Definition of Terms

It used to be so easy.

There were Apple developers. And there were Mac developers.

The former worked for Apple itself. The latter did not.

Then, a second platform showed up. Instead of just Mac developers, now, we were Mac and iPhone developers. Little bit more of a mouthful, but still short enough for everyday use.

But once the third platform showed up—well, it was too much. Mac and iPhone and iPad developers? More than a mouthful.

I’ve seen some bloggers start referring to such third-party developers as “Apple developers.” But…see above. There are Apple developers, and there are Apple developers? It doesn’t work.

I read someone somewhere (can’t find it anymore, sorry) who suggested iDeveloper. It’s catchy, but despite what seems like some effort in that regard, Apple does not know the i prefix. Which means the term isn’t completely intuitive, and would need to be explained before each use. (For example, has nothing to do with Apple.)

My recommended solution?

There are Apple developers, and there are Apple platforms developers.

Still a bit awkward, I’ll admit. It requires the audience to know what a platform is, that we’re not talking about a stage or a dais. But among developers, I think, that won’t be a problem.

Some might parse it “Apple” “platforms developers”, i.e. Apple developers writing platforms. That’s unfortunate. Is it a deal breaker?

And the silly: the shortened form of this could be “Applats”, which I’m imagining quacked by a duck at oblivious developers.