App Store review ridiculousness: Apple rejects AppleInsider's iPhone X app update because ...

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  • Reply 41 of 94
    To be clear, I don’t think Apple is trying to control our editorial content. I think that an over-eager App Store reviewer (or maybe an automated process?) followed the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of it. But it isn’t the first time our app has been rejected for unexpected and confusing reasons. This latest example is just especially bizarre. 

    Like you, I expect it will be resolved soon. But considering the fake “Cuphead” release on Monday, it’s obvious that Apple still has some improvements to the process that they need to make. 
    I'm guessing you are right about this being an automated process that flagged the app based on a keyword. Could even be a non-English speaking reviewer who didn't take the time to understand the article. I've had similar things happen as well. They all worked out, but it costs time and money to do so. On the other hand, I still remember when routine simple app reviews could take 1-2 WEEKS to get your first feedback. Now it's only taking like 24-48 hours to get through the review process, at least for updates.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 42 of 94
    nhughes said:
    I don’t use your app, I always just go to the web site. Do you classify the AI app as a news app or an entertainment app?

    You guys may have to decide if you’re going to be a source of journalism or a source of advocacy.

    If you’re journalists, you should be able to cover the subject of jailbreaking without giving advice on HOW to jailbreak.

    Also, the headline reads as petulant and childish. Surely it could be rewritten to be a bit more analytical and less emotional.
    This article is clearly labeled as an editorial. We are a news website, and the app is listed in the news category. We didn't tell anyone how to jailbreak, either.
    AppleInsider officially considers itself a news site?

    Are single-source rumors news? Are press releases news? Are stories with affiliate links news? Just think some clarification may be needed, because none of these practices are recognized as standard journalism as far as I know. There are standards and practices which must be rigorously followed to be recognized as a news agency or organization:

    https://www.ap.org/about/our-story/standards-and-practices
  • Reply 43 of 94
    nhughes said:
    I don’t use your app, I always just go to the web site. Do you classify the AI app as a news app or an entertainment app?

    You guys may have to decide if you’re going to be a source of journalism or a source of advocacy.

    If you’re journalists, you should be able to cover the subject of jailbreaking without giving advice on HOW to jailbreak.

    Also, the headline reads as petulant and childish. Surely it could be rewritten to be a bit more analytical and less emotional.
    This article is clearly labeled as an editorial. We are a news website, and the app is listed in the news category. We didn't tell anyone how to jailbreak, either.
    AppleInsider officially considers itself a news site?

    Are single-source rumors news? Are press releases news? Are stories with affiliate links news? Just think some clarification may be needed, because none of these practices are recognized as standard journalism as far as I know. There are standards and practices which must be rigorously followed to be recognized as a news agency or organization:

    https://www.ap.org/about/our-story/standards-and-practices
    I'm not really sure what you're getting at here. I have a degree in journalism, I started out in the newspaper business before I came here. We're a news site. If you feel otherwise, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but... yeah, we're a news site.

    You're linking to the AP — I used to freelance for them.
    edited December 2017 gatorguySoliapple jockeyking editor the gratejSnively
  • Reply 44 of 94
    Rayz2016 said:
    nhughes said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    nhughes said:
    Call me very skeptical.  What was the actual wording of the rejection?  Without a direct quote, I'm let to believe that the "reason" is speculation rather than Apple's justification.
    Seeing the actual wording of the rejection would be nice. As is it sounds like secondhand info -- that you're reporting on what your dev told you. But did you see the rejection personally? What did it say?
    Why would we lie about this? What a weird reaction to have.


    I am somewhat confused. 

    What do they mean by “the app or its metadata contains information on jailbreaking”? Do you imbed the articles in the app? 

    Did the reviewer open open the app, click on an article and then reject it because the article was about jailbreaking?

    If that’s the case then this reviewer must be rejecting every app that touches the internet. 


