Apple this morning announced in its App Store Review Guidelines that it will relax all restrictions on the development tools that are used to create iOS apps, and there's some speculation that the Cupertino-based company may allow third-party development tools like Flash. However, this doesn't mean that Apple will allow Flash on the iPhone; it means that developers will be able to use Flash applications (like the GameSalad Mac and iPhone game creator) to piece together an app.
To make matters more interesting, Apple has also announced that, for the first time, they are publishing the guidelines to help developers actually understand what the company is looking for in an app. Here's an excerpt from their official statement:
In particular, 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. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.
In addition, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.
This news could signify the beginning of a new transparent, relaxed relationship between Apple and developers. If you checked out our story yesterday, developers have been kind of pessimistic about the App Store approval process. But now, Apple has made a public promise to be more upfront about what kind of apps it's looking to put into the App Store. You can check out a PDF of the new guidelines here.