homepage Journal

    Apple is slow and inconsistent about approving apps.

    My understanding is that Apple now approves most apps in a few days.

    It changes the rules and yanks apps all the time.

    This is the biggest issue with Apple. Even so, it has affected a few percent of all the apps available for the platform, and most of those were "cookie cutter" apps that took virtually no resources to develop. I'm only aware of a tiny fraction of a percent of apps that truly took an investment but later was undermined by Apple. Of course those developers made a lot of noise (and justifiably so), but in the end it's very, very rare.

    Nonetheless, many people seem to be willing to bet their livelihoods on Apple. [...] What's the reason for that?

    Money. The vast majority of all money changing hands in the mobile app market happens through the App Store. In fact for a small development house the App Store is likely to be significantly more lucrative than desktop development. Combine that with Apple's rather well-done SDK and a myriad of third-party tools to make iPhone/iPod Touch development easier, and you have a pretty good opportunity for a decent return on investment. The better businesses do things to mitigate the risk of running afoul of some Apple policy, such has having a more diverse portfolio than they might otherwise have, but you're right that it is a risk to such a business.

    It's hard to argue that this contract is too one-sided when so many people are making so much money in such an effective win-win agreement.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:13PM (#31414814)

    No, the retards at the EFF didn't happen to stop and think for 5 minutes that while once you agree with the document that you are in breach of contract for showing it to others, you are not in fact in breach of contract BEFORE you agree to the document, yet you can still see it before you agree to it.

    Anyone can see the document without being bound by it. It was already on Apples website for fucks sake.

    The 'if you share this agreement you violate it thing' would only be used to go after people really pissing them off with no other valid reasons to go after someone.

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:18PM (#31414898) Journal

    "You'll think outside the box in the way that WE tell you to, dammit".

    I don't think I've ever heard another definition of the term "think outside the box". It's almost invariably used to mean, "I do not agree with what you are saying, therefore your worldview is too limited to comprehend the magnificence that is my idea. I am Ozymandias, king of thinkers! Look upon my thoughts, ye mighty, and despair!"

    It is very rarely used to mean "innovate" or "be creative". After all, management asks it of people they pack like lemmings into dull beige-fabric boxes.

  • by Kymermosst (33885) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:22PM (#31414978) Journal

    The only thing which is theirs and remain under their possession and control is their service.

    Wrong. The software on the phone is licensed, not owned, by the "buyer." Things like the DMCA give those licenses sharper teeth as it is entirely possible for Apple to claim that jailbreaking is circumvention of an access control (whether or not copyright infringement actually occurs) and have criminal charges filed against you.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:24PM (#31415034)

    to rephrase the mantra: if microsoft had these requirements on developing software for Windows operating systems, you'd be typing up a furious reply condemning "M$."

    And I'm sure we can see that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have even more draconian license agreements if you want to develop for their consoles. Except perhaps that there's a security level requirement to ensure NDA'd materials don't leak out (more than just a locked office door), the requirement for separate development offices (apart from developer's normaly residences) etc. The only real exception is Microsoft has an official "indie gamer" exemption (XNA studio).

    The iPhone and iPod Touch are Apple's consoles. Same thing.

  • by KylePflug (898555) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:26PM (#31415058) Homepage

    False. The hardware belongs to you. You can do whatever you want with it (so long as it doesn't violate other laws), but don't expect Apple to honor warranties or continue to provide service if you do.

    If I want to buy an iPhone and melt it down to slag or install Windows 7 Phone Series on it, no black helicopters will show up.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:28PM (#31415096) Journal

    Is it just me, or has Apple become more and more oppressive to users and developers over the last couple of years?

    Depends on the market. OS X is still very open to developers. A lot of the source code (outside of the high-level frameworks) is open and they've openned some things like libdispatch and their blocks runtime to encourage their support on other platforms, as well as funding most of the development of a BSD-licensed Objective-C/C++ compiler and opening the WebKit repository to encourage outside contributions (previously they were just providing KHTML with a big code dump every release). On the desktop side, they've become more open over the last few years

    The iPhone and iPod, however, have always been very locked-down devices. They didn't allow any third-party code on the iPod until the fifth generation, and then only from a few companies. The iPhone allows third-party code, but with a lot of restrictions.

