or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple's campaign to win the App Store publicity battle
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple's campaign to win the App Store publicity battle

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
For a company known to masterfully drum up free press and unparalleled buzz, Apple's recent struggles in the App Store public relations game have been uncharacteristic. But company executive Phil Schiller appears to have set out to change the tide.

A flurry of e-mails sent out by Schiller in recent weeks gathered a great deal of publicity in their own right, and helped to suggest to the public that Apple is listening to criticisms of its App Store. In an exclusive interview with AppleInsider, another developer tells of his own App Store struggles, as well as personal correspondence with the company executive.

Schiller's statement

One might think it would be normal for Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, to reach out to the community and portray his company in a positive light -- after all, he does work in marketing. But Apple is unlike any other corporation: The widely known veil of secrecy that shrouds the company permeates through all of its departments, including marketing and public relations. And why not? It's this ability to keep secrets that leads to rumors and speculation that excite the tech community and create free publicity.

But as Apple began rejecting applications from the iPhone App Store with little explanation or clarification as to what was required to meet the its litmus test, some developers and pundits began to criticize the company's tactics. That's when Schiller stepped in.

After Daring Fireball's John Gruber wrote a highly critical piece on the App Store, Schiller personally responded, an action basically unheard of from a company that almost never publicly acknowledges its critics. While the sending of the first e-mail was unprecedented, a week later it was commonplace, with reports of personal notes received by an iPhone developer and another Mac developer.

App Store troubles

How many more have been sent and weren't publicized? Likely many, but AppleInsider knows of at least one. Alex Patsay, product director with Russian development team Ripdev, had his own App Store struggles. After he wrote about it, Schiller -- as has become part of his job lately -- responded. Patsay spoke with AppleInsider about his experience.

Ripdev dabbles in the "dark side" of the iPhone, creating popular tools for jailbroken hardware like Icy and InstallerApp. But it also sells on the App Store, under the developer name Unsanity, i2Reader, a $9.99 e-book reader that supports multiple formats, including EPUB, PDF, RTF, HTML, FB2 and plain text. The application originally began its life on jailbroken phones in 2007, before the App Store existed.

Ripdev also creates Kali Anti-Piracy, copy protection software for iPhone apps. When i2Reader was first released, it used Kali Anti-Piracy, which was not compatible with the yet-to-be released iPhone OS 3.0. Because of this incompatibility, i2Reader was rejected from the App Store. That problem was fixed, only for another to arise: Apple required all software with the ability to make purchases through the application go through the App Store.

"We had an agreement with Russian online book store LitRes so users could buy books from them directly in the application via built-in Web view," Patsay explained. "So we were rejected for not using (the) official in-app purchase process. We had to cut the store from the application, since we didn't have time to re-implement everything."

Those were just the first of many rejections:

In one iteration, the application allowed users to transfer books to and from the iPhone via a separate desktop application. An Apple reviewer mistakenly thought the feature did something else, Patsay said. "We tried writing to Apple explaining the functionality, but haven't received any response, so we had to simplify the application."

i2Reader was also affected by an Apple App Store policy that has caught the ire of some developers: all browser-embedded software, regardless of its content, must be rated for mature audiences. Not knowing this policy before it was publicized, the application was submitted with a rating for ages 4 and up. Apple's formal rejection, Patsay said, didn't specifically state the age requirement. It only told the developer that the rating was inappropriate.

Without any clarification from Apple, the developer submitted the application again, this time with a rating for ages 12 and up. It was rejected once again. Patsay said at that point they realized it needed to have a 17+ age rating.

Finally, it was rejected again with a notice from Apple that said i2Reader 3.0.1 could not be made available for sale "because this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights."

An issue finally resolved

Confused by the final rejection, Patsay wrote a blog post entitled "The most ridiculous App Store reject I've ever seen." After reading that Schiller had personally e-mailed a number of people regarding the App Store, Patsay decided he would try to contact the Apple executive to see if it would get him any answers. To his surprise, Schiller responded the same day.

"His letter was nice and helpful, though he claimed that our app was rejected most of the time because of the crashes, but it's not exactly right," Patsay said. "And most importantly, he gave us the contact at Apple that we could get in touch with to find out more."

Schiller requested that Patsay not republish his letter, but a copy of it was provided to AppleInsider, and the summary is as follows: Most of the rejections of i2Reader were because of crashes, but the last rejection (regarding copyright violations) was due to the fact that the program allowed users to share books with each other. The e-mail also included an apology for a perceived lack of clarity.

"Suddenly it all made sense," Patsay said. "Apple is very afraid of the copyright infringement, and the ability of the application to share books directly from the app with other users didn't feel right with them, even though LitRes, our online store companion, didn't (have a problem with) that functionality."

Schiller forwarded Patsay's issue to Phil Shoemaker, Apple's director of Application Technology. Shoemaker and Patsay spoke about the lengthy process i2Reader had gone through. The Apple director said though the developer had stripped features from the software to get it in the App Store, that wasn't the intent. His only goal was to have the application follow the terms and conditions of the store.

"He offered some advice (on) what we should do with both content providers and Apple in order to restore some features into the application," Patsay said of Shoemaker. "I was actually very moved by his letters, since they clearly demonstrated the interest in having great apps on the iPhone."

i2Reader was approved about a week later. While Patsay is happy that the product is finally available for download in the App Store, he said he wishes it didn't take so long to find out why Apple would not approve it.

