Thanks for touching my junk. I love you guys. No, not for the touching (though sometimes...). What I really love is how your pointless security theatre makes me feel safe and secure.
And your swiftly growing and unnecessary bureaucracy is only getting faster. Not like last year when you made me miss Christmas with my family, or that time a business deal fell through because you wouldn't let me on the plane or tell me why. Now your line of junk touchers is really humming and I'm barely there for an hour or so. What a smooth operation, my hat's off to you.
After all, I make money from flying and it's all down to you guys. Not the pilot, or the air-traffic controller, or the baggage handlers or engineers or stewardesses. No, it's all down to you guys and I salute you. And if my taxes are paying for this meaningless charade, all the better.
It's not like there is any alternative. I've read about other countries where they don't touch your junk and let you bring your own peanuts without a surcharge on the official news sources and it seems like planes are just falling out of the sky left, right and centre because someone didn't get their junk touched or peanuts confiscated. I'm so glad I don't have to put up with that.
God bless Apple, sorry..., America!
1. It's capricious.
2. It doesn't catch actual bugs, and then you have to wait to fix them.
3. Apple doesn't engage you easily on questions of whether something or another will result in rejection.
4. Apple changes the rules and block random releases, without communicating rules changes until they reject you.
5. Apple makes it harder to plan marketing campaigns.
I haven't had a new app rejected in probably over a year, and only rarely have they blocked one of my releases, but every time it sucks, and I don't know why they bother.
I think there may be merits in the arguments made for third party app repositories for iOS but I believe that there is some value, real or imagined in knowing that an application has the stamp of approval of the company that created the platform.
Apple aren't your QA team.
It is certainly true that some QA is better than no QA. Even professional QA's miss some stuff.
While they do try to ascertain that your app does what you claim it does, they are not there to test your logic.
Also, I think if this app-review process is not beneficial to users, I dont think they would have started this in the first place. Sure, it is an issue to thousands of developers, but it is beneficial to millions of users.
Business related motives could be a big reason as well. But, who is not?
They are the spoiled generation of iOS developers. :)
I enjoyed your comment, but I'm just warning everybody else that don't have to feel the need to comment on it.
That said, it seems to me like this isn't just app discoverability and trust -- having your apple id and CC# already setup from day one for most users seem more likely to be the cause. Here's a discussion on Quora about it: http://qr.ae/kY5p
Secondly, there is a TONNE of copying going on from what I can tell. Dozens of clones of the same games and apps pop up all the time, and while there is no blatant copyright theft, there is still some level of IP theft. Not only that, Apple completely rejects apps when they want to monopolize a particular segment (see: Sony eBooks bannage).
Finally, the reason why it's "getting better", is because Apple has been doing this for years now. Not only that, I'm sure they've streamlined their processes, and hired boatloads of extra reviewers.
I'm tired of seeing marco.org posts skyrocketing to the front page. He's a serious Apple fanboy who, most of the time, provides no real content to the HN community.
However, ironically enough a big app we've been working on was rejected last week due to this violation: "4.3 Apps that use location-based APIs for dispatch, fleet management, or emergency services will be rejected."
I've had absolutely no luck contacting anyone within Apple for more information. Last week we also field tested this app with major government emergency response services (ems, police, fire, etc.) within Texas with both success and enthusiasm that a product like ours is coming to market. It's unfortunate seeing that Mr. Jobs recently took a medical leave of absence. Not that he needs it, but an American studying abroad sure might.
I can just imagine what the liabilities for Apple would be on that one. Somehow I think they'll be quite content to avoid it by simply not allowing any emergency service apps in the App Store.
The liability argument is weak, though Apple may have made the case itself by its stringency with the App Store. Now one could say that there was a reasonable expectation nothing he/she could get from the App Store could cause a problem in his/her life because Apple publicly embarked on a vetting process before offering the app for sale.
edit: oops, my mistake. Thanks Xuzz.
- Taxi Magic (Taxi dispatch app)
- Uber (Black Car dispatch app)
- Fire Department (notifies neighbors abt CPR emergencies)
>>> THE APPLE SOFTWARE IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE IN THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS, LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES OR OTHER EQUIPMENT IN WHICH THE FAILURE OF THE APPLE SOFTWARE COULD LEAD TO DEATH, PERSONAL INJURY, OR SEVERE PHYSICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE. <<<
The very existence of Malware has shown that the software business has been broken for years. The more non-technical people bought and used computers the worse it got. The cry of most developers has been that the users are stupid and lazy - "they should simply stop clicking it!"
You could argue that developers have been proven to be untrustworthy and unhelpful and deserve what they got.
The App Store exists because it was needed. It's phenomenal success shows that Apple were right and have gone a long way towards solving the real problems of selling safe software.
We developers need to just take the medicine and stop moaning. It was a long-time coming and it isn't going away.
