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June 1, 2010


Sentence first — verdict afterwards

by shiftyjelly

UPDATE 2 Jun 2010: Seems while Australia was sleeping a gazillion people read our little post, so allow me to clarify a few things
– My Frame still appears to be in the App Store. No this wasn’t a marketing stunt, Apple really did tell us they were pulling it. Whether they changed their mind or are still going to I have no idea, never had an app pulled before.

– I should have been clearer about why I thought Android was not suitable: because they don’t allow Australian Developers to sell paid apps in their store. I wasn’t making a comment on the Android or OS or people that use it. Yes that’s cool, but it’s a lot of extra little steps.

– I have disabled commenting on this post, sorry but I don’t have the time or will to moderate all the comments that came flooding in. I’m not against free speech but I got sick of finding the good comments while wading through the ‘die die die, you deserve to’ ones.

Anyway, as you were

A month ago I wrote a blog post about how Apple were not actually evil, because I was getting sick of all the media hype and bashing that was going on. Little did I know that a month later that blog post would come back and smack me in the face. Just yesterday the company that I work for (Groundhog Software) got a phone call from Apple, telling us that our photo frame application for the iPad My Frame was to be removed from the Apple App Store. They refused to be pinned down to an exact reason, simply stating that they were doing a cull of any applications that presented widgets to the user. All the guy on the phone would say is how much he liked our application, and how sorry he was, but there was nothing he could do. All we got out of him was that Apple no longer liked ‘widgets’ and wanted all widget apps removed. They refused to say what (if anything) we could remove from our application, or even who we could discuss this with. Allow me to quote something I said a month ago:

I don’t think there’s that much that is ‘murky’ about their approval process, every time our apps have been rejected it has been for a reason that is documented in either an interface guidelines document, or some other part of their documentation. In my experience (and that’s all I can comment on) it’s extremely well documented as to what you can and can’t do.

Well now my experience is different. Our application is being removed for a very murky reason, one which is nowhere to be found in any documentation that Apple give us developers, even worse one which Apple themselves refuse to explain, or put in writing. Reminds me a little of Alice in Wonderland:

I think I should understand that better, if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.

I really do get the impression that the guy we were talking to on the phone was being as evasive as he could, even though he didn’t want to be, because he was terrified of giving us any more information than he had to. It’s fair to say I was angry at that point. Why wouldn’t I be: I had convinced my company to take a gamble and make some apps for Apple’s Store. Tennis Stats had been a great success and we wanted to get on the iPad train with My Frame. Things were going well, new features were being planned money, real money was being invested. Then Apple pulled the pin, so I emailed Steve Jobs himself:

Hi Steve,
Just got a phone call from Apple letting us know that our iPad app ‘My Frame’ is being removed from the store. Apparently Apple is cracking down on ‘widgety’ type apps. Our app is a beautiful photo frame with a few nice things you can put over your photos. It’s not ugly, or even widgety.
What gives? I’ve always defended you guys in the past, but it seems like you’ve crossed an invisible line here, even the guy on the phone was saying how much he likes our application but that there’s nothing he can do?

I have no idea what possessed me to do that, nor did I expect a response, but I got one:

We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops.  Sorry.

Sent from my iPad

So I sent one final response, feeling both angry at Apple, and conscsious that if Steve really answers his own emails I was wasting his time:

Understand, but don’t agree…besides all of which our application (My Frame) is a photo frame, not a desktop environment. Your people won’t even tell us what we need to remove to get approved, they are just kicking us out. Put yourself in our shoes.

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 then 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, and that really stinks. Badly. Very badly. Apple is the angry queen from Alice in Wonderland, screaming “Off with her head!” and we have little recourse but to watch their pack of card minions execute those orders.

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  1. Jun 1 2010

    I feel your pain – hopefully the fact that Jobs did answer himself means that some more clarity (and workaround) might come to light soon

  2. Wow, great post. My friend is thinking about making apps for the iPad (after he made some for the iPhone) but this might completely change his mind. I just hope Apple will get it together and stop being the “school ground bully”.

  3. David
    Jun 1 2010

    Thank you for posting this. It is very worrisome that Apple can just, on a whim, change what they like. Why indeed will companies invest real money on something that can be blown away by the breeze that is Steve? Bah humbug to Apple and their ridiculous policies.

