Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple lets in Java and Flash; should Android be worried?

Temperatures dropped about 30 degrees in Hades this morning when Apple announced they were relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps. They will also be allowing 3rd party advertisers such as AdMob, but not analytics software such as Flurry.

The changes bring iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch development a bit closer to the laissez-faire policies of Google’s Android Market. Though the latter still does not require any kind of review or approval process before developers can upload new programs, Google can and does sometimes remove apps after the fact if its policies are violated.

The new policy removes another self-imposed roadblock that Apple had built in the way of developers hoping to support the popular iOS platform. In the final analysis, though, it’s unlikely to have much effect on the competition between Android and iOS. Why? Because developers, while vocal and opinionated, are very pragmatic. They go where the audience is. The main thing that will determine which platform gets the most attention from developers is which platform gets the most attention from the consumers that buy the phones and tablets that host it. And consumers don’t care whether or not apps are written in Objective-C, Java, or Moo. They care about price, selection, and network quality.

You and I, though, we care about the technical bits and the nitty gritty details, right? So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

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