Apologies for the self-link, but I’ve gotten a few questions today from readers asking, honestly, just what the problem is with private APIs. This piece I wrote last year addresses it.
As an addendum, I think there are many developers, especially those who aren’t coming to the iPhone from the Mac, who don’t understand how seriously Apple takes its public APIs. When Apple publishes an official API, it’s a serious commitment that says how something works and will continue to work in the future. Private APIs are subject to change or go away. The idea that something marked private works now so why not use it? is short-sighted. The iPhone OS isn’t just something that Apple has built to last for a couple of years. It’s a platform they’re building to last for the foreseeable future. They don’t want apps in the Store that aren’t future-proof.
★ Friday, 20 November 2009