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More on App Store censorship

I already wrote my opinion on this topic a while ago, but here's a few other articles that offer more points I'd like to make, but never got around to:

App Store: I'm out - Fraser Speirs details the reasons why he has decided not to develop any additional iPhone apps beyond what he already has. Nice new word I learned here: nibware, i.e. apps consisting entirely of a NIB and only a tiny amount of code, and which don't do anything.

Let the Market decide - Wil Shipley drops the hype for a moment and writes a nicely structured piece. A few of the comparisons and analogies struck me as not quite fitting, but in general, I agree.

The App Store's Exclusionary Policies - John Gruber does his usual accurate review of the whole Podcaster issue. I also wished for this app since I got my iPhone, and it's kinda funny that Apple would object here (and completely unexpected): This is the kind of app that Apple could leave in there as a stop-gap until they have that feature in their iPod app.

That's something Apple has always been able to do: Waltz over third-party apps by providing their own. In general, if you have the choice of an app from someone or the maker of your platform, you prefer the latter, simply because you know it'll be integrated better, and there's more security: If Apple goes away, the whole Mac is gone anyway, but with a 3rd party, there's an additional point of failure: That manufacturer could decide to get outta the Mac business or go broke or whatever.

I doubt Apple has any plans to sell direct podcast downloads to iPhone and iPod users, so this is really only shooting themselves in the foot. But I guess it proves that all that kept Apple from acting like Microsoft was that they didn't have enough market control to pull that off so far.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me mention that I also developed an application for the iPhone and got rejected. I am still deciding what to do about it. I only did the 1.0 so far, thinking I'd add the beefier features later, so the amount of work involved isn't too big, and a bunch is salvageable for another desktop project, so it doesn't hurt yet, but apparently Apple thinks my app was offensive. I was aware that US-American TV standards would probably be applied, but in this case... if I find a way around this misunderstanding, I'll let you know. The options I have right now all have the potential to be funny, one in a weird way, another in a "political statement" kind of way.

We'll see.

Reader Comments: (RSS Feed)
Ross Carter writes:
For a contrary viewpoint, see my article at http://rosscarter.com/2008/219.html I wrote that before the Podcaster situation cropped up, and I freely admit that my position might not be supportable as incidents continue to accrue; indeed, the next-to-last paragraph is already out of date. However, I think it must be said that writing a set of rules is far more difficult than most commenters realize. People complain today that there are no rules. Providing rules will not stop the complaints; it will instead provoke complaints about the rules.
Rafael Bugajewski writes:
While I agree with almost all of your points I disagree with the security argumentation. Going out of business is not the only reason for discontinuing an application. A company can also decide to not support an app anymore out of different reasons like less profit or changes in their goals (like new products) and this is - at least from my point of view - the most common factor. Apple and also other big companies stopped to develop a lot of products in the past and this is just normal behavior. So at the end it doesn't make a huge difference if a company goes away or discontinues product development.
Uli Kusterer replies:
Rafael, good point. And there are also applications that used to be available for Mac, then moved away for greener pastures when the Mac got bad, and are still quite healthy (and probably would be even if Apple had gone out of business in the 90ies).
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Created: 2008-09-23 @668 Last change: 2014-11-29 @184 | Home | Admin | Edit
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