Apple vs Adobe – Unity safe from the crossfire with a major update on the way?

With the recent update to the developer’s agreement and the dreaded ToS 3.3.1, which restricts the devs to compile their application to Apple’s tools, the immediate target was obvious – Adobe and their Flash CS5 with the export to iPhone native app feature. I will not go into the whole shamole, but just FYI – thank God they did this. We have enough crappy apps flooding the App Store already and my heart shudders at the thought of the onslaught of the terrible, resource hogging and simply silly Flash ports if Apple was to let this go.

But, unfortunately, a bunch of other companies and their products got caught in the crossfire. It’s still not clear the extent to which Apple is going to enforce the ToS 3.3.1 rule, since stretching a bit it could even apply to any in-house engine any developer could brew up. But for the moment products like Unity (a popular 3D game engine), it seems, are safe from the app-police with Apple not only not pulling the Unity-engine powered apps from the store, but accepting new ones and even promoting them in the various featured sections of the store.

With this in mind Unity technologies is working hard at getting the next major release of the Unity engine ready for release. The amount of improvements, big and small, is mind-boggling. From such ones as live debugging, deferred rendering, a built-in lightmapper to minor polishing ones like vertex snapping. But wait, there’s more!

With Unity 3, developers will also be able to utilize the full power of OpenGL ES 2.0 to make the games look even better than before! Whether you’re designing for the iPhone, the iPad or both, Unity will make it simple to incorporate various resolution textures and other resources and apply them depending on the hardware capabilities of the iDevice in question.

Finally, developers will have access to native iPhone OS calls, making it possible to utilize the upcoming GameCenter or simply code directly in ObjectiveC when it makes sense.

It’s still not clear whether Unity and the other engines will continue to have a home on the iDevice in the forseeable future or will they suffer the same fate as the developers of the thousands of softcore nudity apps that got yanked from the AppStore a few months ago. But for what it’s worth – I wish them luck!

[via Unity Blog]
  • Heiko Hartmann

    [quote]thank God they did this. We have enough crappy apps flooding the App Store already and my heart shudders at the thought of the onslaught of the terrible, resource hogging and simply silly Flash ports if Apple was to let this go.[/quote]

    Is this a joke?
    What do you think, how many apps which were reviewed on this side where actually based on Flash applications or are ports of Flash applications? Do you really think that having less choices is better then having more?

  • You’re exactly correct in saying – the are BASED or REMADE from Flash applications. That means people actually had to adapt them to the interface, rather than using the same binaries as for the Desktop flash with no concern for the specifics of the iDevice.

    And I think the AppStore is flooded with enough crap making it almost impossibl to find good apps and games as it is.

  • Erick

    @Heiko Hartmann so the web is flooded just with wonderful and amazing flash games and apps (most of the flash in the web is just ad crap?! if you are a good developer and had made a great app/game in flash for sure you will do it easily native, even more if you are getting something in exchange…

  • Oh great, another Unity promotion article. I love Unity and what they have done/are doing, but this is just an advertorial.

    Maybe you should follow the discussion over at the Unity blog.

    TOS 3.3.1 will not be enforced until OS4 is released then we shall see. Apple would never retrospectively pull apps because they apply to the old TOS. Once the new TOS comes into effect then we will see.

  • David, this is not in any way a promotional article about Unity. I want to make this clear once and for all – neither me personally nor TMA in general never ever do promotional articles or advertorials.

    The ToS 3.3.1 do NOT pertain exclusively to OS 4.0, rather it comes in effect as soon as you agree with it. And anyway Apple is notorious to do anything they want with the AppStore including enforcing the ToS retroactively, which they ALWAYS do. Where they ARE lenient is selecting exclusions to the ToS, which Unity seems to be one of, at least for the moment.

  • I want to apologize for my claims – this is how it read but I have read your response and I accept what you say. I guess I can only hope that Apple apply some objectivity and consistency to how they deal with their partners and the larger developer community so that we can get on with putting out great apps for the platform.

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  • Ark

    Totally agreed. The web has a lot of quality free games (and apps) and you need to pay for it if you want to play it on ipod/iphone/ipad…

    Now, with Android 2.2 Froyo + Flash 10.1 you finally can get this freedom of choice… And it’s just the beginning.

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