Thursday, April 02, 2009

I had a brainwave yesterday which has resulted in an idea I'm exploring that would involve me creating a service that would produce some iPhone apps via a web console.

No point in me saying yet what those binaries would be, or what they would be for ;-) as I'm unclear on whether the iPhone dev agreements would quash the requirements.

I'm posting here because it may be of general interest to people when/if I do find out... and also because some of you may know already! ;-) The key points are below:

  • Produce an iPhone app from externally provided content.
    Will Apple approve an app if the content was not yours and you are publishing on behalf of someone.

    I assume so as this is what publisher's do, therefore I would be acting as a publisher.

  • Sign development apps with someone else's certificate.
    Need some way to allow app stakeholders to test the apps, if they had there own certs then great.

    Obviously unsigned for the simulator is one option.

    Ad-hoc distribution setup is another option, but it has the draw back of being a manual process (unless someone has automation hooks into itunes connect?) and limited in numbers.

  • Would Apple dis-approve in general?
    Difficult to go into full detail here but the said apps would all be completely unique and creative they would just have aspects that weren't created directly in x-code and obj-c.

I'll be delving in to the Developer and App Store agreements and for anyone out there: Answers on a postcard please...

--- Update ---
Looks like Adobe got there first and added an iPhone compiler to the next version of Flash.
Oh well - great minds and all that ;-)

I was proposing to just compile code written for our Flash game framework into the associated iPhone version. Adobe's solution is better compiling the Action script directly and using LLVM to optimise and translate the code to ARM machine code. Will be interesting to see what the porting implications for app developers are due to the hardware constraints on the iPhone, memory foot print will be a big one I suspect as most flash apps are pretty hungry.

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