    The problem seems to be that Apple makes a strong distinction between computers and consumer electronics devices, while to the rest of us they are just computers and less-powerful computers.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:36PM (#31415226)

    But I'm done giving money to Apple for their mobile devices. I just got screwed buying an unlicenced cable because I didn't think charging CAD $55 was a reasonable price for a $3 output cable; turns out you either pay the piper or live without, because Apple (and their licencees) all chip their accessories now and the iPhone won't work without detecting one. The only exception seems to be charging, which I only discovered after spending another $50 or so to buy an AC-USB plug and another cable.

    No, they don't. There is a resistor between a couple pins so the device can tell the cable is fully plugged in, but that hasn't changed since the cable was updated to support more than just charging and syncing. (3rd gen ipod I think).

    Switching to Serial control mode requires that certain commands be sent to the iPhone so it knows to keep operating all radios as a measure of protection against putting it in a crappy doc and soundly like shit. This will only happen in docks that have ways to cntrol the phone though.

    I very much hate trying to interoperate with the device using Linux (it doesn't; not even a little bit; yes I've tried Wine and all the other native apps; it's not supported). Total waste of time. It's a good thing I have a token mac mini as an HTPC or it would be a total wash.

    You didn't look very hard. GtkPod and Amarok are the first results on google for my first 3 word search.

    I recently needed to piggyback files from one windows computer to another and didn't have a USB key handy. But here was my iTouch. Done deal, right? This should be easy. Wrong. I couldn't put a zip file on it when mounted via USB, and I couldn't download the file directly from the web using Safari either. I ended up doing the job with a portable audio recorder, because yes -- even though this device has no reason to support anything but audio and audio metadata files, it didn't actively gun down any attempts to do otherwise.

    The iPhone's file system is mounted and in use by the iPhone OS. In order for Linux or Windows to see it as a drive the USB device has to turn the space over as a raw block device. This means it can't be mounted by the OS at the same time so your phone would have to umount its file system so it could turn it over to you.

    There where at least 5 different WebDAV type apps that allowed the iPhone to be used as a file store over the network over a year ago, there are probably 20 of them by now, probably some acceptable free ones. I use AirSharing. Its not that great now, but it was the best when I was looking, it cost me $5, worth every penny.

    Did you even look?

    Mobile devices seem to boil down to the same dilemma as on the desktop; you can either use Linux and have the freedom and choice -- which, for now, typically means either a lot less choice or a lot more effort to get things up and running like the state of affairs a decade or more ago; or you can grab your ankles, hand over your credit card and enjoy an overall smoother experience so long as you keep feeding proverbial quarters into the machine.

    Now you're just acting retarded. Your definition of freedom is retarded. Your freedom restricts you far more than the other options when you are saying aren't free enough for you.

    When you start making arguments like this is becomes clear to every person around you that it has nothing to do with freedom or how well the device works for you, and its all about you being a fanboy and not being satisfied that your Golden Boy OS doesn't actually fit every situation perfectly. Get a clue, learn that you don't always want to shove a square peg in a round hole, but that doesn't make the round hole OR the square peg any less valuable in the proper situation.

    You use the word freedom like the name of a sports team. I have a distinct notion that you don't actually know what the word means and are more likely jus

  • by KylePflug (898555) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:38PM (#31415294) Homepage

    No, it's *exactly* like "if you develop aftermarket parts for our cars, we will not certify any aftermarket parts which attempt to circumvent safety features or maintenance controls." Which is true. For instance, if you tweak your car's computer, exhaust, etc. to get better performance, or add a supercharger, or bore out the cylinders, you WILL void your warranty. Hell, if you DRIVE IT TOO HARD you will void your warranty.

    I'm actually pretty happy you are bringing up car metaphors. It's a good parallel. You're welcome to use third-party services on your car, but if you do so in a way that actively circumvents the manufacturer's design, you will void your warranty and your rights to expect certain functionality or service.

  • by seebs (15766) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:41PM (#31415324) Homepage

    Well, the obvious reason would be that they make money on it.

    I signed up for that agreement. Haven't published anything yet, but I have an app I started on (before getting buried in work again). If I get it done, I'll submit it. If it sells even a relatively small number of copies, I get my money back. If it doesn't, hey, I get to use my app on my phone, and since I want the app, I win.

  • by WarpedMind (151632) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:42PM (#31415356)

    The SDK is under license and does belong to Apple. You are correct that it is not Apple's iPhone once they sell it.

    But the SDK and the app store are theirs and you have to play by their rules.

  • by jonbryce (703250) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:44PM (#31415374) Homepage

    I can write software for Windows Mobile without any sort of developer agreement, and I can distribute .cab packages to my customers through my own store or any other store that wants my business.