  4. Roger E
    Jun 1 2010

    Well, it’s still up on UK app store so I grabbed a copy. Don’t get Apple’s point of view at all. Outrageously unfair. If they’re going to pull crap like this they should offer a review at the design stage so devs don’t waste effort.

  5. Jun 1 2010

    I think you are missing the bigger picture here. Remember when Apple cracked down on Podcast downloaders? It was because they themselves were introducing this very feature in iTunes.

    It would surmise to think Apple is now bringing “widgets” to their dashboard in the near future, and that they are pre-empting any apps conflicting with the “duplicate functionality” clause.

    This does not mean that there isn’t a future for My Frame, it just means you’ll have to wait for Apple’s implementation of widgets before resubmitting it and Apple to acknowledge that this isn’t a breach. Unless they are actually implementing a system wide API for widgets which would be even more interesting.

  6. Jun 1 2010

    Utterly shocked and Appled, I mean appalled – what on earth is the man thinking. I’m long fan of Apple and my patience with this behaviour is running thin and the excuses are running low.

    We need a way of selling HTML5 apps to at least in some small way counteract this app store madness.

  7. Jun 1 2010

    @Erik as far as I’m aware there is no ‘duplicate functionality’ clause. Apple ended up letting that podcasting app into the store (it was rubbish btw). And even if Apple did implement the dashboard, how would that even be remotely like My Frame?

    I really have no guess whatsoever into what Apple is thinking, but I get the impression that My Frame was simple caught up in the politics, since it’s not really a widget framework, it’s a photo frame with a few overlays.

  8. Jun 1 2010

    @shiftyjelly There is a “duplicate functionality” clause, which stopped early web browsers, e-mail clients and podcast directories (even before the iTunes podcast directory was implemented, which is why I think your case might be a definitive pointer to Apple implementing any widget framework of their own).

    I am guessing Apple is pre-empting anything that might be deemed “confusing duplicity” of their forthcoming implementation, and that they then will relax the standards later on. Just as they did with the crappy podcast directory app.

  9. Jun 1 2010

    With all the fart apps and other useless apps in the app store it just stuns me that they refuse or discontinue the usefull and creative apps. I hope Apple will work it out with you.

  10. appleH8r
    Jun 1 2010

    I hope apple dies a painful death tbh…

  11. Curt
    Jun 1 2010

    I was with you till: “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.”

    In summary

  12. Jun 1 2010

    @Curt I was speaking as a developer, not a consumer. As a consumer the Android marketplace might be great. As a developer Google doesn’t even allow Australian Developers to sell paid apps, so yes, it ain’t no alternative 😉

    @appleH8r relax, it’s not life and death, it’s just annoying

    @everyoneelse thanks for all your kind words of support!

  13. Jun 1 2010

    “THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

  14. Jun 1 2010

    @curt Your argument is an xkcd comic you think refutes the original point. Sir, I award you -100 internets.

  15. Jun 1 2010

    Did they put it back? It’s still in the US store — I just bought a copy.

  16. Jun 1 2010

    I have to say @curt that was darn funny …. I award you a further 50 internets and a 20 kudos bonus level.

  17. Jun 1 2010

    Wow comment moderation, now here’s a new thing for our blog. Be nice peoples 😉

    @Eric they haven’t pulled it yet, which is very strange. They rang us yesterday and said they would, and that there was no recourse for us, but once they did they’d send us a formal email. Perhaps they are getting cold feet? Now I wish they hadn’t called, because this seems like the most amazing PR stunt ever…to bad it’s not 😦

  18. Jun 1 2010

    “THEY CAME FIRST for the phone app developers,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a phone app developer.
    THEN THEY CAME for the flash developer,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a flash developer.
    THEN THEY CAME for the desktop style app developers,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a desktop style app developer.
    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    Yep Godwin was right :'s_law

  19. Jun 1 2010

    I just purchased a copy (just in case) – nice looking app by the way, so if it had been a marketing stunt it would have worked 😉

  20. dfggfdgdf
    Jun 1 2010

    “We need a way of selling HTML5 apps to at least in some small way counteract this app store madness.”
    How did you sell things before the App Store…