"In general I am very satisfied with the resolution," he said, "though I'd prefer to have a system that doesn't require such interaction like writing a letter to a high-profile exec of the company -- I'm sure he has many other important things to do. But the fact (that) Apple responded at all shows that they are reading and listening, and maybe they are going to do something about the App Store situation."

Listening to developers

While Patsay's situation was resolved, others continue to grab headlines. Arguably the biggest scandal in the short history of the App Store so far has been Apple's rejection of the Google Voice application. While Google kept a straight face and began work on a browser-based version, pundits and developers alike were once again critical. Apple still hasn't officially explained why the software was rejected, though the situation has led to a Federal Communications Commission investigation.

The Google Voice development came just as some became even more vocal in their criticism of the App Store. While not the catalyst, the situation certainly did add fuel to the fire, and only served to further press coverage that showed Apple in a negative light.

Whether or not Schiller's e-mails will change the tide of public perception remains to be seen. However, they have helped to portray Apple in a better light -- one that, in the eyes of Patsay, is at least somewhat receptive to developers' concerns.
post #2 of 56
I don't believe there is a need for Apple to do much by way of PR because the masses do not have a problem with the app store. This is about appeasing a few vocal tech journalists who care more about getting page views than selling iPhones.

As for restrictions, it appears that Palm will be just as restrictive, if not more, with its app acceptance process than Apple. It is easy to find fault when you don't have a business to run. Those who get in the game are actually discovering that Apple's model isn't so bad after all.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
Reply
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
Reply
post #3 of 56
There is no publicity issue. It's confined to small corners of the net, drummed up by tech writers, and is not reflected in the market at large.

The bulk of Apple's market has no problems with the App Store and couldn't give a sweet damn whether one ebook reader or slang dictionary out of thousands of other apps was rejected. Most of them don't know what Google Voice is and probably won't care if they did know.

It's an issue between Apple and a handful of developers, some of them who are making life incredibly hard for themselves and Apple.

Tech journalists don't have much reach beyond their respective corners of the internet.

What "tide of public perception"?? The public perception of tech forum members?

We need to stop the generalizing. It's getting way out of hand.
post #4 of 56
IN any case, it is kinda cool. An interesting twist on the usual onion-skin barriers that aim to separate and deter the 'plebs' from contacting the high-levels. It's nice to know that when you need it, someone is there.

I remember a couple of years ago when some people wrote to Steve over computer problems and got personal responses from him. That impressed me.

Wonder if Schiller reads AI?

Jimzip
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
Reply
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
Reply
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

I don't believe there is a need for Apple to do much by way of PR because the masses do not have a problem with the app store. This is about appeasing a few vocal tech journalists who care more about getting page views than selling iPhones.

As for restrictions, it appears that Palm will be just as restrictive, if not more, with its app acceptance process than Apple. It is easy to find fault when you don't have a business to run. Those who get in the game are actually discovering that Apple's model isn't so bad after all.

Agreed.

Stripped of the spin by all parties, this is yet *another* story about a high-profile app store rejection that turns out to be almost entirely the fault of the developer, and who's popularity comes down to the fact that said developers are publishing one-sided grievances, *before* knowing the facts, and that those grievances are being promulgated around the web by other tech-friendly web sites.

Certainly Apple's poor "people skills" are at fault also, but pretty much every single rejection I've ever heard about eventually has a very rational and reasonable explanation at the end that simply doesn't justify the outrageous remarks of the developers in their original criticisms. Unfortunately, the resolution to these stories is only reported on a fraction of the time whereas the initial complaint is trumpeted from the rooftops.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
post #6 of 56
If anything it proves two things, one we already knew. 1. It proves they are hearing us (which we knew). 2. More importantly it proves the power we have over Apple. As they continue to grow in this evolving world, where more people can connect easier and spread news far more efficiently Apple is finding it more difficult to ignore its critics. If something stinks in suburbia now we know Apple has to break out the air freshener. Which is great news for Mac and iPhone users. As along as we get treated with the respect we deserve for giving Apple our hard earned dough then all the better.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

There is no publicity issue. It's confined to small corners of the net, drummed up by tech writers, and is not reflected in the market at large.

I'm no tech writer, but I'm pretty pissed off with the Google Voice thing. I speak as a Google Voice user who purchased GV Mobile from the App Store, and now will not be getting any of the promised upgrades to the software because Apple pulled it.

I guess in your world Apple shouldn't care about tech savvy users like me, and only care about the majority of non-moaners. Still I personally have been responsible to turning a lot of people into Mac users, both in my personal interactions, and converting my work to almost 100% Mac in the last 5 years.

The whole Google Voice thing has taken the shine off the iPhone for me. Defending Apple with arguments like "the majority don't care" is fanboyism of the highest order.
post #8 of 56
I am inclined to think this developer has done little but cause grief for Apple from the start. Jailbroken phone software? Hardly makes you a friendly developer.

And why does Apple need to spell out to these guys what 'mature' means. 12 years of age is not mature or adult.

The whole story seems cooked up by people who have agenda's of their own, and are not really working to the benefit of users, or Apple.
post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

I'm no tech writer, but I'm pretty pissed off with the Google Voice thing. I speak as a Google Voice user who purchased GV Mobile from the App Store, and now will not be getting any of the promised upgrades to the software because Apple pulled it.

I guess in your world Apple shouldn't care about tech savvy users like me, and only care about the majority of non-moaners. Still I personally have been responsible to turning a lot of people into Mac users, both in my personal interactions, and converting my work to almost 100% Mac in the last 5 years.

