Apple is usually quite the secretive company, revealing little of itself or its practices. With the App Store under heavy criticism, the company felt it needed to break the silence, and as such, Apple’s senior vice-president for worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller defended the company’s App Store policies.
Talking to BusinessWeek, Schiller defended the company’s App Store policies, claiming they’re still learning as they go along. “We’ve built a store for the most part that people can trust,” he told BusinessWeek, “You and your family and friends can download applications from the store, and for the most part they do what you’d expect, and they get onto your phone, and you get billed appropriately, and it all just works.”
Schiller likens Apple’s role to that of a retailer who also needs to check if the products he sells are of good enough quality. “Whatever your favorite retailer is, of course they care about the quality of products they offer,” he says, “We review the applications to make sure they work as the customers expect them to work when they download them.”
Schiller also dove into the specifics of App Store rejections, claiming that 90% of the rejections revolve around technical fixes developers are often eager to fix. He further states that the remaining 10% cover “inappropriate” content. “There have been applications submitted for approval that will steal personal data, or which are intended to help the user break the law, or which contain inappropriate content,” Schiller says.
This is one of the main problem areas, I think. Are Apple’s ideas about what is inappropriate really the norm for the rest of the world? No offence to my lovely American friends, but you guys on the other side of the pond have taken puritanism and made it an art form, and at least we Dutch often point and laugh about things like an exposed nipple causing the entire country to come crashing down.
Apple’s App Store policies should be about making sure applications work and respect the UI guidelines of the iPhone. Apple shouldn’t be the company deciding about morals and values, because the end result is that the morals and values of a few random employees are stamped upon the App Store.
In the end, normal computers don’t need over-active gatekeepers either, and seem to chug along just fine. It would be trivial for Apple to allow applications distribution outside of the App Store, and then include a parental control to disable this feature as to maintain the curent status quo.