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Steve Jobs calls frustrated developer after Apple rejects iPad app

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs recently made a personal phone call to an iOS developer, after his application was rejected from the App Store for using a private application programming interface.

Developer Ram Arumugam e-mailed Jobs directly on Oct. 26 after he learned his application, "Economy for iPad," was rejected. According to The Seattle Times, two hours later he received a phone call direct from Jobs, who explained to him why his application was rejected.

Arumugam was informed that "Economy" had relied on a non-public API, which is against Apple's rules for developers. The developer explained to Jobs that he used the private code to resolve an issue with making the on-screen keyboard disappear after the user was done typing.

After his conversation with Jobs, Arumugam revised his application and removed the private API, and it was accepted into the App Store. But the developer said he was very surprised that he received a personal call from Jobs.

"The fact that he took the time to read my e-mail, think about the app and then personally call me was amazing," he wrote on his blog.

Jobs has a reputation as a hands-on CEO, and he frequently responds to e-mails sent to him by users. Those e-mails, often with characteristically brief responses, are often republished online and gain considerable attention, though the authenticity of many notes is difficult to prove.

Earlier this year, a phony e-mail exchange was offered for sale to a number of sites, including AppleInsider, before one technology publication purchased the fake conversation and published details from it. Apple's public relations department quickly responded by outright denying the exchange.
post #2 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"The fact that he took the time to read my e-mail, think about the app and then personally call me was amazing," he wrote on his blog.

]



What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?
post #3 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

No, that's what he has his peeps do for him. I actually am not sure if he is even able to code anything.

As for the developer bitching about things, he needs to shut his mouth. He knew he used a private API and admitted to it and then wonders why he was rejected. Clown.
post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

No, that's what he has his peeps do for him. I actually am not sure if he is even able to code anything.


Good point.

Maybe he should spend his time single-handedly saving the publishing industry instead of corresponding with Clowns.

He seems to have backburnered that whole "use iOS to save the publishing industry and the TV industry" project.
post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

Good point.

Maybe he should spend his time single-handedly saving the publishing industry instead of corresponding with Clowns.

He seems to have backburnered that whole "use iOS to save the publishing industry and the TV industry" project.

I think to be fair he pushed really hard at the start, but has met much resistance with companies worried that they will lose money (not been able to gather customer information is a huge, huge thing) or just not interested enough to commit resources. So now it'll happen, but at a much slower pace.

Personally I think it's quite awesome that he would do this, even if these emails and this calls are pure marketing (which I personally don't think they are). Maybe he isn't Jesus but he's the best CEO out there.
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

And/Or perhaps what to do with $50 billion?

Although previously discussed on various threads, the thought is that he has a screener(s), that chooses a select few emails and does the prep work etc. How else would he know so fast why it was rejected etc. At least I would hope he has trusted assistants to do this screen and prep work... otherwise, he's a 24 hour a day(and probably distorts time to get more work done) working machine who really is an alien from the planet (fill in the blank).
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post #7 of 54
Why use a private API when there is a perfectly good public function textFieldDoneEditing that everyone else uses.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

Good point.

Maybe he should spend his time single-handedly saving the publishing industry instead of corresponding with Clowns.

He seems to have backburnered that whole "use iOS to save the publishing industry and the TV industry" project.

Just so tiresome! (Tekstud?)
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

Yeah, I mean just look how incompetent mr Steve is. I don't even understand why Apple hasn't fired him just yet. The gall, the gall to reply to people that e-mailed him.

Just fire the guy and bring on Steve Ballmer to Apple. That will work!
post #10 of 54
I don't think I could have made it through the day without reading this.
post #11 of 54
Maybe he is just tired of everyone posting his e-mails online. Few people record phone calls.
I heard him mention something about that on a keynote once.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

No, that's what he has his peeps do for him. I actually am not sure if he is even able to code anything.

Even having never met him, I know for certain that he can't. Steve has ideas. His ideas are good enough that he can pay people to do work for him. It's the same as any executive with an idea but without the skills to form something from it himself; he just presents it to a design team and they do their stuff.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

No, that's what he has his peeps do for him. I actually am not sure if he is even able to code anything.

As for the developer bitching about things, he needs to shut his mouth. He knew he used a private API and admitted to it and then wonders why he was rejected. Clown.

He sent a correspondence to Steve Jobs and Steve thought it was worthy of a response...so he probably isn't a clown.
post #14 of 54
App developer initially violated the App Store rules against private APIs and his app was rejected. Frustrated with the appeals process, the app developer decided to contact SJ. After a return call from SJ, the app developer modified his UI so that the private API could be eliminated, thus complying with the App Store rules. His app was subsequently accepted. All is well.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

You can't save those that don't want to be saved. The authors and publishers are so delusional right now. They feel like they will stave off e-books if they make them as expensive to purchase as printed versions. There are a few within the industry that are stating how this will fail but no one wants to listen to them.

