So, it's been a week. The iPhone 3G was released, and the iPhone 2.0 software upgrade shipped. We can now all write applications that will run on what is undeniably a cool platform. You can even download the iPhone SDK for free.
We love Apple stuff. Andy and I both run Macs as our main machines (at last count, I have 8 Macs in my home). When the App Store was announced, we were keen to spread the word. We have a new book on iPhone software development. We have a brand new section in Bill Dudney's Core Animation book. And Mike Clark has a set of screencasts on how to write code for the little fella.
And we can't show you any of them.
Why? Because in order to get the iPhone SDK, you have to agree to the terms and conditions—you know, that standard box of legalese that you skip over before pressing I AGREE. Except, in this case, the legalese has some unfortunate consequences. For example, it says:
3. Confidentiality. As a Registered iPhone Developer, you may be receiving information from Apple. You agree that all information disclosed by Apple to you that relates to Apple's products, designs, business plans, business opportunities, finances, research, development, know-how, personnel, or third-party confidential information, will be considered and referred to collectively as "Confidential Information." ..... You agree not to disclose, publish, or disseminate any Confidential Information to anyone other than to other Registered iPhone Developers who are employees and contractors working for the same entity as you and then only to the extent that Apple does not otherwise prohibit such disclosure in this Agreement. Except for your authorized purposes as a Registered iPhone Developer, you agree not to use Confidential Information in any way, including, without limitation, for your own or any third party's benefit without the prior written approval of an authorized representative of Apple in each instance.
Then, later on, it says
10. Use Of Apple Trademarks, Logos, etc. You agree to follow Apple's Guidelines For Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights as published on Apple's website at www.apple.com/legal/guidelinesfor3rdparties.html and as may be modified from time to time. You agree not to use the marks "Apple," the Apple Logo, "iPhone," "iPod touch" or any other marks belonging or licensed to Apple in any way except as expressly authorized in writing by Apple in each instance.
So, to write a book about the iPhone SDK, you have to download it. In order to download it, you have to accept the agreement. And the agreement says that the download will contain confidential information that you can't pass on to third parties. That makes it hard to publish the book. And, if that wasn't enough, it also appears that you can't even use the word "iPhone" (for example, in a book title).
We'd hoped these restrictions would be lifted at the announcement of the 3G. They weren't. We'd hoped they'd be lifted when the 2.0 software shipped last week. They weren't. We'd heard rumors they'd be lifted on July 14th. They weren't. And, what's worse, we can't pin down anyone who'll tell us just what is going on.
We're not the only people in this particular boat. Manning, for example, has an iPhone development book. They've published the part on doing web-based iPhone development (using the iPhone as a browser), but they're having to hold back the SDK-related material.
So, here's where you can help. If you work for Apple, and have any ideas on who we can contact to find out what's going on, we'd really appreciate knowing. We'll keep your personal information confidential. Just drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.