Apple Drops iPhone Non DIsclosure Agreement

October 2nd, 2008 at 12:00 am

apple iphone mobile platform developer software development kit non disclosure agreement released applications apps app store

Apple has announced some good news today in a compromise to open a part of its development to others.

Apple has a notorious history of being such a closed system that the software development kit for the iPhone mobile platform was one of the most radical things it has ever done in its entire history.  However, even opening the iPhone application development platform, developers are still required to sign a non-disclosure agreement wherein they cannot tell anyone anything about the app before, during and after its development.

That all changes today.  In a statement released on the iPhone Developer Program home page, Apple announces and explains the new terms of the Non Disclosure Agreement.

"We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software.

We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don’t steal our work. It has happened before. While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others.

However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released. "

So there is still an NDA however it only works for unreleased software.  This means that if an app is already on the App Store, developers can tell anyone anything about it.

This move is in anticipation of the release of the T-Mobile G1, the first Google Android powered device to hit the market which boasts too much openness for its apps and even its operating system.

Apple’s dropping of the NDA for released software will help its developers improve onhow to develop for the iPhone mobile platform.  Best practices can discussed at will in open forums and help developers create better Apps for the iPhone.