Apple today reversed its decision earlier in the year that barred developers from using rival programming tools, including one that has since been discontinued by Adobe, to build applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Developer tool makers rejoiced in the move, as one analyst said Apple was motivated because of the rapid rise of Android, Google's mobile operating system.
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"It means 'full throttle' on the iOS platform," said Scott Schwarzhoff, an executive with Mountain View, Calif.-based Appcelerator.
Apple announced the change in a statement published on its website early Thursday.
"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," the company said. "This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need."
Apple said it made "important changes" in three sections of its iOS SDK license to "relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year."
In April, Apple said it would not allow iOS developers to use third-party cross-platform compilers, tools that transform code for other systems -- as well as Java- and Flash-built software -- into native iPhone apps.
Apple's move was seen at the time by analysts and developers as a direct attack against Adobe, which had created a cross-platform compiler that took Flash applications and recompiled them to run natively on iOS. Adobe responded by tossing in the towel, dropping further work on "Packager," the cross-platform compiler included with Flash Professional CS5.
Adobe welcomed Apple's turnabout. "We are encouraged to see Apple lifting its restrictions on its licensing terms, giving developers the freedom to choose what tools they use to develop applications for Apple devices," an Adobe spokesman said.