I spoke with a popular sci-fi author and asked when we would see some of his work available on the Kindle? He went into a rant about the e-books. He told me that I would never see his books on my Kindle and he feels sorry for bigger author's like Stephen King that will be force to release e-books by his publishers.

Note: This author's books are available as illegal scanned PDFs on the internet. I didn't have the heart to tell him.
post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

Au contraire. This bolsters the widely held belief that Jobs is a product guy at heart. Unlike most CEOs whose expertise is "running a company," his is being immersed in product development and refinement. The printing thing is a work in progress and I have no doubt he is heavily involved in getting it to work. But with with all the patent conflicts this is not a smooth road. Have a little patience. When you pioneer new technology features instead of following others' leads, you have to expect a little noise in the process.
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post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

He sent a correspondence to Steve Jobs and Steve thought it was worthy of a response...so he probably isn't a clown.

Yes the developer is a clown. He knows he used private APIs, he acknowledges that he did knowing they are banned according to the very public App store guidelines. So he's a fool to complain when he knows he was breaking the guidelines.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwee View Post

Maybe he is just tired of everyone posting his e-mails online. Few people record phone calls.
I heard him mention something about that on a keynote once.

Yep, he replies to emails I send him every few months or so, but I never publish them. I recall him saying he considers it rude to post it during some keynote or QA somewhere. Of course no one believes me unless I show proof he emailed me, but he has. The two most recent ones were about the proximity sensor rumors from Apple Australia and the Mac App Store.
post #19 of 54
I think its a nice story. People on this site are quick to call people clowns and the like. I'd be hesitant before I knew more specifics. Programming is not easy stuff. We don't know what limitations the developer may have been faced with. As described, its not like the programmer was trying to something nefarious. Of course its unusual that Steve Jobs responded personally, but the point is that Apple, at least in this case, is putting a human touch on rules that many consider arbitrary.
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

It was five minutes, ten at most.

Although I agree that it was totally unnecessary in the sense that this developer had the rules in front of him and didn't follow them. No cause to be "upset". Of course if he'd gotten an email that said "Your app is rejected due to violation of rule X Use of Private APIs. Free free to remove the API and resubmit." There would be no confusion. Unless he got such an email and thinks it's stupid that they wouldn't let you use the API. My only question is how do the developers have access to them anyway. If they can't use them, don't let them see them.

Also who said printing is not working. A bunch of rumor sites. Nothing from Apple. Perhaps it is just fine and all this talk that it won't be included is nonsense. Perhaps it will be excluded not because it is not working but because they want to wait a day or two to see if any bugs in everything else come up first. After all, they can't test every single possible combo of apps etc. that users might have bought that could go screwy. Give the update a few days to settle and then release a x.x.1 with printing on. Or maybe the issue isn't iOS at all but the other side of the game and Apple is waiting for HP etc to have driver updates ready so customers aren't calling to gripe at Apple that it's not working when it's their printer that is busted

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexter.macdonald7 View Post

Another case of personal service by Jobs. Next, every apple store will have jobs in it once a year so you can ask questions. He will have a crystal ball to predict the future.

Actually, that would be kinda cool. Suppose Mr. Jobs were to visit a random store once per month just to connect with customers. I could not imagine any other CEO of a fortune 500 company doing something like this. But I could see Jobs doing it.
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Even having never met him, I know for certain that he can't. Steve has ideas. His ideas are good enough that he can pay people to do work for him. It's the same as any executive with an idea but without the skills to form something from it himself; he just presents it to a design team and they do their stuff.

Actually, he does quite a bit more, and sometimes less, than just present his ideas to a design team.

http://folklore.org/index.py

This is a great read about the development of the original Macintosh, and my guess is that his style of pushing people to make great products has not changed that much over the years.

EDIT: And for anyone interested in what the reality distortion field really is:

http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?pro...&detail=medium
post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

Steve understands that the customer is the Boss. He pays for your home, your cars, your vacation, holidays and kids education. He is a very smart CEO. That's why Apple has the second highest market cap.
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Even having never met him, I know for certain that he can't. Steve has ideas. His ideas are good enough that he can pay people to do work for him. It's the same as any executive with an idea but without the skills to form something from it himself; he just presents it to a design team and they do their stuff.

