By Alexandra Burlacu | May 30, 2013 01:01 PM EDT
Apple is infamous for its walled iOS garden, but iOS application programming interfaces (APIs) will slowly open up to third-party developers.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, third-party app developers will gradually gain access to iOS APIs in the future, allowing them to develop apps to integrate with higher functions of iPhones and iPads.
This was just one of the myriad of topics Cook discussed during a one-hour interview at All Things D's D11 conference on Tuesday, May 28. This particular topic referred to whether Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, would become more "open" to developers. In other words, the question was whether Apple would eventually lessen its notoriously strict control of iOS.
"Of course," Cook told AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. "On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you'll see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the consumer at risk of having a bad experience. So there's always a fine line to walk there, or maybe not so fine."
Cook further explained his opinion that consumers pay for Apple products so that the company makes certain choices on their behalf, such as system security and stability. As expected, Mossberg gave Google's Android lock screen assets as an example of openness toward developers. More specifically, the host referenced Facebook's Home Android launcher, mentioning that he heard the social network proposed a similar solution for iOS as well.
"I've seen some of these settings screens, and I don't think that's what customers want," Cook replied. "Do some want it? Yes." But "some" has never been good enough for the Cupertino giant.
Looking toward the future, Cook said he expects iOS to become more open, but he also suggested that the ultimate control would still lie in Apple's hands. Swisher then intervened with a jokingly-asked question referencing Facebook's new Chat Head feature, but apparently Tim Cook is unimpressed with "bobbleheads."
"There's always more the companies can do together," reckoned Cook. "I don't think that's one."
Cook also noted that Apple has no issues with porting iOS apps to Android or other platforms should it prove necessary in the future, but such functionality doesn't really make sense for now. Head over to AllThingsD for the full interview and the video version of Tim Cook's appearance at D11.
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