What I found unacceptable is "We are banning you and we won't tell you anything about it". This pattern is extremely common. And extremely frustrating. You can't put one in jail without telling why (and right to defend). In many developed countries you can't even fire a worker without a solid reason. It should be prohibited for companies to halt service someone without providing a reasonable explanation.
My wife was banned a bit before more. She sold one textbook and fulfilled the transaction perfectly. She found out she was banned when they said they were keeping her money for 45 days, and they would be kind enough to release it to her if the buyer confirmed receipt of the book (they did, and she did get her money eventually).
Based on the mail that was arriving, we _think_ that someone who lived at our apartment before us was doing something shady. Amazon doesn't care though.
This kind of thing is why it's incredibly frustrating that people blithely let a few companies control most commerce.
Admittedly, we at least had recourse, while you don't for whatever reason, in the event that you one day do want to become a marketplace seller. My point is that it's really easy to get blacklisted. Perhaps it's because they prefer to have some false positives, rather than deal with real bad actors. Just a conjecture.
Might be $500 max for the court fees.
Then they eventually have to explain it and litigate with you. And eventually revise their ridiculous CS practices.
By US standards, that would require an absurd level of legislative and/or judicial overreach. I don't think I'd even want to do business in that kind of regulatory climate.
Or does it even matter if the Apple App store is the only marketplace of its kind?
So, choose your poison. We can govern them, or they can govern us.
Sooner or later the IT infrastructure companies will need to be regulated like infrastructure providers.
IT infrastructure has nothing in common with this aside from ISP.
Really, given that this is a market that is growing double digits by year, the amount by which amazon dominates it is shocking.
And that is in a market that is still growing rapidly. For Facebook/Whatsapp this is even more obviously not true. Facebook even failed to leverage its social network monopoly to establish its messenger against insurgents, simply because they were a bit late.
The idea that economies of scale make it impossible for a company to never face competition is ridiculous. The only thing that can do that is govenment protectionism.
Along with economies of scale is the opposite effect: the inefficiency of bureaucracy and having competing interests between business units.
Being large isn't the magical unicorn you think.
If you don't want it to behave this way, as a consumer or developer, you just have to choose to not deal with it. But you don't want to, because it makes you money and makes you life more comfortable in some way.
What it means is that you value money/confort more than been respected by this company. Accept this is what you choose and don't bitch about it, this is dishonest. You can't have it both way.
A company can't dump chemicals in any river without oversight; it could be compelled to accept an appeals process when terminating a contract with a developer.
Imagine it this way: you are a contract developer, should you have no right to terminate a contract with a client under the terms of the agreement? Almost every contract I'be ever signed as a developer has some form of "either party can terminate this agree with <some days> notice."
From what I am reading here, we want to hold Apple to different rules than the ones we ourselves routinely follow?
I get it: Apple should give the guy an explanation. However making laws to require it? That's absurd. Should there be a law that when a girl (or guy) doesn't accept a dinner invitation that they provide a valid reason? That's really what this comes down to. And no, Apple isn't a monopoly. This company can still sell their products, just not at that particular store.
I feel bad for the situation, but extending government power into private business relationships is a bad idea. Contract law already covers this.
Society isn't harmed by this company not being able to sell on the App Store. This isn't dumping chemicals into rivers or denying service based on skin color.
If the developer was wronged, he could file a lawsuit. However given that the contracts governing the relationship were known in advance, the situation is just the realization of the risks inherent in doing business.
Precisely. You signed the contract. You could have not done so, but you wanted the money. And you wanted it to come from this source, because this source fits some of your needs. So you decided it was worth putting your life into their hands, and sometime, you loose. It sucks, but you are half responsible.
Now we can act as a society to make it illegal, but this won't happen.
Certainly not if everyone heeds your advice to "Accept this is what you choose and don't bitch about it". Bitching about stuff is a necessary part of the democratic process.
Making this illegal would result in an arduous approval process just to join a marketplace. Additionally it could result in bad actors being unable to be expelled from a market while the legal process unfolds. That could result in a net loss to consumers. Imagine a malware developer -- Apple can't evict them quickly because they'd have to perform extra legal investigation so they wouldn't get in trouble for acting too quickly.
There is a reason we don't accept that for our law system. We currently accept that from companies, and I don't think it's a good idea.
But don't get me wrong. I don't think going legal is the right way to go. I think either you accept it, and enjoy the benefits of playing with apple and stop complaining, or you don't accept it, complain AND follow the complaining with action such as putting your business elsewhere.
When a corporation behaves this way, it needs to hurt.
Such protections exist for employees, involve lots of lawyers and complexity, and sometimes screw companies and sometimes screw employees and sometimes screw both (though they do also fill an important need). But the economic cost of compliance and management of these rules is quite high, and there are a lot more employees than software developers by several orders of magnitude.