Even if he could code, it would be a colossal waste of time. In the places I have worked, even senior staff engineers do not code. They architect, and guide/mentor the younger developers.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

He sent a correspondence to Steve Jobs and Steve thought it was worthy of a response...so he probably isn't a clown.

Why are we discussing this like it really happened?
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

What a silly comment. SJ knows that when he responds to one guy it will be all over the internet within hours. People will discuss at length and for the most part it will further reinforce the idea of Apple as a company that cares, is cool, and in spite of it being a huge corporation behaves more like a small startup. Essentially SJ is a master viral marketeer, among many other things.
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

As for the developer bitching about things, he needs to shut his mouth. He knew he used a private API and admitted to it and then wonders why he was rejected. Clown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Why use a private API when there is a perfectly good public function textFieldDoneEditing that everyone else uses.

I can't believe NOBODY read the original article this was linked to. If you had, you would have seen that THE REASON HE USED A PRIVATE API CALL IS BECAUSE OF A *BUG* IN THE SDK!!!

*IF* people had read the original articles they would have seen that the developer is not someone who thinks the rules don't apply to him and he can use private APIs with reckless abandon. There was apparently some bug in the "perfectly good public function that everyone else uses," so he used the private API call as a workaround.

When the app was rejected he filed an appeal on the basis that he used the call to work around a bug in the SDK. It's not an unreasonable thing to expect that Apple might have made an exception in his case. He e-mailed Jobs at the same time he filed the appeal. Jobs called him and they talked and it was explained that an exception would set a bad precedent so he then changed his app to avoid running into the bug (apparently he had to make changes to his user interface to do so).

Presumably they talked about the bug and it will get fixed, if it hasn't already been fixed for iOS 4.2, so everybody wins in this case.

He certainly wasn't "bitching" about it.

PLEASE read and THINK before posting. You know what happens when you assume things.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcworth@charter.net View Post

Why are we discussing this like it really happened?

In the Mac 512, SE days( cira 1985..1987) Steve Jobs used to call a friend of mine at Dan Patch to make sure they had computers to sell. I am going with Steve is still Steve doing what Steve has done repeatedly in the past.

I going with Steve doing something different than what Michael Dell does for Dell Computers, manage from behind a desk. I am going with Steve must be doing some serious personal research to hit on iPod, iPad, OS X.... and on and on. Either that or he has a fantastic weegee board.

Jim
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

I can't believe NOBODY read the original article this was linked to. If you had, you would have seen that THE REASON HE USED A PRIVATE API CALL IS BECAUSE OF A *BUG* IN THE SDK!!!

*IF* people had read the original articles they would have seen that the developer is not someone who thinks the rules don't apply to him and he can use private APIs with reckless abandon. There was apparently some bug in the "perfectly good public function that everyone else uses," so he used the private API call as a workaround.

When the app was rejected he filed an appeal on the basis that he used the call to work around a bug in the SDK. It's not an unreasonable thing to expect that Apple might have made an exception in his case. He e-mailed Jobs at the same time he filed the appeal. Jobs called him and they talked and it was explained that an exception would set a bad precedent so he then changed his app to avoid running into the bug (apparently he had to make changes to his user interface to do so).

Presumably they talked about the bug and it will get fixed, if it hasn't already been fixed for iOS 4.2, so everybody wins in this case.

He certainly wasn't "bitching" about it.

PLEASE read and THINK before posting. You know what happens when you assume things.

I read the article. Yes I know it was the only workaround he had for his paricular issue, but he also knew that using private APIs wouldn't get his app cleared. Obviously he went back and corrected the issue, but whether he corrected it or Apple corrected their end in the SDK, that's not mentioned clearly.

Whether he had a problem with the SDK or not, he's still not smart knowing he is doing something that will get his app rejected.
post #30 of 54
go jObs!
post #31 of 54
Hadn't looked at the folklore.org site in quite a few years, but was rereading some of the articles today. Here's another one that I think gives some good insight into how Steve Jobs drives product development:

http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?pro...rt%20by%20Date
post #32 of 54
Classy.
Your move, Ballmer.

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I read the article. Yes I know it was the only workaround he had for his paricular issue, but he also knew that using private APIs wouldn't get his app cleared. Obviously he went back and corrected the issue, but whether he corrected it or Apple corrected their end in the SDK, that's not mentioned clearly.

Since the SDK was not updated, he must have changed his code.
"I told him that I would replace the modal form sheet with alternative UI. Removing the form sheet (and therefore its bug) would eliminate the need for the private API"
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

What a waste of his time. Shouldn't he be working on getting printing to work instead?