By bitching we are still serving an injustice to our users. We may not need an App Store - but they do.
I've had good and bad experiences, and really no complaints save being pushed to the back of the queue upon rejection, but I do fantasize about creating web apps and being in control of my own release cycle.
Google certainly has lawyers, and the (former) try-before-you-buy policy was a much more direct answer to fraud and chargeback than stringent app review. As to reputation, the Android store's poor rep is more due to the absence of particular good apps (or the difficulty finding them) than the presence of crud (which Apple's store has in abundance) --- and I don't think you can credit the review process with attracting good developers. Most of them hate it.
It's also funny that he doesn't mention the one thing that the review process does do for end users --- it makes sure that apps conform to Apple's UI guidelines. They can be obnoxious about this, as in the flat rejection of camera apps that use the volume buttons as shutter controls, but the consistency is probably a net win for users overall. Though for Android, manufacturer reskinning is probably a bigger problem.
But it's been used in directly anticompetitive ways (the Google Voice holdup, which let to an FCC investigation; the current Sony reader payments flap) that it's really hard to deny that that's one of the points of the exercise from Apple's perspective. And fanboy rationales which ignore that awkward fact are getting really tedious.
What impresses me the most, though, is the payment system, which he mentions. I don't mind Apple taking a 30% cut of my sales, because they are not just taking care of all the merchant details (e.g. payment processing), but they are giving consumers confidence that they aren't throwing money into the void. Furthermore, the one time I've had a problem with a payment on iTunes, I was reimbursed for the problem, and got my download for free.
What more can end users ask for?
imo Marco is mistaken in his assumption that approved apps are always less crappy than rejected apps.
The "crappiest iPhone app" that was approved is likely to be worse than many rejected apps.
It's like saying that the the shortest child to ride a roller-coaster is shorter than the tallest child to get refused.
There is always a fuzzy edge in these situations.
Sure there is. It's their store and they do whatever they want. Not sure how does that involve ignoring the reality of the world surrounding it, but Apples seems to do quite well regardless.
The App Store wasn't created and isn't curated for the benefit of developers - it's all about users: non-technical users who want to use their devices safely and who would blame Apple the moment a 3rd-party app caused a problem.
Many of the apps Marco writes off as "crap" could easily fall into this category. Yes, it is true that the Android market is filled with "Sexy girls" wallpapers, but there certainly appears to be an audience.
That said, I'd be much more supportive of the App Store if they simply provided another way to get apps for those who standards aren't 100% congruent with Apple's.
If there is something that sucked, sucks, and will probably suck is the Apple app submission process and review process. It's not easy to get this right, as the approval rules are the kind of rules that are very hard to apply in a consistent way in large scale. This can be a partial justification maybe, but the whole process is slow, prone to make mistakes, company-biased (think at Google Latitude and so forth) and in general a pain in the ass for the developers. Note exactly something to Ode.
>So we have a huge number of potential customers who are very comfortable installing a lot of apps and can buy ours by simply entering a password.
And Android doesn't even need that. Nnow anyone can instantly remote install an app from the convenience of their browser. I think even that beats the iTunes value proposition of having a desktop presence.
Android sandboxes far better than iOS. It has a more granular, integrated security system.
The existence of "anti-virus" and task killers speaks more about customer ignorance and the placebo effect than it does to the platform.
I think the App Store review process is actually dangerous because it implies something that isn't true. Apple makes zero guarantees about the quality of safety of the applications.
I find it funny, that image, as if some random bloggers "indictment" should motivate Google to action. They're handling it just as they handle Youtube, and I think it's brilliant. If you see your material in the Market, file a DMCA. Problem solved.
Yes, customers ignore permission warnings, but again, that's an unrelated issue, and surely you're not suggesting that Apple's lack of a permission list is better simply because users sometimes ignore it when offered.
In terms of security, both from a disclosure, per-permission level granting and sandboxing perspecitve, Android has a superior model.
However I actually think there is a perfect medium somewhere in the middle: Granular permissions that allow for curation by an optional third party. That would be an ideal situation for the market, where Grandma or Joe User can select from a number of curation sources (or punching it in directly) where reviewers rate by quality, assess if the permissions are appropriate, etc.
An important point, considering "flashlight" apps that managed to sneak in SOCKS proxies. No doubt more nefarious things would be difficult to do as a non-super user, but it does seem a false assumption to trust App Store apps implicitly.
You can limit what the app has access to, and Apple and Google do this.
By regulating the process - and the payment - Apple is able to instantly remove an app as soon as it is found to be malicious and refund anyone who paid for it out of the developers pocket.
For comparison, the Mozilla Addons review process requires you to provide them a copy of the (unobfuscated) source code. You always have the option of self-hosting, of course.
The app store review process as it currently stands is worthless, useless and meaningless.