I'm in no way implying that such activity happened in this case, just that the policy makes sense.
An appeal process should be in place though.
Yes you can (if you're Goldman & Sachs). It's called "contempt of the court". See the Martin Armstrong case. There are others.
What a terrible idea.
Local insurance claims gears the local premiums, obviously.
If you live in the city with the worst drivers in the country, your premiums will be high.
I get that there is money to be made on the iOS app store-- but why is there a willingness to set up shop in a town where if one of the local officials doesn't like you-- for any reason-- he or she can effectively confiscate your hard-made product so you can't sell it anywhere else and kick you outside the walls?
Stories like this from Dash (and others) is a real-living and breathing worst-case scenario... it makes the choice to not participate in this marketplace all the more obvious to me.
The smartphone 'market' is an oligarchy, ergo, it's not really a free market, and those kinds of principled positions just don't hold.
It's pretty reasonable to argue that Apple's arbitrary control of the AppStore is an anti-competitive practice.
If the market were commoditized, like, the choice you have for where you want to 'eat lunch' or 'buy a car' - it would be different.
Can I choose my opportunities? To some extent.
The point I was making is that this rhetorical device of "I need to eat" is used way too often as a euphemism for "I want to make a lot of money". It's used that way because the former statement elicits sympathy and the latter statement attracts derision.
In the context of the original comment, the "need to eat" phrase was used in the context of an app developer. You don't create an app on the app store as a last ditch attempt to feed your family. You do it to make money, and you do it knowing the risk that it won't be successful and you won't make any money. Apple's inscrutable opaque approval process is another annoying risk on top of that, but whether you're going to eat shouldn't be a part of the equation here.
At least Apple only takes ~1/3 of the value of the work you put into in the App Store.
If a particular bit of conduct would be a poor idea if everyone were to do it, that's a pretty good idea it shouldn't be allowed at all.
One example, on iOS WebKit if you flick to scroll, and then "click" (touch) on the screen while the scroll animation is still running, the click event will report a position on the webpage that was as if the scroll had never happened (e.g. you had clicked on the same place on the screen without having scrolled in the first place).
Here is one key tradeoff I see: the App Store brings more visibility in exchange for a cost. This situation accentuates another downside: plug-pulling for intentional or unintentional reasons.
FWIW, I use plenty of apps not on the app store.
"I called them again and they said they can’t provide more information."
They terminate your account and then they even refuse to tell you why. A basic human thing, a chance to fix the issue, but no. Go f* yourself from Apple and that's it.
It's a matter of perspective. In their eyes, they are being incredibly generous with that deal.
(Just to be clear: It's not that I think they are not important, it's what I perceive as their attitude when things like this happen)
You can fix an app if the platform changes, but you can't put an app on a platform if the platform won't let you.
That said, it's not always that way with them, and I suspect Apple is similar. We always hear about the rough encounters, but few people write about "I just had this issue, and it got cleared up immediately. The end."
With a free Apple developer account you can build an app via Xcode onto your device. These will only be signed for 90 days, but it's something.
Google does the same thing when they kill your AdSense account for "invalid click activity" right before you're about to get a big payout. Amazon does the same thing with Amazon Payments. No explanation, no recourse. Infuriating.
For instance, I went through quite a Kafka-esque nightmare just a few months ago. Something got messed up with our order software so that when we shipped something it wasn't marked as shipped and the tracking info was not uploaded to Amazon for a few days during a busy season. Customers weren't complaining since they were getting their stuff. Amazon sent a warning that our late shipment rate was too high just an hour or so before they sent an notification saying we lost selling privileges. I immediately figured out what went wrong. I got the order software working right again, and I manually marked all the "unshipped"-but-actually-shipped orders as shipped and added the tracking. I wrote to Seller Performance about this, exactly as they instruct you to. I explained what happened, showed them how I fixed it, and explained how we'd ensure it didn't happen again. Their response was simply that our late shipment rate was too high and that my account was suspended as a result. I sent the same info I had sent, and this time included full tracking info for all of the affected orders (and by this time most of them had already been delivered). I received the same response as before. I tried doing their "Contact Us" methods, but no one would respond to my messages or talk to me on the phone, since the account was suspended. All anyone would say is that I need to contact Seller Performance to attempt to get back on. Finally, after several emails to Seller Performance about this, where I basically explained the situation and how I fixed it and how all the supposedly-unshipped orders were actually fine or already delivered, but just phrasing it slightly differently each time, I was unceremoniously let back on, more than a week later. I asked very politely why it took me so many attempts to get back on, even though I just told them the same thing each time, and they said they could not discuss it, and that I may have my account suspended (!) if I contacted them again about this.
So maybe you've had an experience having your account suspended on Amazon that went smoothly, but that's definitely not how it always is.
i'm just guessing here.
