Wanted to submit an app for Verizon on the Get-It-Now shop? You're looking at spending 10,000$ in testing fees. Fail testing? You pay again.
By all means, lets keep up with the griping. The more Apple is forced to bow to the teeming masses, the better the other marketplaces have to treat us to keep up.
If you're coming from a web software background -- or even a desktop software background -- the App store will increase the length your development cycle by one or two orders of magnitude.
The iPhone brought new developers to the mobile field and they have higher expectations than people who have been working with carriers for the last five years.
In the long run, developers will go where the expected payout is the highest. For now that's the iPhone, but the App Store is a big weakness.
Only if you need to develop a native app. You can develop highly functional Web apps specifically for the iPhone that work through Safari. Hardly ideal, of course, in terms of not being in the catalog everyone's looking at.. but totally doable.
Apple even keeps a directory of them: http://www.apple.com/webapps/
On most smartphones, while there's a high bar to pass to get into the official "app store" for that phone or service, nobody is stopping you from selling an app outside that store. As such, Apple's review process is not merely a review process for a store, but also serves as a review process for all applications that a user can install on the phone.
It's the difference between a lengthy review process for selling a game on Steam (reasonable) and a review process for selling a game that a user can install on Windows (not reasonable).
I'm not, by any means, saying that Apple's review process is reasonable, acceptable, or fair. I am, however, saying that, hands down, it's better than every other mobile application market out there.
Either way, I'm all for a more open approval process.
It's an awfully far-fetched assumption to think that users wouldn't download apps outside of the app store if that were an option. People download windows/mac apps all the time.
1) Share your unique device identifier with the developer.
2) The developer registers that device ID with Apple. Only 100 devices per developer may be registered in one year.
3) Apple signs a signing certificate which includes that device ID.
4) The developer signs the application binary with their private key and includes the Apple-signed certificate with the binary.
This is absolutely not useful for anything other than beta testing.
As to your other points, sign up for the Enterprise program.
I can get out and push my car, but that doesn't make it a hybrid.
The enterprise program does not allow for external distribution and is not useful (or even permitted) outside of large enterprise organizations.
I'm sure you can work around this somehow, but this isn't really the same as allowing unlimited and free distribution.
Yes, if you wanted to J2ME software for mobile phones you had a hell of a time. I'm sure you griped about that too and maybe somebody like Apple actually heard your griping and decided they could do it better.
10000 apps is no-one?
Using the App Store/Android Market as a selling point for either platform demonstrates a disconnect from reality and little more.
So I'd say the app market can make a difference for some people.
Of course after their recent data-loss incident it's not that great of a developer platform, but up until then it was a better experience than the iPhone. Fewer eyeballs in the download catalog but also only a handful of developers, each of whom was always willing to help out another. Unlike the App Store with its 1000+ (10 000+?) developers out to make it rich quick.
Anyway the main problem it seems is a lot of desktop developers come to the mobile platform expecting the same process, this is wrong.
I think time will tell how this discussion will come out. People have been discounting Android since it was announced, but you get a seriously good user experience from the start, and the idea of fast iteration, which is what really drives software today, is very much a reality.
I think the point about having to rewrite android apps for different devices has been discounted elsewhere.
And are you serious about If Apple is pissing off developers, I personally think this is great.?
Your app's user experience, not Apple's. If there were apps critical to the iPhone experience, this would be a problem. At this point, I don't think that anyone is going to switch phones because of the quality of 3rd party apps.
> Thirdly, it has the tone of "if you don't like it, leave"
Well... Apple is going to do whatever they want. You can yell into the wind, or your can do something constructive.
> And are you serious about If Apple is pissing off developers, I personally think this is great.?
Yes, I am. Kind of. We're all quietly building Apple's Empire of Mobile... stirring up the devs might cause them to create a viable alternative.
> You pounded your fists because Apple didn't have a "real" SDK, so Apple created one.
> Then you pounded your fists because the approval process is too slow, so Apple hired a bunch of noobs.
Success! (sort of)
> Now you're pounding your fists because the newbies aren't consistent in their execution.
If you don't ask for anything, you're not going to get it. Why does this author think keeping silent is a virtue? That is just stupid. The griping can't hurt the situation, it can only help it.
So its a bit like scaling a poorly written web app... you can throw money for a while, but you're only going to get so far. I contend that we have gone as far as whining will get us, now its time for something different.
As a G1 owner I definitely sympathize. I'm secretly relieved that AT&T sucks enough to make my Android purchase palatable.
As an off-again on-again customer since the II, that's clearly never been the case. Assuming anyone can know what 'the best' is (apart from measurable technical performance). Every piece of Apple hardware I've owned/operated was measurably not the best. Including the $400 'super' floppy drive they were using to filter the air. If Jobs decides you don't need a serial port any more, it doesn't matter how many thousands you've got invested in serial gear.
Since the Mac advent, Apple is about proprietary everything. That's what they're 'best' at: they're control freaks. It's like joining the DAR. You had to join a club to program their computers.
If you don't like the Game, don't play. There are other options than being a dedicated follower of fashion.
I did get an iMac in 2005 which had a HD that went flaky in 6 months, and a display which developed (after about a year of use ...for thousands of users) a rash of colorful vertical lines which slowly took over a big chunk of the screen ... a problem which Apple resolutely avoided addressing.
The proprietary nature of Apple (like iPhone's battery) became self-evident to me as a result of two decades' experience. (Maybe you haven't done much hardware-level programming? Try to implement any MIDI before Doug got on board?) From a distance I don't see any reason to think things are different from when I was much closer. I'm staying away.
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This is a chicken-and-egg problem. The reason I don't write huge, complex apps is because I'm not willing to sink time into them if I don't know they'll pass review. I'm willing to waste, maybe, a week's worth of work, tops.
If you feel that you can make an SMS app better than Apple's, I hear that the Android API lets you do that. If more people did this, and their apps were that good, the open platform would be popular.
The App Store is like C++: everybody uses a different 20%. Apart from games (which the author acknowledges as a whole separate category), users use different apps. Consider Omnifocus, Timely, LogMeIn. None of these will make anyone a millionaire, but you may pry them from my cold, dead hands. Everyone has a shortlist of apps they use on a daily basis, and they're all different. But that's in no way a sign of an unhealthy market.
If there was a "killer app" with mass-market appeal, Apple would either buy it or clone it. The App Store, by definition, is the long tail of the device. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that.
Thanks okay, I can always change my blog title. You can change it back now.