    I can't say for sure, but I wonder if the rejection was part of an automated process, where it searches for certain banned key words. Regardless, we published a story about jailbreaking on Friday, and I learned about the rejection Monday evening, so, you can do the math. Or maybe not? Plenty of people in the comments accusing me of making this up.
    I am 100% positive  you’re not  making this up. I’m just trying to understand what  happened. The message seems to indicate that Apple may well have a point, but I’d need more information, because they also might not. 

    In one case, I’d be curious to know why your app or its metadata would need to contain the hard-coded string “jail-breaking”; in the other case I’d like to know if Apple is reviewing apps or the opinions of developers. 


    The word jailbreak is not in our app metadata. But we had recently published a story about jailbreaking when the app was submitted for review. Hence the rejection.
  • Reply 45 of 94
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,006administrator
    nhughes said:
    I don’t use your app, I always just go to the web site. Do you classify the AI app as a news app or an entertainment app?

    You guys may have to decide if you’re going to be a source of journalism or a source of advocacy.

    If you’re journalists, you should be able to cover the subject of jailbreaking without giving advice on HOW to jailbreak.

    Also, the headline reads as petulant and childish. Surely it could be rewritten to be a bit more analytical and less emotional.
    This article is clearly labeled as an editorial. We are a news website, and the app is listed in the news category. We didn't tell anyone how to jailbreak, either.
    AppleInsider officially considers itself a news site?

    Are single-source rumors news? Are press releases news? Are stories with affiliate links news? Just think some clarification may be needed, because none of these practices are recognized as standard journalism as far as I know. There are standards and practices which must be rigorously followed to be recognized as a news agency or organization:

    https://www.ap.org/about/our-story/standards-and-practices
    News site: Yes.

    Single-source rumors: No, that's why we don't use them. We pass on far, far more than we cover on the rumor front.

    Press releases: Yes? Why would press releases about new and relevant products to the reader base not be news?

    Stories with affiliate links are generally features or reviews of new, relevant product, so yes. This isn't a charity or a hobby, and we don't take paid placement, so I remain not sure about why you still have this issue, after me addressing it at least three times.

    Seriously, man. Stop grinding the axe. We've spoken about this before. If you don't like it here then go -- I'm really not going to argue about this again.
    edited December 2017 Solinhughesgatorguy1STnTENDERBITSapple jockeypscooter63cfc
  • Reply 46 of 94
    I'm in favor of asking for details about the rejection from Apple, as long as it is done respectfully. I personally trust AppleInsider if it is a first-hand account, but not so much what other people may state, which I would consider rumors until proven. There are plenty of cases of developers whining about their unfair rejections, and when you dig a little, you realize they are in the wrong and there are two sides to every story. Definitely NOT the case here, but in this age of fake news and partisan exaggerations in everything you read, it's a good thing to ask questions and do some research. Nowadays I find that anything even remotely political that is published by the major national news sources is usually riddled with factual errors and opinions stated as facts. So, ask questions, but be kind : ) Good luck AI, this article was written in a way that should not overly offend Apple and I hope they take care of it today.
    nhughesSpamSandwichmuthuk_vanalingamrandominternetperson
  • Reply 47 of 94
    What amuses me most about this is as an app store developer I have had to deal with crazy bullshit like this for years from Apple, but as soon as you bring it up in here you get told "Well don't like it? Go make your own app store then!" by so many Zealots. And yet here we are. The irony is this is exactly why we need to be able to easily jailbreak apple devices for a free and open system. In fact governments should mandate that if a user is crazy enough to do so and given sufficient warning from the OS he should be able to download any app he wants without the app store. Gambling apps, sex apps, freedom of information apps, it's my phone, i should be able to do what I want with it. Even download a virus if i'm not careful. I'm an adult, let me do what I want with my device i've paid $1k for.
  • Reply 48 of 94
    pentae said:
    What amuses me most about this is as an app store developer I have had to deal with crazy bullshit like this for years from Apple, but as soon as you bring it up in here you get told "Well don't like it? Go make your own app store then!" by so many Zealots. And yet here we are. The irony is this is exactly why we need to be able to easily jailbreak apple devices for a free and open system. In fact governments should mandate that if a user is crazy enough to do so and given sufficient warning from the OS he should be able to download any app he wants without the app store. Gambling apps, sex apps, freedom of information apps, it's my phone, i should be able to do what I want with it. Even download a virus if i'm not careful. I'm an adult, let me do what I want with my device i've paid $1k for.
    You can do that with Android already. Go hog wild!
    lkrupppscooter63
  • Reply 49 of 94
    ben20ben20 Posts: 122member
    nhughes said:
    Call me very skeptical.  What was the actual wording of the rejection?  Without a direct quote, I'm let to believe that the "reason" is speculation rather than Apple's justification.
    Seeing the actual wording of the rejection would be nice. As is it sounds like secondhand info -- that you're reporting on what your dev told you. But did you see the rejection personally? What did it say?
    Why would we lie about this? What a weird reaction to have.


