Smalltalk on iOS – again an option?

It seems like the growing demand in Android gadgets and the noise of App developers have finally made Apple rethink their rules (Press Release):

In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.

So it seems like it will be allowed to put packaged Smalltalk applications onto the iPhone, iPad (and maybe soon Apple TV???).

We would never say that Steve lost a battle or had to give in to the Mob, would we 😉

Did I mention that both Squeak and Pharo run on the iPhone? Maybe this change may even motivate some Smalltalk Vendors to work in that direction.  This is surely good news for Esteban and his Mars/Deimos project and for John’s iSqueak work… But not only for Smalltalkers, but also Rubyists, Flash developers and so on…

[UPDATE] Daring fireball has some more details on what exactly changed. The whole “Objective-C,C, C++ or JavaScript only!” nonsense seems to be gone. Downloading code is still forbidden (which was to be expected and is no obstacle for many Applications). There are also some comments about the now publicly available guidelines for app approval.


  1. Carl Gundel says:

    It’s unclear to me whether this policy change will make programming directly on the device available. For example, there was a Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone at one point, but it was removed from the app store because users could program the emulator in BASIC (and indirectly in 6502 machine code by using POKE). Will this app now be permitted in the app store once again?

    1. Joachim says:


      my interpretation would be that programming on a device is not allowed. But we’ll have to see. I’d be glad if we can deploy smalltalk apps on iP*s…

      1. Carl Gundel says:

        I am working on a WebKit app for the iPhone for Run BASIC. This should theoretically be accepted into the app store since it is essentially a sandboxed Safari client application.

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