Apple Relaxes App Restrictions

10:30 AM -- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has loosened restrictions for iPhone/iPad app developers, The Wall Street Journal reports -- including those that blocked the use of Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) Flash and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s AdMob. This announcement comes as Apple faces a Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation and fierce competition from Android.

Adobe called the announcement "great news for developers"; and it was also great news for Adobe, which was up 7 percent this morning. However, Adobe also pointed out that "Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.” You win some, you lose some.

Of course, many don't see the new guidelines, particularly those relating to the app review process, as a positive development. In fact some of the new guidelines -- written in very casual language, as Daring Fireball points out -- leave us with more questions than answers:

  • "If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted."

  • "We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, 'I’ll know it when I see it'. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it."

  • "If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you’re trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don’t want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour."

However, Apple also introduced one restriction that I think we can all get behind: "We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps." (See OS Watch: RIM Regrets & iPhone Instructions .)

— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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