Whatever Steve is doing, he is doing it the right way. All shareholders agree.
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post #35 of 54
The Economy app on iPad is awesome. For me, having all the up-to-date economic data in one place, in a coherent and user-friendly container is extremely valuable.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

No, that's what he has his peeps do for him. I actually am not sure if he is even able to code anything.

As for the developer bitching about things, he needs to shut his mouth. He knew he used a private API and admitted to it and then wonders why he was rejected. Clown.

Worst is the gulibility with respect to the rumor sites and their willingness to publish such crap. It is perfectly obvious that the guy simply didn't try hard enough or doesn't understand programming of iOS devices to get the code right in the first place. Obviously it didn't take much effort to get it right, so it sounds like lazzyness.

This whole thing is BS anyways as it is never a good idea to use private APIs on any platform. The only difference is that Apple enforces the practice. Maybe they definition of "private" has never been explained to these people.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimoase View Post

I going with Steve doing something different than what Michael Dell does for Dell Computers, manage from behind a desk. I am going with Steve must be doing some serious personal research to hit on iPod, iPad, OS X.... and on and on. Either that or he has a fantastic weegee board.

Jim

According to a news article a few years ago profiling various CEO's, Michael Dell has been known to help take customer orders over the phone.
post #38 of 54
You can support this guy all you want but bugs are not a reasonable excuse. Every bit of non trivial software a developer will ever come into contact with will have bugs. It is going to happen but it is not a justification for break the rules with respect to SDK usage.

The rule with respect to private APIs is one of the most rational in the SDK agreement. Think about it what would the developers response be if his app broke because Apple fixed the bug by adapting the private API he was using. How about his custommers response to a broken app, especially one that breaks after a software (OS) update.

Frankly this complaint is about as valid as the guy that gets the speeding ticket and then tries to explain to the officer he didn't want to be late for the ball game. The driver loose the arguement on at least two counts, one is he could have done things the right way and left at a reasonable time. The other is that the ball game certainly isn't an emergency. In this case the private API usage wasn't even a drive to the ball game, it is nothing but BS.



Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

I can't believe NOBODY read the original article this was linked to. If you had, you would have seen that THE REASON HE USED A PRIVATE API CALL IS BECAUSE OF A *BUG* IN THE SDK!!!

*IF* people had read the original articles they would have seen that the developer is not someone who thinks the rules don't apply to him and he can use private APIs with reckless abandon. There was apparently some bug in the "perfectly good public function that everyone else uses," so he used the private API call as a workaround.

When the app was rejected he filed an appeal on the basis that he used the call to work around a bug in the SDK. It's not an unreasonable thing to expect that Apple might have made an exception in his case. He e-mailed Jobs at the same time he filed the appeal. Jobs called him and they talked and it was explained that an exception would set a bad precedent so he then changed his app to avoid running into the bug (apparently he had to make changes to his user interface to do so).

Presumably they talked about the bug and it will get fixed, if it hasn't already been fixed for iOS 4.2, so everybody wins in this case.

He certainly wasn't "bitching" about it.

PLEASE read and THINK before posting. You know what happens when you assume things.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

go jObs!

JObs

wtf AA won't let me use a 4-character response?
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Since the SDK was not updated, he must have changed his code.
"I told him that I would replace the modal form sheet with alternative UI. Removing the form sheet (and therefore its bug) would eliminate the need for the private API"

Yes, he changed his code to work around his bug. He is now using an alternate user interface from what he intended. He would not have had to do that if there were no bug in the SDK to start with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Worst is the gulibility with respect to the rumor sites and their willingness to publish such crap. It is perfectly obvious that the guy simply didn't try hard enough or doesn't understand programming of iOS devices to get the code right in the first place. Obviously it didn't take much effort to get it right, so it sounds like lazzyness.

This whole thing is BS anyways as it is never a good idea to use private APIs on any platform. The only difference is that Apple enforces the practice. Maybe they definition of "private" has never been explained to these people.

It's not laziness on his part. He had to replace part of his original design to work around the bug, which he would not have had to do if there hadn't been a bug in the first place. Yes, he knew that using the private API would get his app rejected, but it is still not an unreasonable thing to see if appealing the rejection for a specific use would get them to make an exception. (Sometimes companies *DO* make exceptions. The only way to know if they will or not is to try and ask).

Yes, there is no current problem with the app because he worked around the bug. Now that iOS 4.2 is coming out he will likely see if the SDK bug has been fixed, and he may even restore his original user interface intent.

His blog posting about Steve Jobs calling him was not to complain about the outcome. He was praising Apple because they took the time to call him and talk about what is still a largely opaque approval process.
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