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Apple loosens app-developer restrictions

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Kai Ryssdal: Apple rocked an important part of the tech world today -- that's the part that makes software applications for mobile devices. Apple eased off on some of the rules for developers, the folks who make apps for the iPhone and the iPad. There are something like 250,000 apps available out there -- everything from one that turns your iPhone into a flashlight to one that lets you listen to public radio.

Marketplace's Janet Babin reports on why Apple changed its mind.


Janet Babin: Apple's business model is based on a pretty closed system: The company controls its devices and what software can run on them. Apple delivered that same message of control to developers making apps for the iPad and iPhone.

David Berlind: Developers, if you want to write applications for this, you have to do it according to our rules.

That's David Berlind, editor-in-chief at Techweb.com. He says Apple restricted developers from using certain development tools, like Adobe's Flash software. But today, Apple relaxed the restrictions. The company says it listened to developers and took their feedback to heart.

Berlind says Apple changed its rules to keep up with the competition: namely, Google's Android mobile operating system.

Berlind: Google's cutting into Apple's market share, so Apple is really under the gun to make sure that as many developers can come to their platform and build applications in the language of their choice.

There may be one more reason Apple relaxed its rules: To fend off any allegations of anti-competitive practices from Adobe. Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of ZDNet.

Larry Dignan: Adobe brought a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and you know, we've seen this before where regulators start to poke around, and suddenly things get fixed.

Whatever the reason, software developers are thrilled.

Rob Terrell is with Touchcentric; the company's made more than 50 mobile apps.

Rob Terrell: I think it removes a cloud that had been hanging over us, so now developers can use whatever the best tool for the job is.

That freedom should translate into more interesting games and apps for all of us.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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