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Apple Rejects iPhone App As Competitive To iTunes

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the walled-garden dept.

Censorship 375

DaveyJJ sends news of yet another rejection of an iPhone app by Apple, with perhaps a chilling twist for potential developers of productivity or utility apps. John Gruber of Daring Fireball writes: "Let's be clear: forbidding 'duplication of functionality' is forbidding competition. The point of competition is to do the same thing, but better." Paul Kafasis (co-founder of Rogue Amoeba Software) makes the point that this action by Apple will scare talented developers away from the iPhone platform. And Dave Weiner argues that the iPhone isn't a "platform" at all: "The idea that it's a platform should mean no individual or company has the power to turn you off."

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375 comments

WHY?! (2)

skeldoy (831110) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993453)

WHY APPLE, WHY?!
Maybe it is a ploy to make the iphone a little crappier. It was too good. They think they need to bring it down a little..
I just "upgraded" my phone today and had to spend the next two hours restoring the phone due to a crash in the upgrade.
now this?!

Re:WHY?! (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993871)

Fuck 'em. There's competition licking at their heals, and short of the semi-retarded Apple fanbois, folks will go to the competition, and leave the mental midgets that dream of giving blow Jobs, Apple will be fucked.

Re:WHY?! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24994267)

Fuck 'em. There's competition licking at their heals,

There's competition licking at their recovery from injury? I'm trying to picture that and my imagination keeps coming up with some truly weird shit.

One Can Hope (5, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993473)

``Paul Kafasis (co-founder of Rogue Amoeba Software) makes the point that this action by Apple will scare talented developers away from the iPhone platform.''

I hope it will, but I doubt it. I hope the talented developers will favor open platforms over closed ones, help create and improve open platforms, and help making the world more open.

Re:One Can Hope (5, Insightful)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993715)

I hope the talented developers will favor [profitable] platforms over [unprofitable] ones, help create and improve [profitable] platforms, and help making the world more [profitable].

There, fixed that for ya. Really, when push comes to shove, developers want their proverbial bread on the table as much as anyone else. If openness coincides sufficiently well with developer self-interest, then openness may win out as well. If it doesn't, then there's not much hope for it; ignoring economic incentives (or disincentives) doesn't make them go away.

Re:One Can Hope (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993823)

``If openness coincides sufficiently well with developer self-interest, then openness may win out as well.''

If, at least, developers act in a way that maximizes their self-interest. In practise, that is probably only partially the case. At best, they will act in a way that they _think_ maximizes their self interest ... but their thinking can be affected, say, by a clever marketing campaign.

Re:One Can Hope (2, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994109)

if Google takes a cut of only 5% of the price, compared to Apple's gargantuan bite of your work, and if Google does not restrict developers, ANDROID will rapidly surpass the iPhone. First, it should be easier to develop, as you can _talk_ about it, and exchange ideas on the web. Moreover, FUCK YOU APPLE for blocking us hard-working developers, and sucking it up to the Phone companies.

Does anyone wonder why there is no skype for the iPhone?

Re:One Can Hope (2, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994157)

The thing about it is, talented developers often find themselves in the "software architect" position on projects; that is, deciding upon which platform to build a project. While popularity of a platform (and therefore the possibility of profit) does have an impact on that decision, many developers find that it's simply easier to code on open platforms, as well as obtain assistance from the community that's built up around them.

Economic reasons are not the only thing looked at, in other words.

Re:One Can Hope (1, Insightful)

Jaazaniah (894694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994247)

Right, so Asus, Chaintech, and all those other manfacturers lost out by not following IBM's philosophy in proprietary design and instead agreed that motherboard mounts and expansion slot positioning should be an open standard, huh?

Why should it follow that an open design leads to no profit? Generations before us made millions by opening and standardizing physical form factors. When was the last time your standard PC tech at best buy had to deal with an expansion bus card that held expansion cards parallel to the motherboard?

There's been sucessful and unsucessful attempts at open standards, but the concept can not be dismissed automatically as unsucessful.

Re:One Can Hope (3, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993777)

If they released all their software to Symbian OS, at least S60 with high end device features (e.g. N95) simultaneously, that would teach Apple. It would be a great favour to Symbian users too. I am not speaking about high end,commercial software of course.

Not applying for iPhone competition or WWDC something doesn't match it.

Funny is, there is a huge fight in Symbian scene, people ask Nokia (the Godfather) why they gave up their "Download! for PC" which was working perfectly, years ago before iPhone was even mentioned.

Yes, believe or not, Nokia had "App store" on Windows OS at least and still has it inside every recent S60 phones ROM, not an option even, that app is on every phones root level menu. The result? Still not updated! I think Apple already knows the Symbian platform is not really competitive with current management so they feel comfortable taking decisions like that.

