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The Struggles of Getting Into the App Store 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the man-vs-machine dept.
itwbennett writes "You've heard the horror stories about the App Store approval process driving developers away, but what really makes it so bad isn't the 6-8 day waiting period or even rejection. What make it so bad is the lack of access to a human problem-solver at who can loosen the stranglehold of Apple's protocol machine, says Matthew Mombrea, who recounts in excruciating detail his company's experience publishing iOS apps, and, worse, updates to iOS apps."
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The Struggles of Getting Into the App Store

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  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by narcc (412956) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:53PM (#41748335) Journal

    If only that were true...

    Sure, if your app is a hit, there's no better place to be.

    Unfortunately, 2/3's of iOS apps have never been downloaded, and less than 1% of iOS apps earn over $1000.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @12:01AM (#41748387)

    Um. No. It's simple to set up enterprise distribution with your provisioning profile, which will allow you install any of your signed apps on any of your devices. You can even push the apps OTA.

    Have a clue before you make stuff up.

  • by rworne (538610) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @12:19AM (#41748495) Homepage

    My experience with the app store has been totally different.

    While I do embedded code for a living, I wanted to learn to write iOS apps. I am by no means a really good Obj-C programmer (but I am improving). My first hobby app suddenly looked like it might be marketable and I prepped it for app store submission.

    When I got my one app rejection (on my first submission) I got an electronically generated letter that was sort of vague as to the reason. I responded to it, I got a response by a human in only an hour or two explaining in simpler terms what the issue was and what they expected. I resubmitted that afternoon and in a few days it was up and on sale. There have been no rejections over any of my subsequent updates.

    I also had to push out an update about 4-5 days before the iOS 6 release due to a stupid coding error that iOS 6 would no longer let me get away with. It sat in the queue until iOS 6 was released then suddenly the app went from waiting, to in review to ready for sale in a few seconds. It came out when they did a dump of all the other iOS 6 apps. I suppose if an app has a certain number of sales and decent feedback they do not spend much time on it during reviews when crunch time is upon them. This has happened more than once - on the 5.0 update and the 4.0 update too.

    Releasing at other times, I usually have 5-6 day waits. My last release (approved today) took a bit more than 8 days.

    I have no complaints so far in my 2+ years on the app store.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Informative)

    by evil_aaronm (671521) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @12:34AM (#41748565)
    Not true. You get the compiler and debugger for free with which you can create all of the apps you want. You can also upload your own iOS apps that you write to your own iOS device. If you want to sell to others, then you need to pay the entry fee.

    So, your car, your engine. If you want to provide livery service, then you need a license.
  • by Chirs (87576) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:12AM (#41748747)

    Last time I looked I was unable to find a way to upload an app that I wrote to my mom's iPhone without a developer license (or jailbreaking the phone, which wasn't an option since it was a work phone).

  • Re:Yes, it sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Osty (16825) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:18AM (#41748775)

    From what I can tell, to have full support across all of their portable devices, you'll need to have 3 versions of each app. One for the Windows Phone 8, one for Windows RT 8, and one for x86/x64 Windows 8. I've seen reports that RT tablets won't be able to run phone apps and phones won't be able to run RT apps so that means two ARM builds. And there are also a lot of x86 tablets in the pipeline that will be running the full x86 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 8 so you'll need to cover them, too.

    It depends on how you're writing your app. If you use the HTML5+JS framework or C#, you can write platform-neutral apps that will run on x86, x64, and ARM Windows 8 machines (including RT). You of course also have the option of specifically targeting one or more platform, which is good for games, but I would expect most apps will be platform neutral

    That gets you down to two platforms -- Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The Windows Phone 8 SDK has yet to be released except to hand-picked developers under strict NDA, so nobody really knows what's in there yet. It could be binary-compatible with Windows 8. We just don't know.

  • Mod parent up (Score:5, Informative)

    by immaterial (1520413) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:46AM (#41748895)
    AC is right on about the enterprise distribution system. No Apple App Store involved.
  • Re:Yes, it sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:31AM (#41750105)

    Yes, I'm an app developer and quite a few of the apps I've built have had to go through the approval process, and it can be extremely inconsistent and frustrating.

    There have been times when Apple have rejected an app with what is for all intents and purposes zero feedback. There have been times when the only person I have communicated with has admitted that they haven't actually used the app. There have been times when they have rejected an app for things that aren't in their rules. They have been times when they have rejected an app for doing things in a certain (sensible, not against the rules) way, and have refused to tell me if the alternative approach we were considering was acceptable to them or not. There have been times when they have rejected an app for something that is present in a great deal of other apps. There have been times when I've been pretty sure that for whatever reason, the reviewer has psychological issues and decided he hates us. And there have been times when they have reviewed and approved an app almost straight away.

    Apple's biggest problem is not so much the inconsistency as the terrible communication. When dealing with things at their scale, there's bound to be fuckups. If something gets rejected, I can't simply drop somebody an email saying "Er, I think you've made a mistake here", or "If that's no good, how about this?" I've got to go through an appeals process, and I've got to type up the appeal in a shitty web form coded by somebody who's halfway through reading Web Development for Dummies. And at the end of it, it's quite likely that I'll still get no useful information.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @07:00AM (#41750231)

    Decent chance (being a programmer and all) you'll already own a Mac capable of running Xcode, so the $650 is not needed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @07:27AM (#41750355)

    It's almost universally a waste of time to reply to anyone asking for a source on Slashdot.

    No, it's not. You're not posting an established fact, common knowledge, etc. You're posting statistics, which in many cases on this site are sourced form the poster's posterior region. Your apparent inability to back up your claims with a source indicate you found yours in the same place.

    So just because you obviously need a lesson in how things work, I looked. The first match I found refutes your claims, as of the 12th of last month this source claims they have a 90% download rate.. monthly. http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/12/ios-app-store-boasts-700k-apps-90-downloaded-every-month/

    In fact, every single place I found your claims posted ALL link back to the same report, which is a claim made by a new company trying to drum up business for it's web site. There is no way to actually use their tool to check this statistic... you can get some interesting information about particular apps but nowhere is there a section that just tells you how many 0 download apps there are. So I'm calling shenanigans, I'm saying these folks released a sensational statement in order to attract attention.

    So in light of the fact that I have supplied an actual citation from a reputable source, and you have not, put up or shut up.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun

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