The whole Google Voice thing has taken the shine off the iPhone for me. Defending Apple with arguments like "the majority don't care" is fanboyism of the highest order.

I also find it sad and inexplicable that your sdatisfaction with the iPhone at large seems to rest on a single App that in the big picture of Apple and the iPhone (and what the iPhone brings to the table) doesn't mean a whole lot.

So switch to a BlacckBerry or whatever other phone supports Google Voice. Dollars-to-donuts you'll quickly see why it would hardly be worth it.

Yes, I'm an Apple fanboy. Apple makes it damn easy to be one.
post #10 of 56
The realy problem that will surface sooner or later is too many aps.

The App store is just that a retailer. All retailers must choose what to stock. Even a huge store like Wal-Mart must decide what and what not to stock. If it stocked everything the place would go under. People want a retailer to screen products for quality, as well as othet atributes like price brand image etc.

now a online type store does have ways to sell both high priced and low prived things (which say a departent store can not) but in the end allowing anything on the App store will only undermine its usefullness.

The problem is how to screen when you have so many developers. I think Apple might take a cue from Walmart and slow the process down. It takes a long time o get a product in a wall mart. Perhaps Apple could limit the complaints if developers had an expectation that it may take as long as a year to get a product on the App store.
post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon T View Post

I am inclined to think this developer has done little but cause grief for Apple from the start. Jailbroken phone software? Hardly makes you a friendly developer.

And why does Apple need to spell out to these guys what 'mature' means. 12 years of age is not mature or adult.

The whole story seems cooked up by people who have agenda's of their own, and are not really working to the benefit of users, or Apple.

Not really. Apple's whole handling of this app store approval process from the start has been less than stellar. It came to a head. Some genuine developers got a royal shafting from the fruit company. It was only a matter of time before this came to a head. Besides, I'm sure Apple can defend themselves without your help. I don't mean that in any insulting way. It's just that Apple are big boys, and at the end of the day just another company. Sometimes giving them a hard time gets us, both devs and consumers, more respect. Which we should want for ourselves. Apple won't give a shit unless we hold them accountable for their actions.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Sometimes giving them a hard time gets us, both devs and consumers, more respect. Which we should want for ourselves. Apple won't give a shit unless we hold them accountable for their actions.

I can agree with this. I'll concede that that App Store does indeed require some improvement, and making much out of the situation (within reason) might be more useful than patting them on the head all the time.
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon T View Post

I am inclined to think this developer has done little but cause grief for Apple from the start. Jailbroken phone software? Hardly makes you a friendly developer.

Maybe, maybe not. There are a lot of apps available for jb phones that provide a lot of useful functionality. Just because Apple has not seen fit to allow these apps does not mean these devs are not Apple friendly. being Apple friendly or even a fan of Apple does not mean you turn your brain off and assume their every decision is a good one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon T View Post

And why does Apple need to spell out to these guys what 'mature' means. 12 years of age is not mature or adult.

Because they didn't say it required a mature rating. They simply said the submitted rating was inappropriate. So, I guess the developer should have put on his ESP hat and said "oh, right, it has a browser built in, so it must need a Mature rating", prior to Apple saying all browser apps need to be rated Mature...even though safari is available to everyone regardless of age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon T View Post

The whole story seems cooked up by people who have agenda's of their own, and are not really working to the benefit of users, or Apple.

And what is wrong with that? Developers or anyone else that produces goods for sale has an 'agenda'. Usually that 'agenda' is to make some sales. Do you honestly believe that Apple's 'agenda' is not to make money?


If this was all cooked up, or blown out of proportion by a few vocal tech journalists looking for page views and bloggers in obscure corners of the internet, do you think that would cause a senior VP from Apple to start personally responding, investigating and assisting in these cases? No, it would not. Even Apple has recognized that there are problems with their App Store approval process. Yet some fanbioes are so deluded in their obsession, they moan that these stories are just a bunch of whiners. They are so consumed with Apple having to be right, that if you point out problems, they say "well, buy a BB if you hate Apple so much". That is just dumb. The iPhone and the App Store are great, but that doesn't mean they don't have problems. It doesn't mean some complaints aren't legitimate. It doesn't mean discussing these problems is whining.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #14 of 56
To me it looks like apps are being rejected for valid reasons, it appears that people at apple are actually looking at the apps and using them to determine if they meet the requirements.

One of the great things with the iphone apps is anyone can development something from any part in the world. This is also a down side since this includes people who have not clue about the laws that exist in other countries, and they obviously did not read the T&C for the app store and what kind of apps that can be sold and distributed world wide.

Apple has to contact these people because they know that a person with an ax to grind on the interest can get lots of un-wanted and un-intend attention even when the facts are not accurate. In the corporate world these types of conversation happen all the time but never become public.
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by salmonstk View Post

The realy problem that will surface sooner or later is too many aps.

The App store is just that a retailer. All retailers must choose what to stock. Even a huge store like Wal-Mart must decide what and what not to stock. If it stocked everything the place would go under. People want a retailer to screen products for quality, as well as othet atributes like price brand image etc.

now a online type store does have ways to sell both high priced and low prived things (which say a departent store can not) but in the end allowing anything on the App store will only undermine its usefullness.

The problem is how to screen when you have so many developers. I think Apple might take a cue from Walmart and slow the process down. It takes a long time o get a product in a wall mart. Perhaps Apple could limit the complaints if developers had an expectation that it may take as long as a year to get a product on the App store.

