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Apple Blindsides More AppStore Developers 716

Posted by kdawson
from the moving-walls-and-stairways-too dept.
For a while now Apple has said it doesn't want "widget-like" apps in the store; but where is the boundary of that fuzzy statement? The developers of My Frame, of which three versions had already been approved for the iPhone/iPad, found out that they had already crossed it when Apple informed them their app would be pulled. My Frame had options to overlay data on whatever photo was displaying: a Twitter stream, weather, etc. When one of the developers wrote to Steve Jobs on a whim to ask what unwritten rule their app had violated, Jobs wrote back: "We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops. Sorry." "I see now why people are so angry at the 'murky' nature of the App Store, and I'm starting to agree with them. My Frame was approved by Apple 3 times (once for each version we released), and ... now, at version 1.2 they decide it's to be removed? How can a company be prepared to invest into a platform that can change at any time, cutting you off and kicking you out, with no course of action but to whine on some no-name blog[?] There is no alternative platform, despite what others may say about Android, it's immature and their app store(s) are a wild west nightmare. It really is Apple's way or the highway...." A few blogs have picked up the story.
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Apple Blindsides More AppStore Developers

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  • It's time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:50PM (#32422734)
    It's time to retire the Bill Gates Borg photo and replace it with a Steve Jobs Borg photo for Apple stories.
  • by ravenspear (756059) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:54PM (#32422792)
    As long as the userbase remains as large as it is, that means leaving a lot of money on the table for many developers.

    As sucky as the terms are, it's hard to walk away from that.
  • Tired. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qoncept (599709) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:56PM (#32422826) Homepage

    How can a company be prepared to invest into a platform that can change at any time

    I don't know. Why don't we ask someone who ha ---- Oh wait, that's you!

    Years later, after it's been documented in to oblivion that Apple dicks app store developers over. The developers either know full well what they are getting themselves in to or they are completely retarded. Yet we here we are, hearing the same tired $@%&ing story once again. The insignificant details are different but nothing else is.

    App store devs, you KNOW you have two options: Deal with it or don't. Now, please, kindly tell your story on Twitter, Facebook status updates or somewhere else no one is paying attention and quit robbing the rest of us of our mental bandwidth.

  • Re:It's time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sosume (680416) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:57PM (#32422830) Journal

    I wish there was a 'bring to the attention of the slashmods' button.. but yeah, it looks like Apple is acting a lot worse than Microsoft ever did.

  • Re:It's time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beached (52204) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:57PM (#32422836) Homepage

    More like Species 8472

  • by stagg (1606187) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:58PM (#32422846)
    Or Steve Jobs in a sheep suit.
  • Last Line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:59PM (#32422870)

    There is no alternative platform, despite what others may say about Android, it's immature and their app store(s) are a wild west nightmare. It really is Apple's way or the highway...
     
    This just isn't true anymore. Yes, the market does have its issues, but it is certainly an alternative if the app store won't allow your app. Android will overtake iPhone in the near future as far as overall market share goes (since it's on all sorts of low-end devices nowadays, as well as multiple carriers, not to mention the very best phones these days run android, not iPhone OS, and it doesn't look like this summer's iPhone will be any better than them).
     
    While it may have its downsides as compared to the app store, completely ruling out the android market is just foolish.

  • Re:Android... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mweather (1089505) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:00PM (#32422888)
    I don't think Android even needs a market app. I don't have a market app for my PC, and I don't have any trouble finding and installing software. And the lack of such an app doesn't seem to be dissuading anyone from developing desktop apps.
  • Android: Wild West (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:01PM (#32422912)
    Google has publicly stated that Froyo (Android 2.2) came out 6 months ahead of schedule. And yet... there seems to be no timeline for their improvement of the UI or accessibility and organization of the market place. While freedom is important, a little standardization would go a long way in improving the Android platform for both developers and consumers.
  • by InsaneProcessor (869563) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:02PM (#32422928)
    I still do not own an iphone, ipod, or ipad. I will not buy a closed usage, multi-use platform for that kind of money.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:03PM (#32422946)

    Simple choice it seems. Fair software developement principles, or money.