  • by BlackCreek (1004083) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:52PM (#31415518)

    You're wrong. The phone is sold. The software, service, and SDK are licensed.

    I'm sorry if it makes me a fanboi to point that out, but you should probably note that the same is true about your Windows or Linux computer (yes, the GPL is a revocable license as well),

    Bullshit. No one needs a license to _run_ GPL code. The license is there for the case of distribution.

  • by schlick (73861) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:06PM (#31415730)

    That may be true, but govt contracts must be public.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:27PM (#31416044)

    Similarly, nothing prevents you from jailbreaking your phone and installing anything the hell you like on it. It's only when you try to get apple to approve of it that it becomes a problem.

  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:34PM (#31416164)

    I'd bet you'd be making a lot more money paying Apple their 30% and letting them distribute it for you.

  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:48PM (#31416378)

    Not everybody who thinks outside the box wants to write software that doesn't fit the iPhone developer agreement. Don't confuse the real end user, who might be an architect or a doctor, with the exceedingly small group of people who want to run Sendmail on their iPhone but not pay the $100 to join the developer program which allows them to do so.

  • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:20PM (#31416758) Homepage

    My understanding is that Apple now approves most apps in a few days.

    And some apps (like Google Voice) are permenantly "pending". I think that's exactly what Hizonner meant - Apple is inconsistent. Some apps are approved quickly and others aren't. You can't know ahead of time which yours will be.

    This is the biggest issue with Apple. Even so, it has affected a few percent of all the apps available for the platform

    The problem is you don't know that. You're assuming it. Remember that not only can a developer not talk about the agreement they signed, but they can't talk about rejection either. For every developer who chose to violate that agreement by speaking out when their app was rejected for some stupid reason, there are probably a lot more who didn't because they fear Apples lawyer army (and hey, they did sign the agreement). For all you know, 90% of all apps are rejected permanently.

    This is by far the biggest problem with the AppStore agreement. It's creating the exact opposite of Adam Smiths informed market. Nobody knows what the rules are, when they are enforced or how often because Apple tries hard to ensure developers work in an information vacuum.

    Nobody would tolerate Microsoft doing this, because there's an understanding that computers matter and that just because Microsofts platform is for many devs the only way to make money shouldn't mean Microsoft have absolute control over everything that happens on it. And in fairness, Microsoft have never tried to pull this kind of stuff. Windows always supported multiple, competing SDKs. There was never any kind of "instant death" rules or absurd contracts.

    Fortunately right now it's hard to argue smartphone apps really matter, especially the kind of dross found on the App Store. The only businesses that rely on the iPhone are Apple and app developers - once the majority of all businesses are using iPhone apps as part of their core competencies it might be time to demand the iPhone live up to the standards of openness set by Windows (and MacOS and Linux).

  • by rclandrum (870572) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:22PM (#31416784) Homepage

    ...for wanting to absolutely control the apps that are sold through their store, and their developer license simply reflects that reality.

    If you were running a grocery store, wouldn't YOU want to have the final say on what products YOU stock in the store? Wouldn't you want to be able to decide not to stock a product if they do something you don't like? (genetically altered produce is a no-no here, etc). They set the entry bar high so they don't have to wade through a ton of crap when deciding what to sell.

    Apple's claim to fame is that they sell products that are easy to use, stylish, aren't prone to infectuous diseases, and have nice snob appeal. Grandma can feel nice and safe buying one. She doesn't need to worry about hard drives, drivers, which graphics board she needs and how to install it - she pays her money and shit just works like its suppose to, and THAT experience is precisely why Apple is enjoying such success in the consumer electronics marketplace. The idea that Grandma would ever buy ANYTHING from some 19-year old DRM-busting, open source Linux jockey is completely ludicrous.

    I agree that it's tons of fun to poke sticks at market leaders, but that doesn't mean it's a productive activity.

  • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r @ g m a i l.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:29PM (#31416880)

    No, you are saying that we should pass a law to tell someone what to carry in their store. You are essentially asking for a law which would force McDonald's to sell tacos.

    You don't have to use their App Store if you don't want to. Jailbreak your phone and use a jailbroken app store. They are providing a service with their App Store, and if you don't like the terms of that service, then you can go choose another phone, or jailbreak and choose a different store. They can't legally say you can't jailbreak your phone, but they don't have to make it easy for you, or fix your phone if you break it by modding it.

