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

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  • Reply 61 of 94
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,786member

    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.
    Well, the writer has said that the word “jailbreaking” is not in metadata, or, I assume, the app. 

  • Reply 62 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.  
    It certainly causes one to wonder why an appeal wasn’t made first.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 63 of 94
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,786member
    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 paid $1K for a phone that doesn’t do what you want?

    Well, that wasn’t very bright, was it. 
    lkrupp
  • Reply 64 of 94
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    As a private company, Apple has the legal right to ban any app they want simply because the app uses a word that Apple disapproves of, for instance in this case "jailbreak."

    The CDC has the legal right to ban certain words as well, such as "diversity," "fetus," "transgender," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "science-based" and "evidence-based."

    Your ISP has the legal right to ban you from visiting certain websites.

    Those are legal things. But are they in the interest of a free society? No. They can do it, but should they? No. 

    I encourage Apple to revisit this unfortunate decision and allow a simple news app to be sold in an app store that supports free and open speech.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 65 of 94
    512ke said:
    As a private company, Apple has the legal right to ban any app they want simply because the app uses a word that Apple disapproves of, for instance in this case "jailbreak."

    The CDC has the legal right to ban certain words as well, such as "diversity," "fetus," "transgender," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "science-based" and "evidence-based."

    Your ISP has the legal right to ban you from visiting certain websites.

    Those are legal things. But are they in the interest of a free society? No. They can do it, but should they? No. 

    I encourage Apple to revisit this unfortunate decision and allow a simple news app to be sold in an app store that supports free and open speech.
    Apple is responsible to their shareholders. They aren’t the Free Speech Patrol.
  • Reply 66 of 94
    Rayz2016 said:
    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. 
    First they scan the app to look for undocumented API's and things embedded in the code, then they need to run the app to make sure it doesn't crash on startup. After that they usually hit your main screens and look for crashes and "red flags" which make them want to dig deeper. If there is a login screen, you are supposed to provide them with a valid login for testing. So you see, they have to run the app and it was just dumb luck that the day they ran it, there was an article about jailbreaking. It was a MISTAKE and it will be corrected. Keep in mind they are probably reviewing thousands and thousand of apps every day, tens of thousands every day during peak time periods like right before the Christmas shutdown and right after. Some things like this fall through the cracks, all in the name of speedy reviews. It sucks, I've been affected by it before, but life goes on. An app review delay should be part of the planning process in any iOS development schedule.


    SpamSandwichStrangeDaysrandominternetperson
  • Reply 67 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 are using "government should mandate" and "freedom" in the same paragraph. It sounds like you think users should be free to do whatever they want, the government should guarantee that freedom with laws and regulations, but Apple should not have the freedom to do what they want with their intellectual property. That doesn't sound fair.

    Really with the government staying out of it, users and producers already have freedom of choice. If you don't like the Apple ecosystem with Apple's rules, there is the Google/Android ecosystem with those rules and different set of problems. If you want to try to jailbreak an iPhone, you are welcome to try, while Apple is free to make it difficult. If you want to download anything you want, get an android phone and go crazy with it.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 68 of 94
    Push notifications may be the issue. If your app pushes a notification such as “iOS 11 jailbreak is available from Alibaba” then well, you cannot blame Apple, IMHO.
  • Reply 69 of 94
    Push notifications may be the issue. If your app pushes a notification such as “iOS 11 jailbreak is available from Alibaba” then well, you cannot blame Apple, IMHO.
    From the reject letter, it says, paraphrased, “may not create or facilitate jailbreaks.” As long as AI doesn’t link to the locations where jailbreaks are available, Apple can’t technically have any problem with the app.
    SpamSandwichbloggerblogmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 70 of 94
    It is a bit ridiculous tbh.
    nhughes
  • Reply 71 of 94
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,589member
    dcgoo said:
    Well, if you want to publish on THEIR platform you will have to tow THEIR line... completely.   One other reason I have always preferred your web site over the app.

    Agreed. And why the hell do you need an app anyway? Like we need more apps on our phones, especially when the website does the same thing at no extra cost? I simply create a home screen link and put all me news feeds into one folder on my home screen. Simple and more effective!
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 72 of 94
    file:///var/folders/tp/71dc06ws5433qlhx9sg2qbr80000gn/T/IMG_0078%202.jpg
    Push notifications may be the issue. If your app pushes a notification such as “iOS 11 jailbreak is available from Alibaba” then well, you cannot blame Apple, IMHO.
    From the reject letter, it says, paraphrased, “may not create or facilitate jailbreaks.” As long as AI doesn’t link to the locations where jailbreaks are available, Apple can’t technically have any problem with the app.