  • Re:Android... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:04PM (#32422970) Homepage Journal

    The Android thing is definitely just whining. It's a great platform and even I, with my modest skill, can code up stuff that works on multiple devices. Planning for different screens is nothing new... it happens in the PC and web world ALL the time.

    Good aps are NOT hard to find even if it involves a little more community involvement to see what people are using for some given task. On top of it *I* get to decide what I put on my phone, not some nameless Apple employee, and that is very important to me.

    Android isn't perfect, but neither is iPhone. I think it has a lot more potential than Apple in the long run, especially if they hurting developers with their Ivory Tower style decisions on high about what apps stay and what apps go.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:05PM (#32422992)
    Hard to walk away from it yes. But it seems the choice here is to walk away from it on your own terms, or be arbitrarily and randomly kicked to the curb without having had the time to develop a go-forward plan.
  • by Knara (9377) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:06PM (#32423000)

    Sucks to be you. Don't write for iStuff.

    I kind of agree with you on this. The blurb quoted basically reads to me as "there isn't an easy alternative that allows me to do almost no marketing in order to have people buy my app."

    While I sympathize with the author(s)' feeling that the AppStore's rules border on the completely arbitrary, there *are* alternatives, just not brain-dead, no-work easy alternatives.

  • chhhhh chhhhhh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:06PM (#32423016)

    "I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further."

  • Re:It's time. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dsoltesz (563978) <deborah.soltesz@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:07PM (#32423038) Homepage Journal
    It's slashdot... you should only be ashamed if you didn't recognize the reference immediately.
  • by goombah99 (560566) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:09PM (#32423066)

    I really have to wonder if there is more than meets the sound-bite here. It sounds absurd yes. But then again it would be absurd to be so capricious. Maybe were not getting the full story? Apple is if anything not illogical in their choices. You may vehemently disagree with their choices but the choices all have an internal logic. I can't see any logic here. I suspect this may be a BS story.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:10PM (#32423076) Journal
    Given that the devs are pissed about the vendor's control of the platform(which Microsoft plans to emulate), rather than the platform's technical prowess, I'd say that anybody who is hoping that Windows Phone 7 will save them is moderately delusional.

    Admittedly, since MS will be coming at the market from a position of significant weakness by the time any WP7 handsets actually make it out the door(oh hai! Our revision 1 product, missing most of the enterprise stuff that kept people on WM6 despite the fact that it blew, is being released into the face of iPhone OS 4, and android 2.2, if not 2.3 or later...) they will likely be inclined to be merciful masters. At first.

    However, if they experience any significant success, there is no reason to expect that they won't abuse their power just as hard as Apple. If they experience little or no success, they might well double-down on the crackdown, and vertically integrate even harder, screwing over any remaining 3rd parties(this is barely hypothetical, we all know what happened to the 3rd-party "playsforsure" ecosystem when MS decided that they weren't doing the job against Apple...)
  • lol maybe, but .. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Weezul (52464) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:10PM (#32423084)

    "It really is Apple's way or the highway" just says he's either a lousy developer, or lazy. Android offers the user base if you debug your app properly. In truth, Apple has always attracted douche bag developers who often polish a shiny user interface over a weak and/or unstable core, and then pollute the google search results for identical apps with their crippleware. I'm not surprised the iPhone has made this worse by limiting the developers options for real software, focussing them more on the user interface.

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:11PM (#32423094)
    Android phones now outsell iPhone OS phones, the OS has been excellent since 1.6, the market is really taking off. Last I checked there was everything you might need in the Android Market, inlcuding many things you can't get on iPhone. Then there's home screen widgets.

    Mod me down but Android an immature wild west platform? My ass.

    There is no alternative platform, despite what others may say about Android, it's immature and their app store(s) are a wild west nightmare. It really is Apple's way or the highway..."

