Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Sep 2008 12:29 UTC
Apple The saga surrounding Apple's policies concerning the App Store hasn't reached its climax just yet. After several seemingly arbitrary application rejections, high profile developers quitting iPhone development, and Apple adding a non-disclosure clause to its App Store rejection emails, we now have another high-profile Mac developer contemplating giving up iPhone development. Craig Hockenberry, of The Iconfactory, has written a public letter to Steve Jobs, detailing his worries that Apple's restrictive App Store policies are detrimental to the young platform.
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about damn time...
by hobgoblin on Mon 29th Sep 2008 13:25 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

that people start to see what apple is all about these days...

long gone are the generic expansion ports of appleII...

Reply Score: 12

seems familiar....
by TechGeek on Mon 29th Sep 2008 13:51 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

All your phones belong to Steve. Your just paying for a license for the experience of owning one.

Reply Score: 11

RE: seems familiar....
by hobgoblin on Mon 29th Sep 2008 14:19 UTC in reply to "seems familiar...."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

i suspect they would love to pull something similar on osx, at least on the consumer directed ones...

Reply Score: 6

Apple's same old problem
by ShadesFox on Mon 29th Sep 2008 14:22 UTC
ShadesFox
Member since:
2006-10-01

Apple has always been too demanding and restrictive. The iPhone killer maybe its own app store if this keeps up.

I actually grabbed the development kit. Never really worked with it, reading the documentation and general feel of the SDK always gave me a "hacker's not welcome" feeling. And I don't mean the viruses and rootkits type hackers, I mean the, "invent the next generation of cool stuff" type hackers. The rejection notes and NDAs only shores up this feeling.

Edited 2008-09-29 14:29 UTC

Reply Score: 14

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

You mean real Hackers in the true and original sense of the title. Thank you for making that distinction.

Reply Score: 2

What is there to Understand?
by segedunum on Mon 29th Sep 2008 14:50 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple doesn't like developers. I've said that before around here, and it has long been a part of Apple's make-up. From their lack of effort in development tools for external developers to their policies, they simply don't want you.

If you create an application that infringes on what the big Apple applications are doing, especially stuff like iTunes, they are going to get you shut down by any means. Stop trying to make money for Apple by expanding their market by developing applications for their platform. Apple do not get this. It's a big reason why Mac OS usage remained small, and why when Apple gets first to market with something they are always on to a loser in the long-term because they cannot maintain their market share.

Reply Score: 4

Lack of effort on development tools?
by alban on Mon 29th Sep 2008 20:00 UTC in reply to "What is there to Understand?"
alban Member since:
2005-11-15

Xcode is pretty good; whats not to like about the interface builder; and objective C is quite nice; so are the huge and varied frameworks installed for you.
Some lack of effort on development tools.
They just about write the code for you.
One thing you can say about Apple is they give developers excellent tools for free.
Remember when your program had to animate the close box itself?

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Yer, Xcode is undeniably good, but the problem in everything they do from their practices to the focus they put on their development tools and what you're allowed to do with them is that if you develop something that competes with Apple they get paranoid. In reality they shouldn't, because no one will ever be able to get enough traction to compete with iTunes or the main Apple applications, although they might fill niches that expand Apple's userbase and help them sell more iPhones.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What is there to Understand?
by jayson.knight on Mon 29th Sep 2008 22:17 UTC in reply to "What is there to Understand?"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple doesn't like developers. I've said that before around here, and it has long been a part of Apple's make-up. From their lack of effort in development tools for external developers to their policies, they simply don't want you.


You nailed it, and it's this attitude that will further cement them as such a niche product. Microsoft (love them or hate them) is very developer friendly, and it's because of them openly embracing developers that Windows (as a platform) has flourished so much over the years.