This is all likely true. There are too many apps, but this is not the core of the problem. Developers would accept that it will take some time for apps to be approved, if they knew what the criteria for approval was ahead of time. The real problem is that the approval process appears to be at time arbitrary, inconsistent, nonsensical and often biased to give Apple or AT&T an unfair advantage in some area.

The difference with Walmart and the AppStore is that Apple controls both the platform and the marketplace. If Walmart bought the copyrights and patents to the CD and DVD formats and announced you could only buy CD and DVDs at Walmart and that they would decided what titles would ever be available, people would complain. Hell, a step further, if they bought Apple (ick) and now Walmart was applying their arbitrary approval to what apps people could run but everything else stayed exactly the same, people, even these fanboies, would complain.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #16 of 56
I have an honest question. How many of you who think that this is a "non-issue" drummed up by tech reporters are responding based on the value you hold as a shareholder or based on a regular consumer that is tired of erratic behavior when it comes to Apple's decision to block apps, approve apps, then reject them at the drop of a hat, etc?

I think that the Google Voice rejection was a big deal to a lot of people.

I simply ask because I see a lot of people here preface or end their comments with "as long as it creates value for me as a shareholder" and the like whereas most product-related sites/forums care more about the product and not so much about how much their stock goes up or down.
post #17 of 56
I hope Phil does read AI. Why? Welll with apple not haven a GPS turn by turn then tom Tom expensive app, for over a year I have been using the iPhone.

I jail broke it the other day. I was worried but the apps that do it are flawless. I now have turn by turn plus Tom Tom to try, video recording, mms, MLB tv, flash, free tethering which is actually faster than my wires moms connection plus you can do so many things.

And there are a lot of developers who got rejected that offer free program or sell them. I am very impressed with what you can do now.

I remeberance visiting some apple employees and wondered wgstvthe pinapple was when the booted up. Now I know. Lol

peace all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

I'm no tech writer, but I'm pretty pissed off with the Google Voice thing. I speak as a Google Voice user who purchased GV Mobile from the App Store, and now will not be getting any of the promised upgrades to the software because Apple pulled it.

I guess in your world Apple shouldn't care about tech savvy users like me, and only care about the majority of non-moaners. Still I personally have been responsible to turning a lot of people into Mac users, both in my personal interactions, and converting my work to almost 100% Mac in the last 5 years.

The whole Google Voice thing has taken the shine off the iPhone for me. Defending Apple with arguments like "the majority don't care" is fanboyism of the highest order.
post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

snip

A flurry of e-mails sent out by Schiller in recent weeks...

snip

How many emails in a 'flurry'? two? three? five? a dozen?

gruber, that guy from panic, who else?
i guess it's relative...
post #19 of 56
Apple can reject out of hand what ever app it wants too.
Apple owns and runs a closed lucrative universe where some dudes were allowed in and made 300,000. on a frog app /
After that the race to bottom started and greed reared its ugly head.
Its really up to apple who get in and stays in . This russian thief got lucky .If i knew you jail broke my iphones i would ban you for life.
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #20 of 56
BECAUSE I'm a fanboy, I complain. If I didn't care I wouldn't say anything. I'm fairly tech savvy, but not an IT guy. That said, it's disheartening to hear all the problems that many app developers (it's not a few) are having with unclear expectations from Apple. To be honest, I think Apple was caught off guard on a lot of these things. But I find it worse that they are concerned about other people's content, since the iPhone (and equally iPod Touch) are really handheld computers. As such, we (all of us) would like to run any app that is legal, not just what Apple wants. That's why jailbreaking is so popular. There are tons of apps that I see on jailbroken phones that I'd love to PAY to use. I don't believe I'm alone in this. If the e-reader was buying content from somewhere else, why should that be a concern of Apple's. Then they complain about sharing. Sharing isn't illegal, nor is it immoral. Don't you teach your kids to share. Have you ever lent a friend a book. Welcome to the digital age, eh? I understand porn not being allowed, but that's as far as I feel they should go. This should be a computer on a handheld, since, in essence, that's what it is. I'm no open source guy, but I'm an open discussions and any legal content guy, and that's where I feel Apple is failing and taking advantage of us. It's too bad when someone becomes such a fan that they can no longer be critical - it's okay to be both.

Why don't I go to Palm, or Blackberry, or WinCE, or symbian or whatever? Because they're not worth complaining about.

scosee
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I have an honest question. How many of you who think that this is a "non-issue" drummed up by tech reporters are responding based on the value you hold as a shareholder or based on a regular consumer that is tired of erratic behavior when it comes to Apple's decision to block apps, approve apps, then reject them at the drop of a hat, etc?

I think that the Google Voice rejection was a big deal to a lot of people.

I simply ask because I see a lot of people here preface or end their comments with "as long as it creates value for me as a shareholder" and the like whereas most product-related sites/forums care more about the product and not so much about how much their stock goes up or down.

I think it's a real issue because people, including non-techs are being informed about all the apps that they're not allowed to use because of being tied. the tethering was a big deal for a lot of business people that aren't necessarily techies. Google voice for even more people. I don't, and won't, have stock because I am too biased toward the company. But in my house, we have three iPhones, an iPod Touch, and about 8 ipods of various sorts.

scosee
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Yes, I'm an Apple fanboy. Apple makes it damn easy to be one.

