FNDA is now "Former" NDA

Feels great to have a second thing to thank Apple for in the same week. Yesterday, Apple lifted the Non-Disclosure Agreement on publicly-available iPhone software.

Pre-release Mac OS X Development has always been under NDA, but once an OS was on sale, we were free to talk about it. I can't blog about Snow Leopard, but I can post all the Leopard code I want. Until yesterday, that wasn't the case with the iPhone.

If you want an example of how important this is, I haven't been to my Mac since the announcement and I already learned something I didn't know via Twitter. I can't wait to learn a lot more.

I'm now convinced that the remaining big problem - the lack of pre-approval for apps - will be resolved in time. I came up with another way to make progress on this issue:

Pre-approval only matters when you're going to invest significant resources in creating an application. If your app is going to take you a week to make, you won't lose much if it's rejected. If you're going to spend months or hire people to build an iPhone app, you stand to lose a lot if you can't sell it.

What if Apple provided four "App Store Approval Incidents" with each ADC Premier account, and ADC Select members could buy one for, say, $350? As I see it, the costs of either represent little more than a trivial due-diligence fee on the investment you are about to make in iPhone development.

Anyway, thanks to Apple for the moves on the NDA. I'm looking to the future of iPhone development with immeasurably more optimism now.