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Steve Jobs comments on iPhone developer restrictions

With the big uproar over Apple's ban on non-native apps for the iPhone -- meaning every app has to be "originally written" in C, C++ or Objective C, and tools like Adobe's upcoming CS5 Flash-to-iPhone converter are probably banned -- developers have been seeking comment from Apple head honcho Steve Jobs. One dev, Greg Slepak, got a response from Jobs. Here's how it went down:

Greg told Steve that "Lots of people are pissed off ... your SDK TOS are growing [on Apple's products] like an invisible cancer," and said that even John Gruber, a very outspoken Apple supporter, was questioning the decision.

Jobs responded by linking a recent Gruber article calling the new SDK terms of service a smart business move for Apple. Gruber's article argues that Apple has no incentive to give other companies any say over what goes into the App Store, and says that iPhone developers would be smart to follow Apple's advice, rather than Microsoft's or Adobe's. Jobs called the article "insightful."

Greg responded by saying "Gruber is wrong," and that cross-platform frameworks have plenty to offer Apple.

Jobs still wasn't buying it. He responded with this short message: "We've been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform."

That's the last message from Jobs, but Greg kept the discussion going on his blog. In his post about the exchange, he says that regardless of what Apple might gain by limiting developers to a standardized code base, they're essentially limiting creativity, and developers are going to jump ship to open platforms as a result.

What do you think, Download Squad readers? Do Apple's SDK restrictions ultimately serve users with better apps, or are they just plain evil?

Tags: adobe, apple, developer, iphone, sdk, steve jobs, SteveJobs