    I can understand why apple is doing it, the mock desktop multitasking simulators on iPad were getting ridiculous, just nerds trying to get it to be something it isn’t and was never meant to be. Your app is collateral damage but at least they’re being consistent

  21. Jun 1 2010

    @dfggfdgdf you think they are being consistent by enforcing an unwritten rule that no one knows about because a few developers took something too far? That should be what the app store is for, if no one likes your app, no one buys it and those that do give it bad reviews, then you go to the bottom of the pile never to be seen again. On the other hand if it’s popular and people like it it shouldn’t matter if it’s widget based or a fart app, give the people what they want!

  22. Jun 1 2010

    “How did you sell things before the App Store…”

    With difficulty – Apple allows micropayments in such a way that people will spend $1 on an app, did you do that before?

  23. Jun 1 2010

    Give the people what they want indeed. Let developers create this need, and Apple fill it with a better solution.

    Does this suck for developers? Sure, but they are welcome to try and one up Apple again and again…

  24. Jun 1 2010

    Sorry to hear of your dilemma. You really couldn’t see this coming?

    Didn’t feel in your gut anything wrong with Apple’s control over access to apps? Never looked at great apps in the Cydia store and marveled as to why any sane company would ban such wonderful apps? Why didn’t your spidey senses tingle when Apple selectively banned comic & bikini apps? When Apple suddenly cut out all the Flash, Mono, Unity guys you didn’t feel any remorse or concern? When we saw Apple copy Cydia app ideas didn’t you scratch your head?


  25. Jun 1 2010

    @leef I’ve been involved in the App Store since day one where there was a few hundred apps. I’ve seen the bikini apps removed, I’ve seen the spam apps removed, and each and every time it has made perfect sense to me. This time is different though. Not wanting ‘desktop’ apps in your store is a vague term, which means nothing. It’s no longer about spam or bikinis it’s about some nebulus concept for which you can’t make a business case for not wanting in your store.

    There’s no way in a million years anyone could have seen that coming. Who do ‘desktop’ apps offend? Are they spam? What is the reason they should be removed, what even makes for a ‘desktop’ app? I have some very respectable friends in the development community (like Bjango of iStat & Consume fame) who were themselves working on app that would have fallen fowl of this new hidden rule. They didn’t see it coming either, because it shouldn’t be there, and I think Apple will surely come to their senses on this one.

    I should point out in fairness that there are still plenty of apps built in Unity in the store (new and old), I think people wrongly thing that section 3.3.1 applies to them, it doesn’t seem to, unless I’m missing something?

  26. Jun 1 2010

    Yeah I also think you’re downplaying Android. The appstore lacks a non-device UI like iTunes, but thats coming with superior OTA capabilities in due time. Otherwise the appstores face the same overcrowded issues and are generally not appealing ways of finding apps. As far as the device OS UX, I’m hooked after 3 years of iPhone use, and the few times Ive gone back to iPhone to test HTML5 sites the iPhone OS felt unbearable to use, like a kids toy really. And my spouse who’s not a tech having the same experience. Her iPhone is now just an iPod with music playlists.

  27. Jun 2 2010

    I think you missed my key point on Android:
    “I was speaking as a developer, not a consumer. As a consumer the Android marketplace might be great. As a developer Google doesn’t even allow Australian Developers to sell paid apps, so yes, it ain’t no alternative for us ;)”

    So as a developer I think the Android store is in no way an alternative (how can it be if I’m not allowed to sell paid apps), but I’m sure as a consumer the Android OS and store is loved by many.

  28. Jun 2 2010

    Well, let’s hope Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 will have a more mature policy.

  29. Jun 2 2010

    “I should point out in fairness that there are still plenty of apps built in Unity in the store (new and old), I think people wrongly thing that section 3.3.1 applies to them, it doesn’t seem to, unless I’m missing something?”

    You are missing something. 3.3.1 absolutely applies to Unity – and MonoTouch, and others. But Apple selectively applies the rules – or in you case, just makes sh*t up – as they own the game, and there fore can dump on anyone they like, when they like, for any or no reason.