    LOL...you did write about jailbreaking! Here comes big brother watching you ;-) 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 50 of 94
    nhughes said:
    I don’t use your app, I always just go to the web site. Do you classify the AI app as a news app or an entertainment app?

    You guys may have to decide if you’re going to be a source of journalism or a source of advocacy.

    If you’re journalists, you should be able to cover the subject of jailbreaking without giving advice on HOW to jailbreak.

    Also, the headline reads as petulant and childish. Surely it could be rewritten to be a bit more analytical and less emotional.
    This article is clearly labeled as an editorial. We are a news website, and the app is listed in the news category. We didn't tell anyone how to jailbreak, either.
    AppleInsider officially considers itself a news site?

    Are single-source rumors news? Are press releases news? Are stories with affiliate links news? Just think some clarification may be needed, because none of these practices are recognized as standard journalism as far as I know. There are standards and practices which must be rigorously followed to be recognized as a news agency or organization:

    https://www.ap.org/about/our-story/standards-and-practices
    News site: Yes.

    Single-source rumors: No, that's why we don't use them. We pass on far, far more than we cover on the rumor front.

    Press releases: Yes? Why would press releases about new and relevant products to the reader base not be news?

    Stories with affiliate links are generally features or reviews of new, relevant product, so yes. This isn't a charity or a hobby, and we don't take paid placement, so I remain not sure about why you still have this issue, after me addressing it at least three times.

    Seriously, man. Stop grinding the axe. We've spoken about this before. If you don't like it here then go -- I'm really not going to argue about this again.
    Mike, each point I raised has been an issue in the past and the failure to fully disclose conflicts of interest to readers remains an issue today. I pressed for disclosure on previously undisclosed affiliate links and only after I pressed was it revealed.

    Yes, you’re obviously free to make money from affiliate links, but if you want to be taken seriously as journalists, that financial arrangement must be clear to readers. This is standard journalistic practice.

    I’ve made my peace with this site because I don’t consider AppleInsider anything but a rumor site and a terrific forum full of people with interesting opinions and some technically very well informed commentary.

    Is everyone good with that?
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 51 of 94
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,080member
    Welcome to new media world, where major unaccountable corporations control not just the way we access information, but often the information itself.  Google.  Apple.  Facebook. Twitter.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the pressure AI received to delete one of its forums.  If anyone thinks AI or any other site will get away with posting real leaks or partially verified product rumors again, I have a bridge to sell you.  
    cornchip
  • Reply 52 of 94
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,788member
    To be clear, I don’t think Apple is trying to control our editorial content. I think that an over-eager App Store reviewer (or maybe an automated process?) followed the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of it. But it isn’t the first time our app has been rejected for unexpected and confusing reasons. This latest example is just especially bizarre. 

