04 August 2009

Apple App Store rejections

I’m embarrassed to be an Apple customer right now.

I don’t use Google Voice, so the current brouhaha with Google Voice apps doesn’t affect me. It’s another point in the trend, though. Apple insists that iPhone app developers partner with them through the App Store, but they aren’t being a good partner. They should be open and honest about the criteria used to reject apps. They should be clear about the reasons an app is rejected and how the app can be modified to pass. If they yank an app after approving it, they should pay the refunds to the customer.

Furthermore, they should not be rejecting apps for many of the reasons that they are giving. Off the top of my head, I can only think of these reasons that seem legitimate to me:

  • The app compromises the stability of the device (an unstable app is fine as long as it doesn’t compromise the device as a whole)
  • Resource abuse (and I have uneasy feelings about that one)
  • Security issues
  • Privacy issues

No doubt there are others, but the point is that they should be few and used as little as possible.

I have a hard time not seeing some of the reasons that have been given as bogus.

I will say that, looking at some of the lists being compiled, I think many of the rejections have been defensible. Even with those, however, the problem is that developers are left to discover the rules of the game by experiment. Expensive experiments.

This honestly has delayed my plans to upgrade my iPhone. As much as I like their products—which do work besides just looking good—I don’t like doing business with dishonorable companies, and there is a threshold at which bad behavior matters enough for me to choose to do business elsewhere.

Besides, I want a selection of good apps for my iPhone. I don’t want Apple driving developers out of the iPhone app business. I don’t want Apple rejecting apps before I get to decide whether they’re worth my money.

(I’d also like to see Apple allow people—as an option—to install any app from any source with the appropriate caveat utens†. The truth is, though, that I wouldn’t do that with my iPhone.)

I’m not sure if this is right. Participles of deponent verbs always confuse me. ^_^

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