Apple, in a move that every iPhone developer will likely appreciate, has decided to release iPhone developers from their non-disclosure agreements that have prevented them from disclosing information about the SDK and even communicating with other developers. These changes were bound to happen sooner than later.
Not a Moment Too Soon
Apple's decision to release developers from their NDAs was likely influenced by criticisms and the nearing release of the first Android phone. There has been widespread criticism, and developers have been getting more vocal about the issue.
Yesterday, during MacBreak Weekly, Austin Meyer, developer of X-Plane, and Daniel Jalku, founder of Red Sweater Software, participated in a panel discussion about the development of software on the iPhone. During the discussion, both developers pointed out that being able to communicate with other developers is something they both were both used to doing while developing on other platforms. It is likely even more difficult for a developer new to the Mac and iPhone platforms.
It is easy to imagine that Apple's restrictiveness has prevented application developers from creating even better applications while allowing developers to learn how to create more applications.
Android Is Coming Fast
Apple claims they want to protect intellectual property and secrets, but it was a ridiculous rule to begin with. Apple's controlling ways and exclusivity likely helped to motivate Google to create Android, and Apple investors might react soon.
Now, with Android right around the corner, Apple realizes that they are going to have to give in to the developer's wishes -- if the iPhone developers leave Apple, they could quite possibly flock to Android. Considering that Android is an open development platform, developers will be more likely to share code and ideas amongst themselves, something that is commonly done with developers of the Mac platform, but wasn't allowed with the iPhone.
So, Apple has decided to release its grip, but it shows that Apple and AT&T are both afraid of Android. Otherwise, they would have stuck with their previous plan. Well, they should be afraid because LG and Verizon appear to be interested in exploring their options with Android. If those two adopt Android, the iPhone could be ruined due to its contract with AT&T. Do we even need to bring up the iPhone USB power adapter faux pas?