Apple opens iOS to Flash developer tools

Apple has announced that it is relaxing its rules on the use of third-party tools for iOS developers.

Until this morning, Apple had banned the use of any developement tools other than its own - but the new rules still come with a single caveat.

In a statemant sent to developers regarding App Store review guidelines, the Cupertino company said, "We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program licence to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.

"In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code."

Which means that, although coders will be able to use Adobe's Flash authoring software, using the Flash video player will still be a no-no.

Apple and Adobe have been fighting a vicious war of words with Steve Jobs calling Flash "buggy" and "bloated", and Adobe execs sulking and throwing their toys out of the pram*.

Apple is also trying to make the App approval process more transparent by publishing the review guidelines actually used by the team of employees who say yay or nay to third-party submissions.

The iTunes App Store is rapidly becoming a massive source of revenue for Apple with its iDevices now the most popular mobile gaming platform ever. App sales are expected to outstrip individual music track sales some time before the end of the year.

*Or justifiably complaining against the unfair abuse of dominant market power, depending on your point of view.