    Somehow freedom != wild west? I'll take the highway thanks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:11PM (#32423100)

    Where do you draw the line, Mr. Jobs?

    Wherever I want. Sorry.

    -Steve

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:17PM (#32423186)
    I really wish I had mod points - someone please mod parent up. The app, at version 1.2, is available on the app store. Mind you, I suspect that's exactly what they wanted - to have people go and look for their app. Some nice free advertising. Meh.
  • by TomXP411 (860000) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:21PM (#32423250)

    Anyone who says Android can't compete head to head with any other mobile OS is either deluded or has not really checked it out.

    The sad part is that he's totally wrong. You can't use an Android 2.x device and think of the platform as immature or incomplete. Sure, there are some differences between Android and iPhone OS, but there are also differences between both of those platforms and other mature platforms, such as Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

    And I wouldn't call the apps store(s) a Wild West: there's ONE official Android app store. You can, of course, use the unofficial app stores as well, but anyone who buys a first-tier Android handset is going to have the Android Market right there on their phone. The fact that you're not limited to just the Android market is certainly not a drawback; it seems to me that this is exactly what the OP wants: an alternative market that is not controlled by the hardware manufacturer.

    Apple is just now including features in the iPhone that were in Android from the start. In fact, every major new feature in iPhone OS 4 is already in another mobile platform. More Android handsets were activated Q1 2010 than iPhones. Android is making its way in to all kinds of devices, not just phones and PMP's.

    The last thing I'd call Android at this point is "immature."

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:21PM (#32423254) Homepage

    I think it is more like that somehow yet another Appstore app somehow got reviewed by someone who was too lenient or that it was re-reviewed by someone who is less lenient. Whatever the case, I think the review process it likely to be rather inconsistent with several different human beings reviewing different apps. The patent process works like this. The TSA screening process works like this. Even the police work like this. The same rules tend to get implemented differently depending on who is charged with interpreting and applying the rules.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:22PM (#32423272) Journal

    As I read this (obvious satire) post, I see that it's modded +5 insightful. And, deep down, a little piece of me dies...

  • Re:Tired. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomXP411 (860000) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:25PM (#32423324)

    There's another way to look at this: the more times an article like this shows up in a respected blog or publication, the more seriously people will take it.

    Perhaps the next guy who's debating whether to go Android or Apple will stop and think, "Dude.. I should get a Droid!"

  • by Tridus (79566) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:26PM (#32423358) Homepage

    Except for the numerous other times apps have been approved, then removed when Apple changes their mind? Or stuff that was rejected for no discernable reason then approved under media scruitiny?

    Apple is a perfect example of the sheer idiocy of this process. People are making totally arbitrary decisions over what can and can't be sold, with no consistency or logic. The policy can change on a whim, at which point previously allowed things are no longer allowed.

    Without the amazing skills of Apple's marketing department, this pathetic joke of a store would fail horribly.

  • by mini me (132455) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:29PM (#32423404)

    Android phones now outsell iPhone OS phones

    That statement doesn't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Apple sells more iPod touches than iPhones [theappleblog.com], and iPad sales have been phenomenal [abh-news.com].

    I think Android is a great platform with a bright future, but it isn't anywhere near catching up to iPhone OS numbers yet.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:32PM (#32423454)

    Guess which one I'd choose. I'll give you a hint: I have a mortgage.

  • by heckler95 (1140369) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:32PM (#32423458)
    The problem isn't subjectivity amongst the reviewers, but rather that the rules are a secret. The speed limit on a given road should be unambiguous, let's say 55 mph. Police Officer A might overlook people driving 60 mph and Police Officer B might pull somebody over for doing 56 mph. The point is that the driver knows that the rule is 55 mph and they can make an informed decision and weigh the risks of driving a particular speed.

    In this case, there was no speed limit sign, and the legal limit changed from 55 mph on Monday to 25 mph on Tuesday.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:33PM (#32423476)

    So stop whining. Apple doesn't want your business; why keep trying to do business with Apple?