  30. Jun 2 2010

    Its a desktop Russel, sorry about that. Maybe if you show only the picture it get aproved.

  31. Shock Me
    Jun 2 2010

    Playing around the utility area with Apple has always been rather risky. Just ask the folks at Unsanity. I suspect this was preemptive and that this app would have been preempted by new OS functionality anyway. Shame though. Would totally have downloaded it as a protest.

  32. Shock Me
    Jun 2 2010

    Ahhh good it is still available on the US appstore. Not bad. Needs a better way to select the background photo. The only displayed option is delete. Still very nice and feature rich.

  33. Jun 2 2010

    I am quite surprised that apple has not come out with a specific set of platform rules that do not need interpretation, or have any ambiguous indications that set forth exactly what is not allowed (prohibited). If they came out with that it would put a stop to the somewhat multi-dimensional way that an app is fine one day and not acceptable the next. Is it just Steve making these arbitrary decisions one day when he feels surly, or do they have sound reasons for making these unpublished culls of the app store? Between this and the Adobe thing apple is sound more and more paranoid in how companies can participate in the magic kingdom. This method not only discourages participation, but limits the freedom of application choices for users. As with any utopia, the perfect appearance of everything is bearable for only so long, before you understand the the illusion of perfection is in itself a flaw.

  34. Sted
    Jun 2 2010

    I don’t know. I certainly do not agree with all those restrictions but, I must say, I had the suspect that this kind of applications were in danger. I thought about this because I was in the process to create an application like yours.
    Anyway, just bought it.

  35. Jun 2 2010

    still in the us app store – purchased.

  36. BrentG
    Jun 2 2010

    I don’t agree with what Apple did, but looking at your app, I’m not really surprised. You’re in the right, but you’ve put yourself in the position of having to fight to see justice served.

    MyFrame looks like a sort of desktop, a multi-feature application composed of small, unrelated components that basically puts a new skin over Springboard environment, replacing multiple separate applications. Obviously that was the intention. I can see why it’s being called a “dashboard”, and I can also see why Apple wouldn’t like it.

    Still, Apple is being too controlling. They are very jealous of their control over the perceived “user experience”. Personally, I think trying to control the experience at all is a bad thing. Just give people the tools they need, and stop trying to manipulate them.

  37. Jun 2 2010

    I don’t know why anyone expects better from Steve Jobs or Apple. This is just how they work. The best thing you can do now is start talking to companies that are making Android and Win7 tablets. I’m sure one of them would love an exclusive with an app that Apple won’t permit.

  38. Jun 2 2010

    Don’t worry. Some other blind Apple zealot will be along to tell you you’re incorrect, in public, without basis soon, and then all the other fans can feel good about how what’s going on isn’t actually going on.

    Before you refuse to post this comment, or argue with me, consider how many people already had much uglier stories than you, and how you denied them because you were tired of hearing the truth.

    Sad, really. You guys can’t see what you’re buying into as exactly what you had previously been cultured by Apple to hate, as a fiction, in Microsoft.

    I bet you’ve left your other application on their store, too.

  39. Vernon
    Jun 2 2010

    I have to say I don’t feel a whole lot of sympathy for you. In my opinion, you’re still right in your original post in that Apple is not evil. However, you were misguided when you did not realize that Apple exercises control over its platforms in a capricious manner – this is obvious given Apple’s track record and although this may sound harsh, it’s your own fault if you didn’t see this coming.

    It’s Apple’s platform, they want to limit what’s on it for whatever reason or lack thereof, you should have your eyes wide open when you walk into this situation. So, not evil – it just is what it is.

  40. Jun 2 2010

    It actually is a desktop-type app.
    It’s back in the US App Store.
    It’s pretty nifty.

  41. Jun 2 2010

    Really sorry to hear about your plight.

    Regarding Android, you don’t have to be listed in the Android Market to sell Android apps. You can set up a website and use a payment service (like for normal desktop software). Users can then download the app onto their Android phone. Not as nice for developers as the iTunes Store, but it’s a solvable problem.

  42. Marc
    Jun 2 2010

    Yup. This is no way to earn a living. One day Steve Jobs he doesn’t like apps that look like yours and POOF!…thousands of your hard work are flushed down the toilet. No remedy. No recourse. You’re just shit out of luck.

