Unity and iOS (solved!)
It’s been 5 months since Apple announced the new iOS 4.0 Terms of Service which seemed like they might block out Unity (as well as similar technologies) from their AppStore.
We commented on this right away (in a first, second, and third installment), and after some deliberation we even invented a workaround that we might employ in case Apple ever stopped approving Unity-base apps.
All along Apple kept approving every single Unity game submitted to the AppStore – several per day – and even featuring some of them highly, so it was clear that Apple never stopped liking the results of what Unity developers have been doing. And neither did the gamers by the way: they’ve downloaded tens of millions of copies of Unity-based games, more often than not without knowing or caring if tools or middleware had been used or not.
We never felt it right to shout out complaints, even if many of our friends and customers asked us to. We were after all in a precarious situation where Apple could have started banning Unity apps any day, and our responsibility for our thousands of customers weighed heavily on our shoulders. But it felt weird to speak in such a soft voice while under pressure, and we say sorry to those that felt we weren’t being proactive enough.
Now we couldn’t discuss publicly during the last months that Apple stayed in touch with us all along, and that we had conversations with them every few weeks. And after what we must assume has been deep deliberation and soul-seeking inside Apple, they finally came out with a response early this morning California time: they’ve simply decided to stop worrying about how applications are made.
We think this is exactly the right approach: it’s possible to make incredibly bad applications using just Xcode, and it’s possible to make just as amazingly excellent applications with a tool like Unity. The focus of a platform owner should obviously be on enabling its developers to do great work and so to give millions of users fun, thrilling, cute, enlightening and lovely experiences… wherever they may find themselves and whenever they want.
Apple has been in an accelerated learning process, and even though they’re some of the smartest people we know, figuring out how to operate the world’s most successful online marketplace can’t be easy. We have been frustrated with them along the way (and we have told them so, in a few more words), but we kept the channels open to work on a positive result. Today we respect them for coming to the right conclusion and in our eyes it’s best to let bygones be bygones!
So from all us in Unity Technologies to all of you: feel free to keep doing awesome work!