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]

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