The fact that a developer has to PAY APPLE to release their apps in the iStore is beyond ludicrous. It almost makes me ashamed that I even own an iPod touch. It's such an arrogant mindset to have. If enough would-be developers jump ship, perhaps they'll get the message. One of them just might be the one who would've written the next killer iApp that would make the iPhone a must-own device.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Agreed. As much of a Mac person as I am--and I must say that the Mac platform is very developer friendly--this whole iPhone ridiculousness leaves me shaking my head. It would be one thing if Apple was specific about what apps will or won't be accepted and held to those policies. I'm not sure what they think they'll accomplish with this current state of affairs except to piss people off, though. I do think that developers having to pay a bit to release their apps via the app store makes sense, as Apple has to keep the app store up and running and the funds for that have to come from somewhere. What is ridiculous is that, short of jailbreaking, the app store is the *only* way to get apps on the iPhone and that's what get me. It would be different if you could just download any app like you can on a computer, or just about every other mobile platform out there. This latest episode with having rejections covered under NDA is just beyond insane. I just hope they learn their lesson from it all--the hard way, if that's how it ends up turning out. Sometimes I think that Apple is a bipolar company, having rapid swings from brilliance to insanity and back again faster than you can blink an eye. On one hand we have OS X, on the other we have the iPhone app store. It's certainly entertaining and maddening at the same time.

Reply Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I do think that developers having to pay a bit to release their apps via the app store makes sense, as Apple has to keep the app store up and running and the funds for that have to come from somewhere.

Let's see... Where could Apple possibly come up with a revenue stream to maintain the iPhone App Store functioning well enough to effectively provide iPhone apps for the iPhone to owners of iPhones? An iBake Sale, maybe?

Edited 2008-09-29 23:32 UTC

Reply Score: 5

DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Let's see... Where could Apple possibly come up with a revenue stream to maintain the iPhone App Store functioning well enough to effectively provide iPhone apps for the iPhone to owners of iPhones? An iBake Sale, maybe?"

Good idea! Maybe they will have iCookies for the iPhone...

Reply Score: 3

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

I do think that developers having to pay a bit to release their apps via the app store makes sense, as Apple has to keep the app store up and running and the funds for that have to come from somewhere.


This needs to be a cost that is absorbed by them, plain and simple. This is a textbook definition of bilking: Apple says "you can only use our platform to distribute your apps, and on top of that, you have to pay for it." That would be like Adobe having to pay Microsoft to use a Microsoft sanctioned distribution channel so that they can sell Photoshop.

Apple's control freakishness nature is outlandish. Their stock is through the roof lately. To basically haggle over what amounts to pennies to them is insanity at its best.

Reply Score: 4

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

This needs to be a cost that is absorbed by them, plain and simple. This is a textbook definition of bilking: Apple says "you can only use our platform to distribute your apps, and on top of that, you have to pay for it." That would be like Adobe having to pay Microsoft to use a Microsoft sanctioned distribution channel so that they can sell Photoshop.

Apple's control freakishness nature is outlandish. Their stock is through the roof lately. To basically haggle over what amounts to pennies to them is insanity at its best.

In the current situation, I actually agree with you. I said that I believe it makes sense for developers to pay for distributing through the app store, but not if the app store is the _only_ method of getting apps to the platform. That is indeed insanity and I'd go so far as to describe it as blackmail (you do what we want, or you get nothing). That's why I believe that in regards to the iPhone Apple needs to learn a very valuable lesson. The fact is, though, that Apple wouldn't be able to do this if the vast majority of people didn't bend over and take it. Unfortunately they do.
These dictatorial policies leave me rolling my eyes. It just doesn't make sense from a business standpoint when every other mobile platform is open, but who knows what their motivations really are. I'd like to know, but I suppose that's about as likely as Linux becoming a unified platform--i.e. close to absolute zero.

Reply Score: 2

Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

Sorry, but that is Bullshit.
Appstore is the least expensive (for the developer) store to sell mobile apps. On other Mobile app portals you normally get around 30% or less of sales price. I can't manage to see how getting 70% is a ripoff in comparison. You don't really want to compare to Desktop markets, right? Only a tiny fraction of mobile phone apps are not bought through portals.

Reply Score: 3

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

You nailed it, and it's this attitude that will further cement them as such a niche product. Microsoft (love them or hate them) is very developer friendly, and it's because of them openly embracing developers that Windows (as a platform) has flourished so much over the years.


Not only that. Microsoft is so developers friendly that they have an history of staying away from specific software markets not to affect its developers. That's why in many cases you need 3rdy-party tools to achieve specific functionalities. Couldn't Microsoft develop an A/V software or other tools? Why you have Paint and Notepad instead of better tools? Couldn't Microsoft develop a load of games? That's why.

To that, add that Microsoft is actively supporting popular Windows software instead of breaking compatibilities. Since Windows '95, MS is struggling to be sure that popular softwares will be compatible with newer Windows versions. If we dig into AppCompat sub-system we will find loads of surprises.