  43. Jun 2 2010

    …aaaaaand I just bought it. Just in case it goes away again.

  44. Kevin
    Jun 2 2010

    What people need to remember is that Apple puts user experience first. FIRST. That means it comes before everything else. I haven’t tried your app but it looks like it could be confused with the iPad desktop. This creates an inconsistent user interface and might confuse the user.

    Yeah, sometimes it sucks, but attention to detail like this is why Apple products are so good. Do you want a wild west like on Android? It’s a chaotic mess, there’s different interfaces all over the place, porn, crashing apps, etc. No thank you.

  45. Jun 2 2010

    I went and looked at your app, and I 100% get why they removed it. the middle screenshot on the app’s splash page on your site is very similar to a desktop environment. Sorry dude, but I think you just added one too many things to your photo-frame app.

  46. Scott
    Jun 2 2010

    Any questions still about Apple being an ‘open’ environment?

  47. Leon Skerritt
    Jun 2 2010

    Hi. Very interesting post. As an Android user and would be developer, I would like to know what is so immature and wild westy about the Android Market. I find what I need easily enough both paid and free.

  48. Jun 2 2010

    I’ll go with Android after my current iPhone contact is up, not gonna look back a second. Everything just seems less evil and open over there.

  49. Jun 2 2010

    Eventually Apple will alienate enough developers that there’s not enough good developers on the platform to maintain critical mass. The Gold Rush developers will hang on ’til their dying breath, but l expect others will simply leave when they figure out there’s not much of a business in writing novelty dollar apps and tire of Apple’s unpredictable and arbitrary manner. After good developers start leaving, users will start noticing that the cool apps are on other platforms and start leaving as well. A platform without good apps is completely useless to users, and out of the 200,000 apps in the app store, 195,000 of them are junk, and a disproportionate number of the good ones were built with technologies that will soon be forbidden. Apple is still running on the momentum of the past few years of development, so I expect they’ll continue to do well for a while. The impact of their recent actions will play out over the new few years.

    @NickWise Section 3.3.1 is not yet in effect. Steve Jobs reported in one of his emails that section 3.3.1 would go into effect with iPhone OS 4, so whether any Unity or MonoTouch apps are being approved or are surviving today is immaterial to whether they will survive in the future. The review team uses analysis tools to determine if you are currently violating the guidelines (private APIs), I expect a similar tool will be created to automate the rejection of Unity, MonoTouch, LUA, Corona, etc.

  50. Rock Harris
    Jun 2 2010

    Except no on was ever actually executed in Alice’s Adventures….

  51. App Dev
    Jun 2 2010

    Fellow developer here. All I can say is, I don’t pity you in the least. While this was happening to the rest of us, you were blogging about how awesome the app store is and how it’s all our fault when Apple flushes our hard work down the toilet, removes whole chunks of our revenue with the push of a button, and generally treats us like garbage peasants who should be THANKFUL to be able to even have a momentary presence an app store full of fart apps and conversion utilities.

    Now it’s happened to you, and suddenly you “get it”. Congratulations on catching up with the rest of us.

    And don’t be surprised at the number of comments to this post that are essentially backing up Apple, blaming you and your app for your removal, and generally backing up the bully. That’s pretty much what you did back in April, and that’s what half of these posters are doing to you now.

    But listen, I take it back. I do feel sorry for you. How could I not? I know what this feels like. But developers need to take a stand here and band together, not jockey for position inside Apple’s sleekly designed ass. They don’t give a rats ass that you back them, and they will give you no advantage. I’ve never understood what people think is to be gained by blindly backing the big guy.

    When you’re done “starting to agree” with us, and finally, actually, 100% agree with us, we’re here waiting. Maybe an apology post would be a start.

  52. Jun 2 2010

    I think it all comes down to the fact that they earn a few dimes more if people have to buy a ton of small apps instead of your single big one.

    Come over to the dark side instead, we got cookies!

  53. App Dev
    Jun 2 2010

    Also, @shiftyjelly, the bikini app pullings were just as arbitrary. The developers had been begging FOR MONTHS for clarity on what was or wasn’t allowed. They were told nothing, their apps were approved, and then suddenly and without warning, pulled.