    Like you, I expect it will be resolved soon. But considering the fake “Cuphead” release on Monday, it’s obvious that Apple still has some improvements to the process that they need to make. 
    I'm guessing you are right about this being an automated process that flagged the app based on a keyword. Could even be a non-English speaking reviewer who didn't take the time to understand the article. I've had similar things happen as well. They all worked out, but it costs time and money to do so. On the other hand, I still remember when routine simple app reviews could take 1-2 WEEKS to get your first feedback. Now it's only taking like 24-48 hours to get through the review process, at least for updates.
    But what is an automated process/reviewer doing checking OUTSIDE the app?
  • Reply 53 of 94
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,788member

    nhughes said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    nhughes said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    nhughes said:
    Call me very skeptical.  What was the actual wording of the rejection?  Without a direct quote, I'm let to believe that the "reason" is speculation rather than Apple's justification.
    Seeing the actual wording of the rejection would be nice. As is it sounds like secondhand info -- that you're reporting on what your dev told you. But did you see the rejection personally? What did it say?
    Why would we lie about this? What a weird reaction to have.


    I am somewhat confused. 

    What do they mean by “the app or its metadata contains information on jailbreaking”? Do you imbed the articles in the app? 

    Did the reviewer open open the app, click on an article and then reject it because the article was about jailbreaking?

    If that’s the case then this reviewer must be rejecting every app that touches the internet. 


    I can't say for sure, but I wonder if the rejection was part of an automated process, where it searches for certain banned key words. Regardless, we published a story about jailbreaking on Friday, and I learned about the rejection Monday evening, so, you can do the math. Or maybe not? Plenty of people in the comments accusing me of making this up.
    I am 100% positive  you’re not  making this up. I’m just trying to understand what  happened. The message seems to indicate that Apple may well have a point, but I’d need more information, because they also might not. 

    In one case, I’d be curious to know why your app or its metadata would need to contain the hard-coded string “jail-breaking”; in the other case I’d like to know if Apple is reviewing apps or the opinions of developers. 


    The word jailbreak is not in our app metadata. But we had recently published a story about jailbreaking when the app was submitted for review. Hence the rejection.
    And Apple has said this is why it’s been rejected? That’s what this message means?

    If that’s the case they’re being dishonest as well as draconian. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 54 of 94
    sdw2001 said:
    Welcome to new media world, where major unaccountable corporations control not just the way we access information, but often the information itself.  Google.  Apple.  Facebook. Twitter.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the pressure AI received to delete one of its forums.  If anyone thinks AI or any other site will get away with posting real leaks or partially verified product rumors again, I have a bridge to sell you.  
    Apple is free to restrict or allow any information they want in their own App Store. Because they are a business and not the government they can do this. When one accesses AppleInsider with a web browser, there is no restriction of AppleInsider’s own content whatsoever.

    Since one of the editors pointed out that AI was not actually posting tutorials on how to jailbreak, in all likelihood this rejection by Apple was automated and a simple call to someone in charge at Apple would clear this right up instead of first taking the matter public.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 55 of 94
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,297member
    Rayz2016 said:
    To be clear, I don’t think Apple is trying to control our editorial content. I think that an over-eager App Store reviewer (or maybe an automated process?) followed the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of it. But it isn’t the first time our app has been rejected for unexpected and confusing reasons. This latest example is just especially bizarre. 

    Like you, I expect it will be resolved soon. But considering the fake “Cuphead” release on Monday, it’s obvious that Apple still has some improvements to the process that they need to make. 
    I'm guessing you are right about this being an automated process that flagged the app based on a keyword. Could even be a non-English speaking reviewer who didn't take the time to understand the article. I've had similar things happen as well. They all worked out, but it costs time and money to do so. On the other hand, I still remember when routine simple app reviews could take 1-2 WEEKS to get your first feedback. Now it's only taking like 24-48 hours to get through the review process, at least for updates.
    But what is an automated process/reviewer doing checking OUTSIDE the app?
    An automated machine scan of apps is what Google's Play Store gets dinged for by some here. Yet is Apple is doing much the same? Seems they may be, at least initially. Dunno. 
    edited December 2017 singularity
  • Reply 56 of 94
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,678member
    nhughes said:
    Call me very skeptical.  What was the actual wording of the rejection?  Without a direct quote, I'm let to believe that the "reason" is speculation rather than Apple's justification.
    Seeing the actual wording of the rejection would be nice. As is it sounds like secondhand info -- that you're reporting on what your dev told you. But did you see the rejection personally? What did it say?
    Why would we lie about this? What a weird reaction to have.



