Apple Canvassing 'Unofficial' 3rd-Party Apps for iPhone


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Apple may publish an official list of approved third-party applications for iPhones, a Wired blog notes.

Cupertino reportedly has been contacting application developers, asking them to submit information on their software. At this stage, iPhone apps are looking like the Dashboard downloads directory that Apple keeps on its OS X downloads page, which gives them Apple's tacit endorsement, if not an official seal of approval.

But the company's actions with the iPhone 1.1.1 update - that wiped out third-party ringtones, among other non-Apple software - shows that they've yet to give the green light to those who don't play by the rules. There is no Apple SDK for the iPhone, but it's possible there could be in the future, should Apple decide to open up the device for developers to write native apps.

Most experts agree that the first version of the iPhone OS was little short of a quickly-constructed hack, and now it's only just beginning to develop (much as OS X 10.0 was largely unfinished and even 10.1 was scarcely much better). Third-party apps needed considerable help to work (so Toast could recognize SCSI CD burners, for instance). However, more mature versions, like 10.2 (Jaguar really changed the way apps had to be written) were played much nicer with - suitably rewritten - third-party apps.

The same could happen with iPhone. Once it's truly secure, Apple will open the door a crack.