  • by cowtamer (311087) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @03:13PM (#31417496) Journal

    While Apple, as a corporation, has a legal right to impose whatever terms it wants on its developers, I think this is a "Bad Thing". As someone else observed, these terms are very similar to game console development terms, and is leading us towards trusted computing as the dominant paradigm.

    If we're not careful, we are on the path to "state of the art" devices always being draconian game-console-like things where a corporation or government always has the kill switch. Do not be fooled into thinking that your open source software will always run on these things, or that there will be acceptable hardware alternatives.

    Five to ten years from now, you might be tinkering with getting a Linux kernel to boot on the latest 32 Mhz Arduino board while everyone runs around with $50 14 Ghz multi-core handhelds that run either SecureWindows or MacOS 13, whose development keys are off-limits to you on account of your having failed the Patriot Act 3.0 mandated trusted developer polygraph test ...

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @03:35PM (#31417796)

    How does Apple telling developers that to use their App Store, they can't write applications that bypass security of their App Store limit creative types? This is a limitation of the App Store. You can still develop on your own iPhone as long as you have the tools. Apple will not accept the app until you agree to bide by their rules.

    So when you go to a ball game, are you also enraged that you can't bring weapons?

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @04:05PM (#31418242) Homepage

    Except the iPod/iPhone sucks as a gaming platform, and costs four times more than the Nintendo or Sony devices. Sure, I have games on my iPhone, they're the 5-minute-break-type games like Bejeweled and friends. I don't think of it of a gaming device, I think of it as a time-killing device to avoid eye contact with the sketchpads on the bus ride home. Much the same as I used my ancient Palm Tungsten back in the day.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @04:39PM (#31418748) Homepage Journal
    Here's the page from Apple's web site about iPod Touch gaming [apple.com].

    Except the iPod/iPhone sucks as a gaming platform

    How is this the case, other than that it is designed for touch control as opposed to D-pad control?

    and costs four times more than the Nintendo or Sony devices.

    DSi: $169. iPod Touch: $199. It's not exactly four times more, unless you're including a used GBA.

    Sure, I have games on my iPhone, they're the 5-minute-break-type games like Bejeweled and friends.

    How long does a game of Meteos or WarioWare or Tetris or a track of Mario Kart last?

  • by wParam (162415) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:04PM (#31419902)

    Perhaps because you don't *need* google's marketplace to load a program on your phone? If google yanks your app, you can still sell it to people. Unlike with apple, where if they yank your app, you can only sell it to people with jailbroken phones, which is a tiny tiny minority.

    Apple should have every right to list or not list whatever they want in their store, because it's their store. The problem only comes about because their store is the "only" way to get programs onto the phone.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:29PM (#31420220)

    And all of these reasons of what makes an iPhone so amazing are why so many people jailbreak their iPhone?

    And even *more* people *don't*. But yes, these reasons *are* why those that jailbreak their iPhone do so.

    I hear more complaints about iPhone's and their programs going crazy (the twitter ones seem to be a issue lately) and the simple problems like not being able to read and reply to a text message without having to quit the game/app they are using then any other phone.

    Apps can't both go crazy, and also not be able to run in the background. That's a huge reason why background apps disallowed.

    Having to quit a game or app to reply to a text message is kind of a stupid argument, as you have to pause them anyway on other phones. Apps are supposed to pick up right where you left off when you restart them, and the iPhone 3GS starts apps really quickly, so it's not really that big of a deal for most apps. The only category that I can think of for which this is a really noticeable problem are streaming audio apps, like Pandora. Apple does provide a background streaming system on the iPhone, and some apps actually use it, but many don't. It's kind of difficult to assign blame here, but ultimately, this *is* something the user loses out on. But taken on the whole, it's not a huge price to pay for the overall quality of the iPhone experience otherwise. And for those people for whom it is a big deal, there's always Android.

    If you need to modify your phone to a point that isn't factory standard/approved then it isn't the greatest ideas.

    No, if you need to modify your phone to a point that it isn't factory standard/approved, then you bought the wrong phone.. No one ever said the iPhone is best for everyone. But it's certainly best for most people. But to make it best for those that should have bought an Android, or whatever, would have made the iPhone worse for everyone else.

    Bitching about it when there's a phone sacrifices user experience for the very openness you want seems a bit selfish. As though you demand *everyone* do things your way. Android for the "power" users, iPhone for the rest of us. What's so wrong about that?

    And a side note about background apps, you can be sure that Apple knows people want this and are working on it. It'll be interesting to see what iPhone OS 4 brings on that front.

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