  • by TomXP411 (860000) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:34PM (#32423484)

    Ha!

    You hit the nail on the head. I grew up hunting for new programs on dial-up BBS's, and let me tell you, there's nothing more "wild west" than the BBS scene was in the 80's and 90's. Somehow, despite the lack of a centralized app store, I managed to compile several hundred 1.44" floppy diskettes full of downloaded programs...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:36PM (#32423508)

    The whole situation is reminiscent of the famous Carterphone decision (circa 1968). Briefly a Carterphone was a mechanical device to couple a radiotelephone to an ordinary phone. AT&T refused to allow the use of the device on the ludicrous grounds that it would affect the safety and reliability of their system!. The FCC finally threw out this bogus claim and instituted a set of standards that third party telephone devices were required to meet. This quickly led to the demise of Western Electric (AT&T's telephone manufacturing arm) due to competition from cheaper Asian suppliers and eventually to the breakup (perhaps not permanent) of the telephone monopoly.
    The analogy here is that Apple by controlling the IPhone store is in effect controlling the entire market for IPhone software. I think the Justice department via antitrust law could very well require Apple to carry any IPhone software (perhaps under varying terms and conditions) that met a set of well defined criteria for compatibility. Sadly corporations like individuals are often corrupted by the desire for wealth. We'll see if how it goes.

  • Re:It's time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qwavel (733416) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:36PM (#32423516)

    I think we've got it backwards.

    Apple has in the past blocked apps:
    - because they criticize prominent politicians,
    - because they mention Android,
    - because they compete with Apple services,
    - because they had soft porn, and weren't from Apple approved companies,
    - for no discernible reason at all.
    (All of these instances have been reported here on /.)

    But now Apple decides to block an app due to changed GUI guidelines and NOW we think there is a problem!

    When Steve Jobs chooses to respond to an e-mail, you know that this is an example they want to highlight - it follows the script. When the FCC has to get involved and force Apple to reverse course and stop lying about the reasons for app store rejection - that's when we start to understand the app store.

  • Re:Sounds familiar (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ukyoCE (106879) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:43PM (#32423630) Journal

    This is exactly why Blizzard's EULA says addon authors can not profit from their creations. Blizzard regularly incorporates functionality "from" addons into the game, since that's their job as a game maker. They've also had to regularly block addons from doing things that interfere with the game (whether servers or gameplay). Not to mention deprecating old APIs.

    Everything you mentioned Second Life doing sounds totally reasonable from the perspective of a game developer, and only sounds bad when you frame it from the perspective of a company trying to profit off a platform. Does Linden Labs pitch SL as a platform for for-pay items and scripts?

    Apple is obviously pitching their app store as a platform for for-profit applications. That puts them in a very bad light when they end up effectively saying "spend money building an app specifically for our app store, THEN we'll tell you whether or not it's allowed on our store".

  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.ku.oc.nez. .ta. .senoj.selig.> on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:46PM (#32423678)

    The problem with Android is the fragmentation. Having one company designing the hardware and software as well as dictating things can be a model of simplicity.

    When Microsoft released the XBox they could have just made the OS and published a specification, pretty much like they did with the MSX, but nope, they realised it would be a disaster.

    With Android there are too many handsets, too many software versions in the wild, different touch screen types, different touch screen sizes. It's hard to optimise an application for it as you don't know how big the screen is and at times you may not have multitouch capability as the screen might be resistive.

    I had various Windows Mobile phones, they all had a reset button which would get used after trying out any new software.

  • The Nemesis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:53PM (#32423784)
    How long will it be that Steve Jobs or Eric Schmidt replaces Bill Gates as the computing nemesis?
  • by eulernet (1132389) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:56PM (#32423818)

    People are making totally arbitrary decisions over what can and can't be sold, with no consistency or logic.

    No, the logic is quite clear: any product that competes with Apple's ones is automatically removed.

    Of course, you cannot guess which app Apple will release in the future, so releasing an app is like playing the lottery.

