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Aaron Walton February 2016

What does Apple's Developer Agreement 3.3.1 mean for me?

I'm looking to sign the Developer Agreement, but I am hesitant because of 3.3.1 in Apple's Developer Agreement:

"Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. [...]" (page 14)

Does this mean I can't use API provided by Firebase, Google, or Amazon Web Services without fearing that the App will be denied? What is it prohibiting?

Answers


rob mayoff February 2016

This question is off-topic, but I'm going to answer it anyway to stick it to the man! (Note: I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice.)

You should link to the agreement in question to make it easier for us to help you. Here's the agreement: iOS Developer Program License Agreement.

Don't retype things if you can copy and paste them, because you're likely to make errors. You changed at least one word of section 3.3.1 in your question. Here is section 3.3.1, quoted accurately (by copy and paste):

3.3.1 Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs.

There are two parts to this sentence:

  • “Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple”;
  • [Applications] “must not use or call any private APIs”.

We need to consider the two parts separately.

Let's take the first part first. The fact that “Documented APIs” is capitalized tells you that it's a special term defined by the agreement. It's defined in section 1.2 like this:

“Documented API(s)” means the Application Programming Interface(s) documented by Apple in published Apple Documentation and which are contained in the Apple Software.

So the first part of 3.3.1 means that if you use any of Apple's Documented APIs, you must use it in a manner consistent with Apple Documentation. (Note that “Documentation” is also capitalized; I'll let you look it up for yourself in section 1.2.)

As for the second part, that Applications “must not use or call any private APIs”, the word “private” is not capitalized, so it's not a special term defined by the agreement (and indee

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