    You might agree with it, but it was the same situation. They were allowed, with limits that were vague and obscure, then suddenly they weren’t. Same damn thing, whether it’s “no desktops” or “no bikinis”.

  54. TonyR
    Jun 2 2010

    I purchased it as well…was planning to develop a similar app but I guess I’m glad I didn’t. I hope they let you keep it up there or at least tell you what to change.

  55. johannesvonluck
    Jun 2 2010

    This is really disturbing.

    At my small Indie game studio, Rogue Pirate Ninja Interactive, we use a lot of our own widget container classes, simply because we go through OpenGL to do our 2.5D game environments.

    I am always wondering what is going to run up against us next. Shift Jelly, we feel your pain, honest.

    Best of luck mates.

  56. Jun 2 2010

    @brentg – how could you not be surprised? it’s not written anywhere that the Desktop-type apps are not allowed.

    i agree that apple is being a bit wishy-washy here – this stuff needs to be written down, but there are other companies that have the same rules – game consoles. microsoft doesn’t let you put whatever game you want on their xbox and sony doesn’t allow you to put whatever you want on the ps3. are they being too controlling?

    if people don’t like it either stop buying it, stop developing for it and develop for another platform, or hack it. people have hacked their xboxes to put stuff like xbmc on it since it first came out.

  57. Austin
    Jun 2 2010

    The reason apple doesn’t tell you *why* your app was removed, or how you have to change it to get it approved is that would change your status as an “independent contractor/consultant” who sells on their platform, and qualify you as an employee of Apple. with all the right, privileges, and benefit afforded to employee’s of Apple.

    Oddly enough, this is the same issues that MLM companies face, e.g. Avon can tell you what the rules are for making your own marketing materials, using the Avon logo, and making claims about Avon products, however if they find you’re in violation, they can’t tell you how to fix it, what you’re doing that’s wrong, or why you’re suddenly banned from Avon; just that you violated the policies and procedures, and as such, are feeling the repercussions of such a violation.

    Steve, correct me if i’m wrong here.

  58. Tim Sylvester
    Jun 2 2010

    For some reason people always defend the gatekeepers, until the gatekeeper decides not to let them in. THEN they realize what all the people outside the gate have been screaming and yelling about, and how the people protesting the gate aren’t crazy or fanatics, but merely RIGHT.

    A computing platform needs to be just that – an open platform, not a walled garden with access controlled by arbitrary and capricious guards.

  59. madwh
    Jun 2 2010

    This is why I will NOT support apple financially, I will not buy the iPad and I will not encourage anyone to buy one. I’m not allowing apple change the general computer into a dumb and locked down machine.

  60. Twirrim
    Jun 2 2010

    I’m surprised at the repeated missing of what strikes me as the main thrust of the article:

    If you can’t trust Apple not to pull your app at a random time for no reason, why would anyone invest time and money (most significantly the latter) in building apps.

    That’s what will be hurting Apple the most, even if they don’t realise it. The more frequently and arbitrarily they do it, the worse it will get for them.

    This is also just one “vocal” developer, how many other non-vocal ones have been caught by this and found investment money has been wasted? How many developers have had awesome ideas that they’re unable to get funded because investors increasingly see the App store as a dodgy prospect?

    As a user Android is great, but if you can’t sell apps on it (wtf?) from your region, I guess you’re stuck with the “ad supported” model which takes away from the visual aspect.

  61. Andrew
    Jun 2 2010

    Android gives you something Apple doesn’t — the ability to sell directly to the consumer and bypass the store entirely. You can purchase apps right from the developer – I have a number of them on my phone right now. You want freedom, openness, and not a walled-in apple grove tended by a gardener who determines what you can and cannot eat, then come on over to Android.

  62. Thomas Heywood
    Jun 2 2010

    Just make a fart app. Apple approves them, Apple fanboys love them.

  63. RyanD
    Jun 2 2010

    Cool app, purchased while its still there. Great to have on my desk while working.

  64. Jun 2 2010

    I don’t really mind if they have a set of criteria that they use to pull apps or deny them altogether. What I do mind is that they don’t tell us what the criteria are. If they want to change them every week, fine, just publish them and quit being so damn secretive.