After getting frustrated with the absurdity of that situation, I contacted support and they said it was a mistake and they reset my account and to try again. I did. Same errors. Then support told me that if I didn't submit ID documents within a certain number of days, my account would be permanently closed. I responded saying I had been trying to do so repeatedly over multiple periods of time and constantly got locked out and prevented from continuing every time I tried. No reply. Then a final announcement my account was permanently banned.
In the year since, I've contacted them sporadically trying to see if they've changed their policy or will reconsider, and just get blanket statements about my account being closed and nothing they can do. The last time I did this, they got fairly aggressive and said they could not and would not be reinstating my account, would not tell me why, and would not respond to any further inquiries from me.
And we still continue to use their service lika a b*ch we are :( They have no incentive to change, because no one else cares.
Which is, in and of itself, a problem.
It's understandable that the information might not be immediately on hand, but then the correct response would be to direct the caller to someone who can help. Otherwise, yes, it does come off as a big "fuck you".
There really is no analogue to the relationship Apple has with iOS developers except perhaps, "Extremely bad contracting relationship." Apple has a lock on the perception that you need to publish on their platform to be serious about mobile dev. As such, they don't need to treat developers well unless there are very large corporate relationships to maintain (and while I assure you such things are in play, sadly I'd be in very big trouble for getting into specifics on any of them).
Apple's model is to convince developers that they're obligated to prop Apple's platform. It is not the stunning core iOS experience that drives people to the platform, nor the beautiful default app toolkit. It's the sweat and prowess of its developer community, and yet the power of the relationship is completely inverted.
While Google can be a faceless cancelmachine, my experience shipping a few apps now is that Google is actually really responsive once you get to the stage where you have a direct rep. Getting Apple to respond to my needs historically has been Game of Thrones level politics and a function of how connected our startup funding network was.
$100/year says you're wrong.
Any developer who thinks they are a "customer" in any meaningful sense of the word needs to re-read their click-thru contract with Apple. The concept of "customer" is distorted beyond belief here.
Not saying it is ok to do it. Just that business will always pick the cheapest option they can get away with - that is, that does not affect the bottom line.
And you deal with murderers by putting them in prison, which is equally irrelevant because the person in question is neither.
Saying something about some other company does not in any way justify the questionable actions.
Chocolate and Vanila, Male and Female, Apple and Google. All these things are binary, and are always inversely related to one another.
I see no reason for them to, nor do I expect them to, provide me support for things like GMail, or Hangouts, or their search.
I wish I could pay for my browser, my email and my search...
Sure, we should add add a lot of names to this list: "Try contacting [Apple|Google|EBay|PayPal|AmazonAws|.*] about anything."
It’s not just apps, either. There is frequently a “less disruptive” option for any major action; for instance, you can “delete” files by starting with the instantly-reversible "chmod 000", and after some period of time you actually go ahead and "rm -Rf". If, in between, a panicked user E-mails you back and says they really needed those files, you undo your "chmod" and instantly fix the issue. Why should anything on the App Store take days?
Class actions suits have to show damages, no? After the money is refunded, what would the plaintiffs allege?
And certainly when fraud is detected some refunds will occur. So they set the tolerances such that they can pay those refunds with the fees they extract on the other side of the curve.
You'd be amazed at what a few billion in the bank will attract, especially when it's cheaper to settle than litigate.
First of all, if it's actually fraud that totally doesn't scale.
But in a more nuanced case, look at the iMessage App that allowed people to send images that looked like a stock Messages blue bubble. Good idea for humor, not so good for non-trolling UX. Apple pulls it but gives the developer a week to see if there's any way to salvage the situation to ease the heartstrings and pocketbook.
IMMEDIATELY calls go out to download the infringing app, several thousand more than anyone who might otherwise (full Streisand effect)...
Then imagine that app actually has Malware! Lots to think about, and if people hate on Apple for this, fair enough — as an iOS dev it's tough to defend. Really love Dash. Hope it gets straightened out. 8 years in on the platform and you can do a ton of things you couldn't do back in 08, and vice versa.
There are certainly a lot of issues with the app store model. But using a service like download.com was also rife with issues.
Anyone who argues that all users must be herded into a walled garden in the name of security and alternatives are not acceptable is essentially advocating a digital nanny state.
That is the herpes of the Linux world. That is one of the worse things that someone can suggest to install something.
Is it a bad idea? Maybe, especially if you're not technically versed. Does that mean we should take everyone's freedom to make their own choices. "because we know what's best for you"? I don't think so.
I believe that most non-technical users are self-aware enough that they stick to curated app-stores of their own volition.