    What i find odd about this, the information they are referencing is not in the App, I am assuming the AI app goes out and fetches the content. I would imaging Apple does not have people looking at every app submission they have some sort of tool look through the code of meta data in the app and it looking for certain words or code strings which are not acceptable. The only way Apple would have know about the article was to have it loaded up the app and someone to look at it. 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 57 of 94
    thedbathedba Posts: 482member
    spice-boy said:
    Apple just reminded everyone that it is a big corporation which uses a steel fist to control it's image. I'm not surprised. 
    Or maybe Apple is a corporation made of humans and processes and that sometimes they are mistaken. You know, no different than any other corporation made of humans and processes. 

    apple jockeyStrangeDayslkrupp
  • Reply 58 of 94
    maestro64 said:
    nhughes said:
    Call me very skeptical.  What was the actual wording of the rejection?  Without a direct quote, I'm let to believe that the "reason" is speculation rather than Apple's justification.
    Seeing the actual wording of the rejection would be nice. As is it sounds like secondhand info -- that you're reporting on what your dev told you. But did you see the rejection personally? What did it say?
    Why would we lie about this? What a weird reaction to have.



    What i find odd about this, the information they are referencing is not in the App, I am assuming the AI app goes out and fetches the content. I would imaging Apple does not have people looking at every app submission they have some sort of tool look through the code of meta data in the app and it looking for certain words or code strings which are not acceptable. The only way Apple would have know about the article was to have it loaded up the app and someone to look at it. 
    The word “jailbreaking” or the like are probably in the metadata or tag.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 59 of 94
    nhughes said:
    Call me very skeptical.  What was the actual wording of the rejection?  Without a direct quote, I'm let to believe that the "reason" is speculation rather than Apple's justification.
    Seeing the actual wording of the rejection would be nice. As is it sounds like secondhand info -- that you're reporting on what your dev told you. But did you see the rejection personally? What did it say?
    Why would we lie about this? What a weird reaction to have.


    No one accused you of lying.  The original story didn't provide any direct quote from the rejection letter, so it was unclear how you (or your developers) knew for a fact that the rejection was based on a story you posted last week.  That's why we asked for clarification.  Any of the following could have been true:
    1. Apple specifically referenced the story from last week as part of the rejection.
    2. Apple said something about how the app could be used to jailbreak a device.
    3. Apple said "rejected" for unspecified reasons
    etc.

    Now that we see the wording of the letter, it's 100% clear that your app isn't in violation of the policy (unless the developer screwed up and somewhere in the code is something about "hacking or jailbreaking"--maybe in a screen shot?).  I have no doubt that this will be corrected once you ask for an appeal.  
    SpamSandwichnhughesStrangeDayspscooter63
  • Reply 60 of 94
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,788member
    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    To be clear, I don’t think Apple is trying to control our editorial content. I think that an over-eager App Store reviewer (or maybe an automated process?) followed the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of it. But it isn’t the first time our app has been rejected for unexpected and confusing reasons. This latest example is just especially bizarre. 

    Like you, I expect it will be resolved soon. But considering the fake “Cuphead” release on Monday, it’s obvious that Apple still has some improvements to the process that they need to make. 
    I'm guessing you are right about this being an automated process that flagged the app based on a keyword. Could even be a non-English speaking reviewer who didn't take the time to understand the article. I've had similar things happen as well. They all worked out, but it costs time and money to do so. On the other hand, I still remember when routine simple app reviews could take 1-2 WEEKS to get your first feedback. Now it's only taking like 24-48 hours to get through the review process, at least for updates.
    But what is an automated process/reviewer doing checking OUTSIDE the app?
    An automated machine scan of apps is what Google's Play Store gets dinged for by some here. Yet is Apple is doing much the same? Seems they may be, at least initially. Dunno. 
    I have no problem with an automatic app scan. But what the article writer is saying here is that the app was rejected because of something that was written on a rumour site, and not something intrinsic to the app. 
This discussion has been closed.