That is very well put! I feel the same way -- it's all Apple's fault!
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

I don't believe there is a need for Apple to do much by way of PR because the masses do not have a problem with the app store. This is about appeasing a few vocal tech journalists who care more about getting page views than selling iPhones.

the trouble is that those vocal folks can get the word out and make it seem like more than it is. and that causes trouble. it can even cost sales. all because some couple of dozen pissed off app developers posted their woes and it spread. (keep in mind that for every one of them there were probably 100 rejections that didn't say anything and another 100 apps that were approved no problem)

Quote:
As for restrictions, it appears that Palm will be just as restrictive, if not more, with its app acceptance process than Apple. It is easy to find fault when you don't have a business to run. Those who get in the game are actually discovering that Apple's model isn't so bad after all.

it will be interesting to see if Palm is just as raked over the coals as Apple is being. probably not. cause they are Poor Palm and not Run by Satan Incarnate Apple.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Stripped of the spin by all parties, this is yet *another* story about a high-profile app store rejection that turns out to be almost entirely the fault of the developer,

yep. it would seem like most if not all of the reasons Patsay had his app rejected were things that would have been spelled out by the terms and conditions (worth looking into for sure). so why the moaning by him if he didn't check things out ahead of time. and if something changed between submission and approval, it sucks but you deal with it.

also, all the folks griping about the time it takes. yes in the early days the likely 20-30 folks that approve apps could turn around approvals within a week. but not they are getting like 50 a person a day. so it's going to take time. get over it.

Quote:
Certainly Apple's poor "people skills" are at fault also,

this is likely true. and probably a fault of the attempt to turn around apps as quickly as possible. so they use form letters and such.

what Apple would benefit from is a tiered system where there is one group doing the initial tests and reviews and another group who can be contacted for more information. then when someone like Patsay gets a rejection for "inappropriate rating' and there doens't seem to be any guidance, they can reply to said group, with a 'case number' and find out that they rated it X when due to ABC it must be Y. and so on.

and perhaps more information for developers. like a kind of SDK support site, that spells out the rules so they can vet things before they send them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon T View Post

And why does Apple need to spell out to these guys what 'mature' means. 12 years of age is not mature or adult.

it's not 'mature' so much as having to COA on the issue of Parental Controls working the way the parents that would use it want it used. if Daddy blocks Little Johnny from using Safari but then Little Johnny can use another app to pull up those pics of girl's vay-jay-jay's and ta-ta's, Daddy is going to be pissed. and Daddy might be pissed enough to call his brother the lawyer who then files a false advertising suit against Apple over the claim that Parental Controls allows parents to restrict access and protect kids like Little Johnny from 'bad things'. but in fact it doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by salmonstk View Post

The App store is just that a retailer. All retailers must choose what to stock.

[sarcasm alert]Not Apple. they don't get that kind of right. They are too special for that. they don't have the right to do what they want. not with the App Store, their software, their hardware, nothing. [/sarcasm alert]

Quote:
The problem is how to screen when you have so many developers. I think Apple might take a cue from Walmart and slow the process down. It takes a long time o get a product in a wall mart. Perhaps Apple could limit the complaints if developers had an expectation that it may take as long as a year to get a product on the App store.

they have already been forced to slow down due to the number of submissions but some developers are still screaming. because they just won't admit the math has changed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

if they knew what the criteria for approval was ahead of time.

you think they really don't have a clue. have you actually applied to the program and seen a lack of criteria being given.

sure they might not have every last detail spelled out but I'm sure they have some of this information. and get more every day.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

the trouble is that those vocal folks can get the word out and make it seem like more than it is. and that causes trouble. it can even cost sales. all because some couple of dozen pissed off app developers posted their woes and it spread. (keep in mind that for every one of them there were probably 100 rejections that didn't say anything and another 100 apps that were approved no problem)

So, they should just shut up and deal with it? If Apple hypes the Apple store, they have to accept that that means they will get press. And not all of it will be positive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

it will be interesting to see if Palm is just as raked over the coals as Apple is being. probably not. cause they are Poor Palm and not Run by Satan Incarnate Apple.

yes, developers put in the work and are upset not because the apps were rejected, but because the hate Apple. That's why the bothered developing for the iPhone to begin with.



Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

..... it sucks but you deal with it.
....get over it.

Well, perhaps how they 'deal with it' is to contact Apple for a reason for the rejection and how they might change their app to be approved. If that fails (repeatedly) they might actually let other know. How rude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

and perhaps more information for developers. like a kind of SDK support site, that spells out the rules so they can vet things before they send them.

This would be nice. It would be good to know all of the rules ahead of time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

it's not 'mature' so much as having to COA on the issue of Parental Controls working the way the parents that would use it want it used. if Daddy blocks Little Johnny from using Safari but then Little Johnny can use another app to pull up those pics of girl's vay-jay-jay's and ta-ta's, Daddy is going to be pissed. and Daddy might be pissed enough to call his brother the lawyer who then files a false advertising suit against Apple over the claim that Parental Controls allows parents to restrict access and protect kids like Little Johnny from 'bad things'. but in fact it doesn't.

very good point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

[sarcasm alert]Not Apple. they don't get that kind of right. They are too special for that. they don't have the right to do what they want. not with the App Store, their software, their hardware, nothing. [/sarcasm alert]

You make too much of Apple being a victim here. If any other very large company had similar practices that appeared to be unfair or arbitrary, they would be chastised too. Some <ahem>MS</ahem> might even be investigated and charged for unfair practices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

you think they really don't have a clue. have you actually applied to the program and seen a lack of criteria being given.

sure they might not have every last detail spelled out but I'm sure they have some of this information. and get more every day.