  • Re:It's time. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RevWaldo (1186281) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:00PM (#32423872)
    Emperor Palpatine perhaps?

    "In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Mac OS will be reorganized into the first iPhone OS and App Store, for a safe and secure platform which I assure you will last for ten thousand years!"

    (200,000 apps and 4 billion downloads later...)

    "So this is how openness dies... with thunderous applause."

    .
  • Re:It's time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomXP411 (860000) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:05PM (#32423938)

    Except that we're casting companies as fictitious villains... not good guys.

    Besides, even the Federation doesn't stop people from doing things their way: after all, Starfleet crew somehow get Latinum to gamble and spend at Quark's, and people are free to do anything they want - as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. This is entirely 180 out from Apple's approach: Apple says you can't do anything they don't like.

    If you're going to talk about Star Trek empires, Apple is more like the Romulan Empire than the Federation: absolute control, complete arrogance, and absolutely convinced that they can do nothing wrong: even to the point of blaming Vulcans for their own destruction (which Vulcans actually tried to prevent.)

  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:06PM (#32423942)

    The problem isn't subjectivity amongst the reviewers, but rather that the rules are a secret.

    Maybe the problem isn't that the rules are a secret, but rather that there are no rules...and judgments are made up on the fly to deal with what they perceive as threats to either the market share or their intention of how the iphone is intended to be operated.

  • by boxwood (1742976) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:13PM (#32424046)

    Its not unreasonable to ask that Apple publicize what their requirements are. Companies are investing time and money developing apps that increase the value of Apple's product. The least Apple can do is have published guidelines of what is allowed in their appstore. Then a company can look at those guidelines and know if a product they're planning isn't allowed. If its not allowed then the compnay need not waste anymore time on it.

    Yes Apple has the power to reject apps from its store. But just because you have power doesn't mean you should be a dick about it.

  • Re:It's time. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RevWaldo (1186281) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:14PM (#32424058)
    A icon based on the talking head [wikimedia.org] from the very first Mac commercial [youtube.com] would do nicely. His speech, well, speaks for itself:

    Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology. Where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our unification of thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on Earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!

    .
  • Re:Android... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GuldKalle (1065310) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:20PM (#32424156)

    I don't think Android even needs a market app.

    But you are (presumably) technically adept. Joe sixpack couldn't use an .apk-file if his life depended on it.

    And really, if Windows had an app-market, i'd be all over it. A standard way of doing trivialities such as installing and updating is really needed IMO.

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:26PM (#32424224) Journal

    If your app doesn't match up to the level of quality that Apple require[sic], then it's a message

    And given that the very things that make your app meet Apple's quality control one day can be disqualification criteria the next day means the answer is simple:

    1. Don't write any innovative, interesting, and unique applications, or
    2. Write your applications for another platform where the arbitrary rules are less ambiguous or do not exist.

    Apple certainly has the right to kick out "any old piece of crap" should they choose, but after the application has enjoyed sales, and as a result of an arbitrary rules change? Well, yes, they still have the right.

    The trouble is, people write applications because they want to make a profit, and arbitrary vague rules will lead the best developers to stop putting massive effort into supporting a platform that may not support them. You'll still have plenty of developers who will take the risk, but the ones who put massive amounts of effort into their applications only to have them yanked because the background was just the wrong shade of puce or Steve's chair hit the "REJECT" button instead of the wall that particular moment will eventually learn to go elsewhere.

    Other app stores are fledgling and not as well-organized, you say? Agreed. But who do you need to push to other platforms to make the other platforms succeed?

    DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!

  • by llZENll (545605) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:29PM (#32424272)

    I think what the OP meant by that wild west statement is how ridiculous selling apps on Android is, it has less to do with market size and more to do with its customers and the platform. Anyone who looks into developing for the Android market will find the same result, its mostly a waste of time. Google's buying experience is sub-par, many countries and currencies are not supported, you have to provide first level support, the return policy is ridiculous (24-48 hours no questions asked), and probably the biggest nail in the metal Android space coffin is piracy is very rampant and easier to use than the Android store, making sales of apps a joke. Big time iphone devs have ported their top tier games to Android and publicly reported their sales, they are abysmal. Google has made some changes for the better recently, but mostly the Android store is still a joke compared to the iPhone App Store.

  • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:33PM (#32424310) Journal
    Honestly.... I want the Wild West.

    I don't want some centralized dictatorship deciding what I can and can't have on <i>my</i> phone for applications. Apple wants a market place only because it sees it as a revenue stream and a cheap mine for ideas it can then pilfer, call it's own and then ban the original.

    As for the argument about consistency, I really see that as a straw man.
  • by natehoy (1608657) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:40PM (#32424384) Journal

    It's unreasonable to ask Apple to do anything they don't want to. It's their damned platform and they can be as pricky as they want.

    It's also unreasonable for Apple to expect their developer base to remain loyal after being ass-reamed by Steve with sandy vaseline.

    This sort of thing will work itself out. Likely not to Apple's long-term benefit, IMHO.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:57PM (#32424646) Journal

    I notice a handful of developers who have a beef with the way Apple runs their App store, but do any users actually care? Are there hundreds of thousands of users who are hating Apple right now because Apple is denying the users access to a killer application that they simply can't live without?

    The whole issue surrounding the app store seems really contrived to me. Users who actually care about wanting to run specific types of applications will buy a phone that they can run applications on. Users who want an iPhone will buy an iPhone. Plenty of huge corporations like Starbucks, Bank of America and others have developed iPhone apps. Fandango has an app for finding movies that runs on both the iPhone and the G1 (and probably other Android phones too). If there was a huge problem with Apple exclusivity, I'd expect corporations like BofA and the like to be complaining that Apple is preventing them from offering their customers the same kind of applications that are offered on Android.

    Other than some niche apps, there doesn't seem to be a real problem. If app devs really have uber ideas for applications then they should be able to build those apps on alternative platforms and the users will come. If they do build them and the users don't show up, the app obviously wasn't all that compelling in the first place.

    I'm not a big Apple fan, but I recognize their right to tailor their product as they see fit. It isn't as if they are the entire mobile device market. They aren't even half of it. There are alternatives. As much as I dislike the Apple fanboys when they trot out their tired, "You aren't the target market" meme, it seems to fit in this case. Apple isn't targeting developers. They are targeting end users.

  • by rhook (943951) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:58PM (#32424650)

    No, the logic is quite clear: any product that competes with Apple's ones is automatically removed.

    Can you say "anti-trust"?

  • by jamie(really) (678877) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @06:04PM (#32424730)

    Anybody bother to check to see if the app has been pulled before providing a billion web hits to this app? No? Great! I have a feeling my app is about to be pulled too.

  • by Khazunga (176423) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @06:06PM (#32424746)

    The problem with Android is the fragmentation.

    Fragmentation is needed for a competitive environment. It's an added problem, partly for developers but mainly for google, and they are handling it quite well. Properly accounting for different hardware targets in both the hardware development and in the software development kits is a daunting task. However, and I feel everyone is repeating the fragmentation mantra without giving proper credit to Google, Android handles fragmentation quite well. Apps are always forward-compatible (write for 1.5 and you get ~100% compatibility with existing handsets), and they announce the hardware they need.

    Do you need a camera? Declare it on your manifest, and the app appears on the market only to devices sporting a camera. Do you absolutely need multitouch? Declare it. Do you need an SD card? Declare it. The only drawback is that every requirement you add narrows down the range of devices your app appears in.

    Would it be better if there were fewer devices all alike? It'd be like the narrowing decision would have already been made for you. Oh, right. That's the Apple way: Users are too stupid, let's decide for them.

    In the end, it's different. It's not worse. It's more complicated for the developer, in exchange for a larger user base. Before anyone mentions there are more iPhones than Android devices, please first consider that: a) there are more Android devices than iPhones being sold today and; b) Android covers a much wider range of price-points, and is thus in reach of a much larger user base, so this tendency is likely here to stay (think how Nokia is still king of mobile handsets).