They didn't, though; they just muddled through and asked their friends or some tech support service to reinstall Windows occasionally, when the viruses, adware and other crap made the computer too slow, or when the ramsomware encrypted all their files.
a) Educate users and give them more knowledge and better tools to easily protect themselves
b) Have app-stores organized in such a way that user interests and legitimate security concerns are not conflated with commercial interests of the platform owners as it's currently the case. Either treat app stores as a public utility with rights and regulations or require all devices to support competing stores.
Google Play is full of crap, Apple's app store has plenty of low value apps, the Windows 10 App store sucks, etc, etc, etc.
They've improved user security, but the amount of garbage to sift through is terrible.
And companies, individuals, non-profits, and others are all allowed to run their own repos, or mirror these.
Similar approaches to the apple app store vs. android store... up front binary check from apple vs. a permissive store with user reports being the primary thing that pulls apps from circulation.
From my POV, it's like complaining that the seat belt left a bruise after an automotive collision; IOW, missing the bigger picture. I can sort my own garbage, thanks (and that's not to say that you're not right about the quality in app stores). It's easy, and if I screw it up then I've just got a garbage binary taking up space that is otherwise harmless.
But what I grow increasingly tired of is wondering if bad actors have found new ways to make my life difficult before I install that random app. Download from an app store, the app might be garbage, but at least I can be confident that it won't trash my machine. Servers, my dev machine? Sure, I'm willing to put up with a little more rigamorole for more control, etc. But my phone? I don't want to put up with that crap, vetting everything binary that goes on the box. I just want to tap and download, and if the quality of the app sucks, then fixing that is a long-press away.
That second problem remains unsolved (crap apps blasted into the stores just to show ads fit my definition of abusive advertising).
Also, still the best implementation.
This developer's woes are nothing compared to the challenges to getting shrink-wrapped software in boxes, getting people to download and install an executable, or god forbid getting a mobile app onto one of the mobile carrier's app stores,
Happened 30 years ago with Nintendo.
If the walled gardens charge 50% on top of the manufacturer's price (or 33% what the customer pays), there is plenty of room to undercut there.
For most people, that's probably the walled gardens that people not on HN don't complain about.
How many of us have set up a clueless person's computer? We give them a restricted user account, so they can't install 500 random spyware/adware toolbars. We change the IE/Edge shortcut to open Firefox instead. We install ad-blockers and script-blockers with an overly generous whitelist. Maybe we even install Linux with remote admin, and automatic updates, and just slap on a wm that looks vaguely like Windows. Their expert is us, or people like us, and our services are not always bought with spendable currency.
I don't always enjoy being that expert, or getting paid for it in cookies and ugly sweaters. And in that situation, the walled garden is great. We can all roll our clueless friends up in carpets and dump them over the wall, where they can stumble around all day without getting hurt.
But some people can actually make a business out of it. They do exist. And some of them won't shamelessly price-gouge their clueless customers.
Apple's arrogance in running their store may eventually cause it's decline.
Wait, you're actually saying that the richest business entity on the world can't be expected to employ people that use their brain and do a bit of fact checking on outlying cases?
Silly decisions like banning dictionaries for including swear words only seem to confirm it. The rules matter, not the judgement.
Of course, for iOS, this also means "you can't write apps for our platform."
That is quite right, and they don't get upset at all. Apple don't pretend to compete in every market for every niche and have no interest in doing so. If the Apple way doesn't suit you, they'll quite happily wave you goodbye as you move to Android or elsewhere.
Yet other, semi-related consumer apps have this data.
In fact other apps in the store assist with the purchase/sale of these regulated items. A clear violation of Apple policy.
I'm not so mad about being blocked. I'm really mad about the inconsistent/random application of said policy.
Other apps either do the same thing or are less obvious about what their functionality is for, and Apple ignores it or is unaware or turns a blind eye.
edoceo thought an app which documents compliance with State law (and documents non-compliance with Federal law) should be allowed in the app store. Apple didn't.
To avoid these problems, don't sell on the App Store, it's as simple as that (and very sad). Apple's processes suck and Apple doesn't care, as it has had year to fix things, but hasn't. Complaining won't change it. People have complained, and it didn't change.
As someone who comes here every day, I don't think tens (or even ones) of this type of story hits the frontpage every day. I'm not saying it's not a problem, though.
At least as this is software for developers, I reckon most won't mind buying it outside the appstore, it sounds really useful.
It works quite well for me.
I like to think this is a foulup and will be fixed soon. However, XCode 8's help system is massively improved and this might be a case of Apple trying to force developers down that route. Which is a bloody shame. I really hope this is just some screwup :(
Like code signing. Or the encrypt-then-compress DRM adding many MB to binary sizes. Or code signing causing pre-main startup times to bloat. Etc, etc.
Developers will continue using and supporting Apple products regardless. We hear a story like this at least three or four times a year.
Geeks love their Apple products far too much to ever walk away no matter what Apple does.