Reply Score: 2

DoctorPepper Member since:
2005-07-12

Not that I disagree with your basic statement, but I was a DOS/Windows developer for quite a few years, and this part of your statement:

"You nailed it, and it's this attitude that will further cement them as such a niche product. Microsoft (love them or hate them) is very developer friendly, and it's because of them openly embracing developers that Windows (as a platform) has flourished so much over the years."

Is not quite true. Microsoft is very developer friendly, until your product gets above a certain point on their radar, then they will either buy you out, create their own version of your product, or failing that, find some other way to put you out of business.

Sorry, don't mean to change the topic, but I've seen way too many good companies and independent developers get buried by Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

v Comment by Buck
by Buck on Mon 29th Sep 2008 15:14 UTC
also
by Buck on Mon 29th Sep 2008 15:39 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

what's wrong with folks constantly using Woz as an example? He's old, he's stale, the eighties are so over! Yet people still try to live in that utopia.

Reply Score: 0

RE: also
by hobgoblin on Mon 29th Sep 2008 16:48 UTC in reply to "also"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

people will always grasp for the utopia.

and woz is more then a person, he is a idea. the idea that anyone can build their own system if they put their mind to it, and allow it to be open for anyone to improve on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: also
by helf on Mon 29th Sep 2008 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE: also"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

and Woz is bullet proof.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: also
by hobgoblin on Mon 29th Sep 2008 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: also"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

nah, just insanely lucky. see plane crash ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: also - hey now.. be good to the Woz
by jabbotts on Tue 30th Sep 2008 12:15 UTC in reply to "also"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

He is too hardware design what Steve is to marketing. I've no love of Apple but Woz has earned his place in Hacker history. That's an original member of the computer homebrew club your talking about.

Reply Score: 4

v App Store Policies 'Killing Our Enthusiasm'
by Sabon on Mon 29th Sep 2008 16:29 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Dude, you just used up all the kool-aid in the world right there.

Reply Score: 10

David Member since:
1997-10-01

I don't think it's unreasonable to point out that if Apple specifically states that it won't support certain kinds of apps, then it's foolish to get outraged when they won't support your app.

Where there's a problem is when Apple isn't explicit about it, and gives you a surprise.

And of course, there's nothing wrong with having a general feeling of outrage about this whole business. I spend a few minutes every day being outraged and disappointed about Apple's iPhone strategy.

Reply Score: 2

Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

I spend a few minutes every day being outraged and disappointed about Apple's iPhone strategy.

Exactly!

Reply Score: 2

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

did apple ever specify what kinds of apps, or did they just reserve the right to deny any app access to the store on a whim?

Reply Score: 2

rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

It never fails; there's always someone that will defend absurdity.

Reply Score: 10

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

If you are an idiot and spend lots of time creating an app that Apple clearly will not accept. Then you are an idiot.


So true!:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(logic)
Section: tautological implication

Sorry, I couldn't resist ;D

Reply Score: 6

Idiot?
by JacobMunoz on Mon 29th Sep 2008 17:53 UTC
JacobMunoz
Member since:
2006-03-17

"Then you are an idiot."

...really? For not conforming to specs which are not made clear? Oh yes, these MUST surely be idiots...

...after all, they're developing Apple software.



A Haiku for Apple:

It cost me so much,
this big fruit-named computer;
Man, I'm a sucker!

Reply Score: 11

Apple Lost My Good Will
by exigentsky on Tue 30th Sep 2008 01:44 UTC
exigentsky
Member since:
2005-07-09

I got my first Apple product in March 2007 - a Macbook. The price was competitive and I was curious. Due to my positive experience, Apple could have gained a long-term customer. However, in the span of several months, they managed to push me farther than when I had not purchased any Apple products.

Coming from Linux, Apple's authoritarian and controlling behavior is appalling. Having a gag order on the free SDK was the first slap in the face but it did not push me over the edge. Rejecting programs simply because they compete with Apple's is a step too far. Putting an NDA even on rejection letters is an indication of madness and totally against the purpose of NDAs (to protect trade secrets). It reminds me of China's conclusion that journalists are the problem, not human rights violations. Apple knows it's abusing its power and not doing any services for its customers. It just doesn't want the negative press. It will backfire.

Reply Score: 5