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iPhone App Developers Shun App Store

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					iPhone App Developers Shun App Store

Since its inception, Apple Computer Inc.'s success has hinged on its ability to walk
the fine line of keeping its technologies proprietary without alienating the people who
make the company successful: those who develop software for Apple's devices, and
the end users who ultimately purchase and use the Apple products. There are
countless well-documented cases of the company's tight -fisted approach rousing the
ire of consumers and developers alike. How well the industry giant is walking that
fine line is again being called into question, as Apple's strategies have inadvertently
spawned a rapidly growing cottage industry of developers and consumers who are
finding it necessary to look beyond the app store to meet their iPh one application
needs and fulfill their desires for functionality that Apple has deliberately restricted.

Apple's tight regulation of the apps that they will allow in their app store has been
sending ripples of dissent through the ranks of iPhone fans worldw ide ever since the
company launched their app store in July of 2008 and they began making policy
decisions with regard to apps created by independent developers. We have seen
countless apps denied inclusion to the app store for reasons that have been
mysterious, vague, overly censoring, anti-competitive, and unevenly applied.

Apple lost further favor with free-thinking technology enthusiasts with their vigorous
legal battle over "jailbreaking" the iPhone, which they lost. The Electronic Frontier
Foundation had been petitioning federal regulators for years to add an exemption to
the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to make it legal for consumers to
customize the iPhone's operating system to allow it to run any app the consumer
wants - whether Apple has approved the app or not. In typical fashion, Apple
strongly opposed this proposition and fought it at great expense, arguing that
modification of the iPhone's operating system ultimately creates a derivative work
that infringes on their copyright. Federal regulators were unambiguous in their
response. They declared in no uncertain terms that it is absolutely legal for
consumers to "jailbreak" an iPhone once it has been purchased from Apple.

The cumulative result of the discontent with Apple's app store policies combined with
the now perfectly legal jailbreaking possibilities is that there is a growing movement
amongst many of the more forward-thinking developers to shun the app store
altogether and find other means of distributing their iPhone applications to end
users. After all, it is no longer necessary to have your app in the app store to have a
legitimate commercial iPhone application to offer consumers. One needs only to
spend a few minutes on a jailbroken iPhone to see more than enough evidence of
this trend. Cydia is one of the leaders of jailbreaking software, and their store is
bursting with apps, hacks, modifications, and tweaks that would never be allowed in
the app store. You can install themes that customize the entire look of the iPhone
operating system, find apps that spoof caller ID, add custom video ringtones (so
each time a particular person calls you your phone shows a video that you selected),
and many others.

Other evidence of this mounting trend can be seen in the recent launch of
Microgaming's new iPhone casino, which allows players (currently non-U.S. only) to
play adapted versions of classic casino games for real money. This full-featured,
state-of-the-art mobile casino was developed specifically for the iPhone by the
largest software company in the online casino world (in partnership with mobile
specialists Spin3), and w ith these deep pockets they chose to develop a browser-
based application that sidesteps Apple's app store completely - creating an iPhone
casino that functions without the need for any software to be downloaded or
installed.

Whether or not Apple with alter its course to meet the needs of this expanding
segment of its iPhone customer base remains to be seen. Regardless, one thing is for
sure: the liberation of the iPhone has begun. Cydia and iPhone casinos are just the
very beginning. A new generation of iPhone apps is being created right now that will
push the boundaries of this revolutionary device toward it s maximu m, unbridled
potential.

				
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posted:12/16/2010
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