Print 80 comment(s) - last by Gzus666.. on Sep 17 at 12:39 PM

iPhone developers are becoming alarmed with Apple's closed box policy

Apple's App Store, which sells programs for its iPhone and iPod Touch, has been declared an instant success, with over 10 million downloads of the over 500 applications available on site.  Part of the charm of the system was that it allowed independent developers freedom to get in the sandbox and build something.  Many hoped this was a sign that Apple was finally relaxing its tight closed-box policies that allowed Windows computers to surpass Macs in the first place.

However, confirmation from Apple that there was a "kill switch" built in, which could be used to remotely disable users applications.  In Apple's original statements, it promised to use to weed out programs that violated Apple's terms of service, which it said consisted of abusive and inappropriate applications. 

While some rejected applications, such as the short lived "Whoopie Cushion" app, could be construed to be offensive or have the potential for abuse, Apple has issued many more rejections to companies with legitimate products that might outcompete Apple's own software offerings.

For example, most recently a developer created a new app called Podcaster.  This application allows users to subscribe, manage, stream and download podcasts directly from an iPhone or iPod touch.  The application was unceremoniously rejected, which led the irritated developer to publish the letter of rejection.  The rejection states:

Apple Rep says: Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.

Such a draconian policy is tough on developers, not just because it limits them, but because it breeds an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, in which there well-intentioned application might be rejected for unconsidered violations.  States iPhone developer DaringFireball on the issue, "If you only find out at the end of the development process that your app has been rejected — not for a technical problem that you can address but because Apple deems the entire concept to be out of bounds — then who is going to put serious time and talent into an iPhone app?"

Fraser Speirs, another loyal Apple developer, is so outraged he quit new development for the app store and is leading a push among developers to force Apple to adopt policy changes.  Among his demands are clear exclusion rules, an App Store evangelist, and the ability to get pre-authorized before application development.

Developers who made $30M USD in application revenue for Apple in July are starting to feel like Apple just doesn't care.  In the end, Mr. Speirs and other developers investing their time and money into applications development agree -- Apple must show its intent to change to its developers or risk losing them.

Outrage from even the staunchest supporters within the Mac community has been quite fierce – a Mac Rumors thread on the topic has garnered 17 pages of responses.

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RE: Quality Matters
By Gzus666 on 9/16/2008 6:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
No, I mentioned standards, as it is good for everyone. Security doesn't come from standards, but having everyone collaborate on the same software sure does. If IBM, Sun, HP, MS, Apple, etc. etc. all concentrated on one platform, and worked towards security there, it would be more secure than anything we have, and I'm pretty sure the code would be much tighter. Security wasn't the only thing mentioned from standards. Security, usability, interoperability, all these things are by products of standardization. If they each want to put variations out after that (Linux distributions ring a bell?), go nuts, but the baseline needs to be the same, and things need to interoperate. There is no reason in the world we shouldn't be able to sit down at any computer, and use any program, other than a silly operating system war. Computers are too vital to our everyday life and economy to let a silly squabble ruin it.

RE: Quality Matters
By Hare on 9/17/2008 11:45:32 AM , Rating: 2
Apple uses plenty of open source software, apache, webkit, openssh, etc. All of these are "standard" and how secure is Mac OS X? They even use BSD as their operating system base because of its robust UNIX roots and security focus. How much did that help...

Leopard is an Open Brand UNIX 03 Registered Product, conforming to the SUSv3 and POSIX 1003.

I still don't see your point.

RE: Quality Matters
By Gzus666 on 9/17/2008 12:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yet, not everyone uses it, which makes it NOT a standard. Stop twisting things. Apple is based off Unix, but not everyone is based off Unix, or even the same branch of it. The point is not everyone is on it, which doesn't make it standard. Microsoft has no input in any way to the design of OS X, neither does anyone from the Linux project, or really any of their corporate backers. My point is that if everyone used the same thing, they would all support one platform, there by making it inherently more secure, cause that is the only thing someone can work on.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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