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Apple suddenly approves a bunch of browsers for App Store; major policy shift in progress?

Chris Ziegler
January 14, 2009
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Okay, so maybe a new browser isn't the first thing we'd like to see replaced with some fresh thinking out of the App Store -- that honor probably goes to the email client, preferably with something that could rival the G1's capabilities -- but regardless, Apple's infamous "duplication of functionality" argument has hamstrung iPhone developers from even coming close to stepping on the mothership's toes from day one. Consistent application of policy is still at a premium when it comes to getting iPhone apps approved, it seems -- it's hit or miss, and as best as we can tell, a happy ending involves the crossing of fingers and getting a reviewer inside Apple who's having a good day. It looks like Apple's slowly and quietly tweaking its game in response to complaints, though, with MacRumors noting that a slew of browsers have gone on sale in the past day; some of these things have submission dates several months old, so it seems like they've been holding in some sort of purgatory while Steve and the gang debate the merits of letting programmers actually practice their trade in peace. Odds are none of these initial entries will hold up to Safari for good, old-fashioned browsing, but more importantly, this might just open up the door for Opera and others to get in on the game.

Update: As it turns out, all these new browsers are WebKit-based, so while things do appear to be changing, we wouldn't hold out hope for an iPhone edition of Mobile IE just yet.



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