Today Apple announced that they would be lifting restrictions set earlier this year in section 3.3.1 of their developer license agreement. This section prohibited developers from using anything other than objective-c to create iphone apps. Starting today apple will be accepting apps coded in other languages, and apps coded outside of xcode as long as they don’t download any code. Adobe created a tool earlier this year to allow flash applications to be packaged into native iphone apps, this would now allow those types of apps to be accepted by Apple.
Apple also announced today that in an effort to become more transparent they would be releasing the submission guidelines that they use to approve apps. This is huge considering that many developers submit apps to the app store with no idea if their app will be accepted or rejected. This will at least give developers a baseline to go off of before submitting their app. I personally have struggled with rejections from Apple for not following certain guidelines that were not public at the time.
I think both of these items will be great for developers and I think we will see much more creative apps in the app store because of this.
UPDATE: here are the app submission guidelines (PDF)
Here are some funny excerpts from the guidelines:
11.11 In general, the more expensive your app, the more thoroughly we will review it
4.2 Apps that use location-based APIs for automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other devices will be rejected (oddly specific)
Source: Apple – press release