I’d heard about the capricious and dangerously inconsistent approvals/denials/removals on the app store but I believed that the situation was improving. I decided to take the leap to iPhone both as a consumer and as an entrepreneur. So I joined the dev program and started learning the APIs, heavily using the phone and exploring the platform.
The most significant and/or game-changing iPhone applications and developers naturally compete with and improve aspects of the platform. This should be exciting to all involved. However, as the recent wave of Apple’s nearsighted moves makes crystal clear, those very apps - the coolest function-enhancing apps - are often seen to threaten Apple or its partners or interests and are being summarily AXED. It is quite discouraging that as I survey the field and vet my ideas against existing development successes and experiences I determined that my very best ideas are those most likely to be prevented, co-opted, or shut down because of this poorly managed dynamic.
Whether it’s the cellular carrier (AT&T), a piece of Apple’s profit model(commission on returned apps, accessory tax), functions of the phone (cal, local events, gps nav, latitude, GV app vs GV Safari, camera UI), or a future version of the phone itself (e.g. locking out video & voice command on 3G iPhone though clearly capable), Apple’s responses have all the attitude and subtlety of an 800lb gorilla.
This conflict of interests has come to a head and the illusion of Apple’s beneficence has been thoroughly lost. Will iPhone developers continue to be pitted against Apple and its partners in this way? When the app store launched, there were plenty of mistakes but by and large the consumer and dev communities understood and forgave. That window has closed. I want to see Apple deal with this above board. Please for the love of all that is cool get your head out of your wazoo and do the right thing. Change your policies to benefit developers and consumers. Then change the implementation. The approval department is doing a shoddy job and needs heavy revamping. If you don’t see that you’re using the wrong metrics. Put consistency and predictability above Apple’s convenience and earn that 30% commission. Stifle innovation and punish your consumers only when absolutely necessary and then do so transparently! Put those bean counters on a short leash; you’re playing for the species here, not the next financial quarter.
“So how do we know whether it is still viable for us to consider Apple a partner if this is how the scenario plays out? If you were in my shoes would you continue to invest blood, sweat, tears and money in something that can be killed off at any moment without your say so?” - http://www.riverturn.com/blog/?p=455
Convince me not to switch. Take the long view. No, longer than that. There you go.