They have lots of information available as to their rules. But there are lots of examples of apps being denied without any real information given as to why. The GV apps were a good example. After the official app was denied, the other, previously approved and for sale apps were suddenly pulled. No reason given. So, if no rules were broken previously, leading to the acceptance, why were they suddenly pulled? No reasons, just pulled.

So, yeah, I do think some of the do not have any idea why their apps were denied. I have not submitted an app. But then, I am not accustomed to having to have some external entity approve my work and deciding if I will be paid for my work, after I have completed it. The developer in the office next to me did submit an app he worked on and had no major problems with the approval process (though he did run into some issue with the department that handles paying devs for sales, which delayed his app 2 or 3 additional weeks).

Over all I think the app store and the approval process has been very positive. This does not mean there is not room for improvement nor that the developers that have had problems do not have legitimate complaints.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Agreed.

Stripped of the spin by all parties, this is yet *another* story about a high-profile app store rejection that turns out to be almost entirely the fault of the developer, and who's popularity comes down to the fact that said developers are publishing one-sided grievances, *before* knowing the facts, and that those grievances are being promulgated around the web by other tech-friendly web sites.

Certainly Apple's poor "people skills" are at fault also, but pretty much every single rejection I've ever heard about eventually has a very rational and reasonable explanation at the end that simply doesn't justify the outrageous remarks of the developers in their original criticisms. Unfortunately, the resolution to these stories is only reported on a fraction of the time whereas the initial complaint is trumpeted from the rooftops.

You seem the be missing the point of all the outrage. It's not about the rejection itself, it's about the inconsistencies. For example, why is it that apps like youtube and MLB baseball are allowed to stream media over 3G, but apps like SlingMedia and Qik only work over Wifi? Why was google voice rejected when there are other apps that can send free sms? Why are apps rejected under the pretext that they allow access to mature content, whereas Safari allows access to far worse things?

All Apple has to do establish certain guidelines and be clear about them; if your app contains or does X, then it will get rejected. As it stands, it seems to be a crapshoot, and that's what's gotten a lot of people perplexed.
post #26 of 56
Actions speak louder than words. Publish App Store approval guidelines and put Google Voice and Google Latitude apps on the app store now.
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

You seem the be missing the point of all the outrage. It's not about the rejection itself, it's about the inconsistencies. For example, why is it that apps like youtube and MLB baseball are allowed to stream media over 3G, but apps like SlingMedia and Qik only work over Wifi? Why was google voice rejected when there are other apps that can send free sms? Why are apps rejected under the pretext that they allow access to mature content, whereas Safari allows access to far worse things?

All Apple has to do establish certain guidelines and be clear about them; if your app contains or does X, then it will get rejected. As it stands, it seems to be a crapshoot, and that's what's gotten a lot of people perplexed.

What the issue is, my friends, is that the communication from apple to the developers about what it is the application is being rejected for is not often clear. So the developer has no idea what it is failing on so it can make the necessary changes to make the application compliant.

Applications can take over a month to go from reviewed to accepted for instance with no communication to tell what the hold up with the review is etc. Its not about the actual rejection of the applications, its the lack of clear communication about why it was rejected and what is needed to remedy why it was rejected.

I have been an apple user since the Apple 2. While I am a huge fan of the apple products they are by no means infallible. Not everything they do is perfect. Not everything they do is in the consumers interest. The fanboys above me who have written its all the devs fault are missing the point of the article. A developer can spend hundreds of hours on some apps only to be rejected on a technicality they have no idea about (such as all applications with web browser functionality having to be rated 17+. There is no documentation or specification from apple that makes this clear to the developer). With a response telling the developer the age rating is not appropriate without specifying why it is not appropriate (such as "We require all applications with web browser functionality to be rated 17+, please resubmit the application with a 17+ rating or remove web browser functionality"). Everytime an application is rejected, or more info is requested from the developer the application in question goes back to the bottom of the review heap again. So another 2 weeks+ each round. From one apple devotee to the rest of you. "Cut the crap, while Apple create great products, not everything they do is perfect and yes Apple has its faults it needs to address."

Just my 10c.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gingofthesouth View Post

What the issue is, my friends, is that the communication from apple to the developers about what it is the application is being rejected for is not often clear. So the developer has no idea what it is failing on so it can make the necessary changes to make the application compliant.

Applications can take over a month to go from reviewed to accepted for instance with no communication to tell what the hold up with the review is etc. Its not about the actual rejection of the applications, its the lack of clear communication about why it was rejected and what is needed to remedy why it was rejected.

I have been an apple user since the Apple 2. While I am a huge fan of the apple products they are by no means infallible. Not everything they do is perfect. Not everything they do is in the consumers interest. The fanboys above me who have written its all the devs fault are missing the point of the article. A developer can spend hundreds of hours on some apps only to be rejected on a technicality they have no idea about (such as all applications with web browser functionality having to be rated 17+. There is no documentation or specification from apple that makes this clear to the developer). With a response telling the developer the age rating is not appropriate without specifying why it is not appropriate (such as "We require all applications with web browser functionality to be rated 17+, please resubmit the application with a 17+ rating or remove web browser functionality"). Everytime an application is rejected, or more info is requested from the developer the application in question goes back to the bottom of the review heap again. So another 2 weeks+ each round. From one apple devotee to the rest of you. "Cut the crap, while Apple create great products, not everything they do is perfect and yes Apple has its faults it needs to address."

