Apple's Policy Changes Could Have Been Result of FTC Investigation [Updated]

Since Apple’s big policy changes in app development yesterday, software developers have been jumping for joy at the freedom to build their own applications with whatever tool they well choose. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple’s change in policy on its third party app development may have a little something to do with being under fire from the FTC.

WSJ says that this could have all taken place around June, when the FTC launched an investigation to figure out whether or not Apple had violated antitrust laws with its earlier, more restrictive, policy. It’s not clear if Apple’s statements yesterday had anything to do with this alleged investigate.

Still, the revised policy has its fair share of restrictions as well. iOS device users are still not be able to use Flash on their mobile devices. The only major change in policy is that developers are now allowed to use Flash-based software to piece together their apps and can use other types of programming languages.

There is also some speculation that Apple’s relaxed position could also have to do with pressure to compete with Google’s Android Market, since the Android mobile operating system is now making its way to tablets. Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst with technology firm Forrester Research, said in the WSJ article that some developers are beginning to develop apps with Android Market first so that they can actually reel in some cash while they’re waiting to get in through the final stages of Apple’s approval process. 

Regardless of what the real reason is for Apple’s new policy, it’s undoubtedly welcome by developers, especially the ones that have had to cut down on features in their app because they’ve been denied time and time again.

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.

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