  • Re:It's time. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @06:11PM (#32424794)

    How about, just don't buy an iphone or an ipad... you have choices you know...

    geeez...

  • Re:It's time. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @06:39PM (#32425090) Homepage

    I'm thinking cross his head with Mordac, The preventer of information services.

  • by JohnBailey (1092697) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @06:59PM (#32425304)

    I'm having a huge argument with a friend right now about this. He thinks it would be a huge PR mistake for Apple to publish concrete, clear App Store submission rules, and that therefore they shouldn't do it. (His reason? People would be pissed about all the exceptions to the rules that Apple makes for wealth developers.)

    And he doesn't have a problem with Apple favoring wealthy app developers even when it harms the independent and small business developers.

    You forgot rule one..
    Apple is right no matter how many logical hoops have to be jumped through to justify it. Everybody else is wrong, even if the fabric of reality has to be altered to accommodate this.

    It's like arguing with a Scientologist. Cults are like that. No matter how strong your point, it will be translated into " I can't afford an iProduct, so I'm jealous". Even if you make twice what they do, and buy gear that costs far more than an iProduct does.

    Forget logic, sound arguments, valid points.. Just tell him that Steve has cooties, and walk away. You are not dealing with a rational person. And if they bring the subject up, just say you don't argue religion.

  • by am 2k (217885) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:17PM (#32425518) Homepage

    I disagree. The approval process is important to filter out apps that don't launch at all and malware (which they don't check right now unfortunately).

  • by Haeleth (414428) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:29PM (#32425628) Journal

    It's unreasonable to ask Apple to do anything they don't want to. It's their damned platform and they can be as pricky as they want.

    No. That's not how society works.

    It may be unreasonable to expect Apple to do do anything they don't want to, but it is most certainly not unreasonable to ask.

  • Re:It's time. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taikiNO@SPAMcox.net> on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @08:33PM (#32426152)

    You're allowed to drink heavily in the Federation.

    You're just not allowed to do it on a star ship in Starfleet.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:13PM (#32426892)

    Sort of.

    I think the issue is that Apple keeps changing their minds. It's one thing to build some software send it to Apple and have them reject it. That's part of life, but building a product, selling it to customers, investing in that product and then having Apple change their minds on a previously granted approval is a bit of a hard pill to swallow, and it's not just been this guy who have had that happen.

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:36PM (#32427064) Journal

    You buy a locked phone from a carrier that's known for turning shit off, you get a locked phone with shit turned off. You buy a phone from a company who uses a walled garden as a selling point, you end up in a walled garden.

    Answer: There are lots of companies that make smart phones that don't have walled gardens. There are plenty of them available as unlocked phones.

    Want freedom? Choose a company that believes in it. My wife's Nokia Symbian phone is all that an iPhone should be, and more, and we bought it unlocked so anyone tells us we can't use a feature we can rip their SIM out of it, ship it back to them in itty bitty little pieces, and tell them to go fuck themselves.

    Want freedom? Choose freedom.

    Just don't do business with a company that has a long history of the reverse of what you want and come boo-hooing when they do what they always do.

    It's sad, really. Apple started as the "computer for the masses", and ended up being what they are today. Makes me want to cry, sometimes.

    They make some really nice stuff, but it's not worth what it costs. And I'm not talking about money.

    But that's my opinion. Fortunately, Apple does not have a monopoly on smartphones. In fact, I'm coming close to believing they don't have a "smart" phone at all. Just the iPhone.

  • by Stiletto (12066) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @11:48PM (#32427544)

    No. That argument already commits a serious error. You own the phone. You get to decide what runs on it.

    So jailbreak your phone then.

    Apple's not telling you you can't run xyz on your phone. Apple's saying you can't DISTRIBUTE xyz through a store they own and operate. Should I be able to demand that Apple let me sell my fresh strawberries in their retail stores? They're really tasty...

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