Just my 10c.

Exactly.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #29 of 56
I am so tired of a few developers whining about their apps getting rejected. Are we really supposed to think that 65,000 app applications are going to be handled smoothly? What if every time your boss asked you to go back to the drawing board on a project, you went to the press? Ha. I realize it isn't always clear to developers why their apps get rejected, but it seems like they usually get it worked out. We're all human and nobody expects Apple to be superhuman.
post #30 of 56
I'm still confused as to why I'm going to pay Apple a fortune for a device which doesn't let me use the applications I want to use. I'm not talking about weirdness over the AT&T connection, but yeah, heaven forbid we have an application which allows people to share books.

I mean, my god, what would that lead to? Perhaps people would build whole buildings full of books which could be shared by one an all. The horror!

The developers are the hand that feeds Apple. Keeping them happy is a good thing. Even if you're going to have your absurd rules, you could at least explain them all to the people who are trying to make you (and them) money.
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gingofthesouth View Post

What the issue is, my friends, is that the communication from apple to the developers about what it is the application is being rejected for is not often clear. So the developer has no idea what it is failing on so it can make the necessary changes to make the application compliant.

Applications can take over a month to go from reviewed to accepted for instance with no communication to tell what the hold up with the review is etc. Its not about the actual rejection of the applications, its the lack of clear communication about why it was rejected and what is needed to remedy why it was rejected.

I have been an apple user since the Apple 2. While I am a huge fan of the apple products they are by no means infallible. Not everything they do is perfect. Not everything they do is in the consumers interest. The fanboys above me who have written its all the devs fault are missing the point of the article. A developer can spend hundreds of hours on some apps only to be rejected on a technicality they have no idea about (such as all applications with web browser functionality having to be rated 17+. There is no documentation or specification from apple that makes this clear to the developer). With a response telling the developer the age rating is not appropriate without specifying why it is not appropriate (such as "We require all applications with web browser functionality to be rated 17+, please resubmit the application with a 17+ rating or remove web browser functionality"). Everytime an application is rejected, or more info is requested from the developer the application in question goes back to the bottom of the review heap again. So another 2 weeks+ each round. From one apple devotee to the rest of you. "Cut the crap, while Apple create great products, not everything they do is perfect and yes Apple has its faults it needs to address."

Just my 10c.

I'm not sure, but I believe you agree with me. Maybe you meant to quote the person I'm quoting.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagga View Post

I'm still confused as to why I'm going to pay Apple a fortune for a device which doesn't let me use the applications I want to use. I'm not talking about weirdness over the AT&T connection, but yeah, heaven forbid we have an application which allows people to share books.

I mean, my god, what would that lead to? Perhaps people would build whole buildings full of books which could be shared by one an all. The horror!

The developers are the hand that feeds Apple. Keeping them happy is a good thing. Even if you're going to have your absurd rules, you could at least explain them all to the people who are trying to make you (and them) money.

I'm sorry but the comments here are reaching the point of absurdity.

1. Out of 65,000 apps there aren't any that you want to use?

2. I don't think it's anything new that companies make an effort to reduce theft. Do you walk in a department store and complain about the security sensors at the door?

3. Just because you pay a lot of money for a device doesn't give other third parties from enabling you to do whatever the hell you want with it. I paid a ton of money for my Samsung TV, but it doesn't mean Samsung is going to allow other manufacturers to produce hacked on-screen-display firmware for it...or if we're comparing apples to apples, Samsung is certainly not going to sell it to me.

4. Developers are not the hand the feeds apple, in the case of phones...the iPhone was quite popular even before they opened it up to developers. You're not God's gift
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagga View Post

I'm still confused as to why I'm going to pay Apple a fortune for a device which doesn't let me use the applications I want to use.

That doesn't make any sense. You have your pick of 65,000 apps. Or are the applications you want to use not on the App Store?
post #34 of 56
[QUOTE=Jerry602;1467764]I'm sorry but the comments here are reaching the point of absurdity.

Quote:
1. Out of 65,000 apps there aren't any that you want to use?

There are plenty I want and do use. there are also plenty more that I can't even though they exist. And there are some I want to use again.

Quote:
2. I don't think it's anything new that companies make an effort to reduce theft. Do you walk in a department store and complain about the security sensors at the door?

Bookstores don't prevent you from using the library, nor do they prevent you from using another store. They instead compete.

Quote:
3. Just because you pay a lot of money for a device doesn't give other third parties from enabling you to do whatever the hell you want with it. I paid a ton of money for my Samsung TV, but it doesn't mean Samsung is going to allow other manufacturers to produce hacked on-screen-display firmware for it...or if we're comparing apples to apples, Samsung is certainly not going to sell it to me.

If I have a device I have every right to complain privately and publicly about its problems. Samsung doesn't say you aren't allowed to watch movies on Comcast or limit the features of some content (this is a Slingbox reference) on the TV you bought. Apple/AT&T do that. The e-book reader was selling legal content through a legal channel with a deal they brokered, isn't that what content owners want us to do, buy from legal sources?

Quote:
4. Developers are not the hand the feeds apple, in the case of phones...the iPhone was quite popular even before they opened it up to developers. You're not God's gift

No, the iPhone was pretty popular before they opened it to developers. Developers are not Apple's gift, they're partners.

scosee
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry602 View Post

I'm sorry but the comments here are reaching the point of absurdity.

1. Out of 65,000 apps there aren't any that you want to use?

2. I don't think it's anything new that companies make an effort to reduce theft. Do you walk in a department store and complain about the security sensors at the door?

