In another episode in an apparent series of developer-friendly moves, Apple seems to have unbanned a previously banned 3G TV iPhone application over the weekend.
As of Saturday, EyeTV's less-than-one-month-old EyeTV 1.0 application had disappeared from Apple's App Store, after Apple asked Elgato to take out some test code allowing users to stream live TV over a 3G cellular network.
Elgato removed the code as requested, submitting a new 1.01 without the code and expecting the app to be returned to the App Store following Apple's approval of the revised TV application.
But lo and behold, on Sunday morning, Elgato sent an e-mail to Macworld saying that EyeTV 1.0 was now available once more in the U.S., U.K., and German App Stores, among others.
Although Apple's return of EyeTV 1.0 might have been simply an oversight, maybe it represents yet another step by Apple toward greater leniency with developers in the face of rising competition from other mobile development environments, most notably Google's Android.
After all, it was only last week that Apple instituted a new in-app feature that lets users of free iPhone apps upgrade to commercial ones from directly inside the application, sparing the need to visit the App Store whatsoever.
It was only at the end of September that the notoriously tightly controlled App Store let down its guard and permitted two "porn star apps" to enter its doors.
It might be more than sheer coincidence that Verizon has now launched a TV ad and teaser site for its emerging rival, the Droid phone, honing in on capabilities that the iPhone now lacks, including a physical keyboard, 5-megapixel camera, "open development," and more.
But lots of apps is one thing the iPhone has that nobody else does, and it's evident that Apple wants to keep its edge on that score.
Could it really hurt the iPhone if it's able to stream live TV over a 3G cellular network, through third-party means? Hey, c'mon. Apple's reportedly been working on bolstering its smart phone by adding an FM radio, anyhow.