  65. Jun 2 2010

    @shiftyjelly I guess my big question for you is: if Apple doesn’t remove My Frame in the end, will you continue investing in it, knowing they could change their mind again at anytime?

    I love Apple products, have for a long time, but I am finding it difficult to recommend Apple to friends, and I no longer want to buy from Apple.

    “As a developer Google doesn’t even allow Australian Developers to sell paid apps, so yes, it ain’t no alternative”

    It’s the same in Canada for Android Development, I’d have to sell apps directly, only putting free ones in the Marketplace until this is addressed. Less than ideal, but in a way, it’s reassuring to know direct sale is possible.

  66. Ron
    Jun 2 2010

    @shiftyjelly I thought one of the original developer EULA’s for the iPhone prevented people from making GPS apps (when the iPhone 3g was relatively new)? I don’t think that’s the case any longer, but I do recall reading that. Such apps wouldn’t have really hurt anyone either.

  67. Ron
    Jun 2 2010

    By gps apps, i mean, turn by turn directions, sorry.

  68. Jun 2 2010

    your example seems like a prime sample of why they are being investigated for anti-trust allegations, hopefully you making your issue public will provide some pressure on Apple to stop changing their rules mid-game and locking down their platform unfairly and/or based on unspecified reasons.

  69. Jun 2 2010

    Seems unfair. Some of the apps are so pointless/thoughtless yet they get approved.

    Good use of the Alice in Wonderland reference btw

  70. Adrock
    Jun 2 2010

    @jason – I think the big difference between Xbox and iPhone/iPad marketplace is the unpredictable changes. I don’t know of any XBox game that got recalled _after_ it’s release because MS changed it’s mind about something.

    Honestly, it’s a despicable practice. Imagine Call of Duty getting yaked of the 360 a week after it’s released because it competed with Halo (an MS owned FPS). This is really no different.

    Fact is, if such a thing were to happen, the video game publishers (who are big publicly traded companies) would cry foul and likely sue over lost revenue and damages. Apple will consistently screw over the little guys because they can’t afford to defend themselves.

    The good news for all of us is that Android is better, and not. Don’t believe the ‘not polished’ FUD. After an hour or two with my NexusOne, my iPhone feels like a toy.

  71. Franz
    Jun 2 2010

    I’m amazed that people still argue on the ambiguity of the rules as though that was something that Apple would eventually address: these ambiguities are exactly what allow them to easily block what doesn’t fit into their vision for the ecosystem.

    To be fair that ecosystem is miles ahead of all the other players, and that is what is really annoying me, but I’ll do my part as a Flash developer to try and right that.

    As for you guys, I’m sorry to hear of the “wasted” effort and budget, it would be nice to see a port on the Android Market.

  72. Jun 2 2010

    Android developer here…been at it for over a year and I’m making very good money (admittedly I’m in the US). But why are you selling it short even when you can’t sell paid apps on the Android Market yet? Because selling paid apps is only way way to monetize. I make about half my revenue from ads, and the share of non-paid revenue is increasingly becoming a larger percentage of my overall revenue. There are other developers on Android who have completely gone the ad-supported route. It has many advantages, including monetizing from countries that don’t yet support paid apps, as well as neatly sidestepping the piracy issue. There are ad-blockers (no monetization method is perfect), but it is definitely a viable route. In-app purchases are another potential monetization method (currently it looks as if Google frowns upon selling virtual goods or upgrades to full app versions, but selling physical goods is completely in the clear). Besides, your original slam in the blog post wasn’t about not being able to sell paid apps…but a characterization of Android as “a wild west nightmare”. What exactly was that supposed to mean, anyway?

    I’ve submitted apps to both stores, and I’d take Android’s system, flaws and all, any day over Apple’s. My first game was initially rejected by Apple because supposedly the icon graphic was not similar enough to the in-game graphics (which was patently absurd, because the icon graphic was basically a cropped portion of the main game background). With Android, you click the Publish button, and within minutes your app is live.

    You want to keep jumping through Jobs’ arbitrary and ever-moving hoops…good luck. But before you completely dismiss it, you might want to take a realistic look at Android.

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