3. Just because you pay a lot of money for a device doesn't give other third parties from enabling you to do whatever the hell you want with it. I paid a ton of money for my Samsung TV, but it doesn't mean Samsung is going to allow other manufacturers to produce hacked on-screen-display firmware for it...or if we're comparing apples to apples, Samsung is certainly not going to sell it to me.

4. Developers are not the hand the feeds apple, in the case of phones...the iPhone was quite popular even before they opened it up to developers. You're not God's gift

1. With 65,000 apps, does this mean that no other apps might be useful of desired? If not, then you might as well let Apple know. They can stop accepting new submissions ASAP.

2. I would complain if they sent an employee home with me to monitor how I used MY purchase.

3. Really bad analogy. Closer, would you be ok with Samsung told you what cable or sat provider you were allowed to use? Or more similar, if they told you what movies and shows you could watch? Better analogy: iPhone is a computing device. You sound like you would accept Apple telling you what you are allowed to buy and run on your Mac.

4. And its popularity exploded when the released the SDK and app store. Apple is not stupid. They know they need developers, even if others here might think otherwise.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #36 of 56
At WWDC, Apple announced that 98% of all apps were accepted within two weeks of submission, 95% within one week. I honestly fail to see the problem here. I doubt that they can do much better than 98%. I have no doubt that most of the outright rejections are justified. We are talking about a diminishingly small percentage of legitimate complaints. If your pet app is one that has been rejected and you are convinced that it is the killer app, get a Pre. Frankly, I am amazed at how many apps Apple has managed to vet and approve in such a short time. The griping makes it sound like every other app is arbitrarily rejected. The actual numbers tell a very different story. When the facts show a demonstrable problem, then I will complain just as loudly as the next person. Till then, the facts, until proven false, are on Apple's side. Everyone should turn down the volume.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
Reply
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
Reply
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

At WWDC, Apple announced that 98% of all apps were accepted within two weeks of submission, 95% within one week. I honestly fail to see the problem here. I doubt that they can do much better than 98%. I have no doubt that most of the outright rejections are justified. We are talking about a diminishingly small percentage of legitimate complaints. If your pet app is one that has been rejected and you are convinced that it is the killer app, get a Pre. Frankly, I am amazed at how many apps Apple has managed to vet and approve in such a short time. The griping makes it sound like every other app is arbitrarily rejected. The actual numbers tell a very different story. When the facts show a demonstrable problem, then I will complain just as loudly as the next person. Till then, the facts, until proven false, are on Apple's side. Everyone should turn down the volume.

the 98% and 95% figures are percentage of actually approved apps. That is, of all apps approved 98% were approved in 2 weeks and 95% were approved in just a week. This are good numbers but tell you nothing as far as what percentage of submitted apps are actually approved.

It is a very lazy argument to say 'if you don't like it buy a pre'. I do like the iPhone. I am just not vacant enough to think there aren't apps that would be useful and might actually improve the experience for users. Some of these may even have been rejected. Perhaps for good reasons. Perhaps not. Acknowledging there are problems or even, heaven forbid, seeing the dev's side of things, is important. Hell, it might even illicit a response from a SVP or lead to positive policy changes.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #38 of 56
I agree that Apple's App Store problems are often blown out of proportion by the media, however, that doesn't hide the fact that there are fundamental problems in poor communication. In the case of this app, they just tell the developer their age rating is inappropriate. Would it really have inconvenienced Apple that much to add "please make the rating 17+" to the rejection explanation? That simple sentence would have saved the developer and Apple time resubmitting, re-reviewing, and re-rejecting the application due to wrong age category again. The same thing with rejecting the app for being of a type that has the potential for copyright infringement. If Apple would have simply added "we have concerns about the ability to share files between iPhones", it would have avoided another submission, review, and rejection.

Apple complains that they are overworked dealing with the workload of iPhone submissions. But, if they simply took a few more seconds and added an extra sentence to clarify their rejection, it can only benefit Apple by avoiding having to review repeat rejections. Is this really so hard to implement? Or is it more worthwhile to have Schiller and Shoemaker being forced to personally deal with each case once they blow up.
post #39 of 56
[QUOTE=scosee;1467770]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry602 View Post

I'm sorry but the comments here are reaching the point of absurdity.



No, the iPhone was pretty popular before they opened it to developers. Developers are not Apple's gift, they're partners.

Apple owns the app store .
And they protect it for the benefit of all
including the programers.

anything else is bollocks
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

the 98% and 95% figures are percentage of actually approved apps. That is, of all apps approved 98% were approved in 2 weeks and 95% were approved in just a week. This are good numbers but tell you nothing as far as what percentage of submitted apps are actually approved.

I stand corrected. I also agree that communication could be improved. But I wonder how we would all feel if Apple actually revealed the other side of rejections as publicly as the developers complain. I bet there would be a lot less sympathy for the jilted devs. Apple grew this store from 0-65,000 in a year. Did Palm do so well in its early days? Who else is facing this challenge and who is doing better. We do not hear about the rejections from BB, Palm, Android, and MS apps stores mostly because no body cares. I do not believe Apple is doing any worse than anyone else as far as rejections go. There is just a bigger microscope aimed at them and more people who have an axe to grind with them. As I stated in a previous post, Palm is taking the same approach as Apple. It seems all the other companies even agree on the 70-30 split. Go figure.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
Reply
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple's campaign to win the App Store publicity battle