    Apple's own News app lists a lof of jailbreaking news. So, the publication of a jailbreaking article is absolutely not the reason. But a push notification is different from an article in terms of user experience. I find it understandable Apple may not be tolerant of such notifications, whether they originate from an article or not.
    edited December 2017 brakken
  • Reply 73 of 94
    Probably no xmas card from Tim either :)
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 74 of 94
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,197member
    The rejection of the AI App update (boo) and the reference to the fake Cup Heads app actually getting through the app approval process (double boo) reminds us once again that Apple's approval process is far from perfect. It's easy to pontificate about Apple's perceived failings in its app approval process but these two cases are real living and breathing examples of the system failing to work as intended. Hopefully Apple can use these examples as test cases along with the negative backlash to improve their process.

    I can only speculate that Apple is using some algorithms to automate the approval process. I actually don't mind if these algorithms generate false positives - as long as there is still a human in the loop. If the algorithm flags an app because it "walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and quacks like a duck" it's totally okay to me for it to say "this app might be a duck - pending further review by a human reviewer." If it declares it a duck without further review by someone possessing the human qualities of judgement, vision, hearing, and some understanding of the many subtleties of communication and cognition then I do have a problem.

    Apple absolutely requires automation in the approval process because of the massive volume of submissions. The automation must include keyword filtering, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. But they can't go too far and remove the human from the loop, and preferably, a human that has knowledge, judgement, and a clear understanding of the importance of preserving the mutually beneficial relationships between all stakeholders in the Apple app ecosystem, most notably in this case, the app developers and Apple app approval gatekeepers. 

    Another lesson to be learned by Apple's employees. It's been a very "educational" past few months at Apple. Whew!
    cropr
  • Reply 75 of 94
    dewme said:
    The rejection of the AI App update (boo) and the reference to the fake Cup Heads app actually getting through the app approval process (double boo) reminds us once again that Apple's approval process is far from perfect. It's easy to pontificate about Apple's perceived failings in its app approval process but these two cases are real living and breathing examples of the system failing to work as intended. Hopefully Apple can use these examples as test cases along with the negative backlash to improve their process.

    I can only speculate that Apple is using some algorithms to automate the approval process. I actually don't mind if these algorithms generate false positives - as long as there is still a human in the loop. If the algorithm flags an app because it "walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and quacks like a duck" it's totally okay to me for it to say "this app might be a duck - pending further review by a human reviewer." If it declares it a duck without further review by someone possessing the human qualities of judgement, vision, hearing, and some understanding of the many subtleties of communication and cognition then I do have a problem.

    Apple absolutely requires automation in the approval process because of the massive volume of submissions. The automation must include keyword filtering, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. But they can't go too far and remove the human from the loop, and preferably, a human that has knowledge, judgement, and a clear understanding of the importance of preserving the mutually beneficial relationships between all stakeholders in the Apple app ecosystem, most notably in this case, the app developers and Apple app approval gatekeepers. 

    Another lesson to be learned by Apple's employees. It's been a very "educational" past few months at Apple. Whew!
    In the case of the Cuphead game app I can completely understand why even a human review of the game might not be recognizable to an Apple employee, since it's a Microsoft-only title at this point.
  • Reply 76 of 94
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 330administrator
    Some posts have been removed from this thread (including one of mine, and a few of neils.) Please keep the discussion on topic, and do not badger our editors. Everything that still exists in thread is fair game.

    edit:
    Also do not expect Neil to answer any more questions in this thread. You may direct your questions to me and I will answer them as best I can.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 77 of 94
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,460member
    jSnively said:
    Some posts have been removed from this thread (including one of mine, and a few of neils.) Please keep the discussion on topic, and do not badger our editors. Everything that still exists in thread is fair game.

    edit:
    Also do not expect Neil to answer any more questions in this thread. You may direct your questions to me and I will answer them as best I can.
    Be sure to let us know when Apple reverses this rejection as I’m sure it will.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 78 of 94
    Rules are rules.
    Remove the thread about jailbreaking, get the app in the store and reinstate the thread.

    All I'm reading here is "wah wah, I broke the TOC's and got caught".
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 79 of 94

    Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives.
     :D 
    Haha!.. the Big Brother... lol....interesting how things have evolved ... But hey its buisness... right...! My stock is doing good. ;)
  • Reply 80 of 94
    Boo-frickety-woo.
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