Re:One Can Hope (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993881)

I don't know (or care) about programming for the Symbian, but the iPhone has a decent API and development tools. For people with OS X development experience, the learning curve is minimal to non existent.

Re:One Can Hope (2, Interesting)

IdahoEv (195056) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994035)

Actually, a friend and I have recently come up with two ideas for fun phone apps, and have been waffling between doing them for iPhone or for Android.

The coolness and market base of iPhone combine to create a strong draw towards iPhone. But at the same time, I'm already a seasoned Java developer and learning Objective-C and Cocoa is a pretty hefty hurdle to overcome when I'd like to get things rolling quickly.

Additional crap like this is making me lean more and more away from iPhone and increasingly towards Android/HTC. This may well be the tipping point.

The one last thing that may seal the deal for me, once HTC comes out, is whether or not it will easily sync contacts and calendars with my mac. If it does, HTC may well end up being my personal phone, which would definitely push me away from developing for iPhone.

Well, yeah (4, Insightful)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993477)

The last comment clearly has it right. The iPhone is not a platform, it's Apple's toy that you're allowed to use. Is anybody really surprised?

You're never going to be allowed to use alternative hardware, obviously, and with the subscription status and deals with phone companies, you're going to be seriously restricted when it comes to software. How long did it take them to allow any third party programs on their phone?

Re:Well, yeah (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993503)

That's the problem with language. Once Apple sells the phone, it is no longer Apple's phone - it is the customer's.

Re:Well, yeah (3, Insightful)

AuraOfDeath (895466) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993577)

That's the problem with language. Once Apple sells the phone, it is no longer Apple's phone - it is the customer's.

Since WHEN has apple ever allowed people to own their own equipment? Apple has never been about freedom (as in beer, or choice apparently), it has been more like a mortgage company.. Leasing you the use of your home/equipment until such time as they see fit to no longer support it. It was a great frustration to me, when I use to service Apple computers (eons ago... Back before the last ice age..) to not be able to order a replacement part from a 3rd party source with ease. Apple, for as long as I can remember, has focused on proprietary rights.. THEIR rights. It's shown in past computers, it's shown in their software, and now it's showing in this. Quite frustrating and has kept me from even considering owning a Mac. How can I pay money to a company that has only recently started loosening their stranglehold on where their product can be used, and how? When allowing freedom of software choice because financially lucrative and trendy... THEN apple will endorse it. Not a moment before.

Worse than the Borg? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994257)

OK, so Apple is taking a note from the playbook of the dinosaur mainframe corporations? Proprietary systems, closed systems, fully integrated from top to bottom. Not to mention the complete lack of class.

Re:Well, yeah (3, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993659)

I'm on an iPhone so take this as you will.

my phone, their app store. no one is bitching about not being able to buy windows vista or a Zen at an apple retail location.

Re:Well, yeah (4, Insightful)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993729)

It's not quite as simple as that, though.

Not only are restrictions placed on the app store, but on the device itself. It wouldn't be a problem if anyone could set up their own app store to distribute software to iPhone users.

no one is bitching about not being able to buy windows vista or a Zen at an apple retail location.

A better analogy would be buying a Mac and then only being allowed to buy software from Apple retail locations.

Re:Well, yeah (3, Funny)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993947)

It wouldn't be a problem if anyone could set up their own app store to distribute software to iPhone users.

I'm also an iPhone owner, people and companies are already doing this.

A vast amount of iPhone users have their phones jailbroken (if this poll posted earlier today [engadget.com] is any indication, it would seem the majority do) thanks to the iphone-dev team. Cydia is a GUI application installed which uses apt at the backend, just like debian/ubuntu, for installing third party software. Pretty much anyone can get an app listed in the default sources, or you could make your own repository.

Re:Well, yeah (4, Informative)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994111)

if this poll posted earlier today [engadget.com] is any indication, it would seem the majority do [have their iPhones jailbroken]

You're not serious? Not only is that statement contrary to all common sense, but that poll has all the statistical reliability of a Slashdot poll. For a start, non-technical users tend not to read Engadget, let alone know how to get an iPhone jailbroken.

I take your point that you can jailbreak your iPhone to allow third-party software, but it's far from the same thing as Apple allowing any third-party software on their phone.

For a start, most iPhone users won't have the first clue who iphone-dev are, what Cydia or even a GUI is, what apt is or what Debian/Ubuntu are. To the average user, iPhone applications come from the app store - that's the end of it. For these users, who I imagine make up the vast majority, Apple controls the software they're allowed to install on their iPhone.

Re:Well, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993843)

True, but if they're not selling Windows Vista or a Zen at an Apple Store, you have the option of going to another store to purchase the products you want.

With an iPhone/iPod Touch, you don't have any other methods of obtaining software without violating your warranty, ostensibly. Posted from a 2.1 jailbroken iPod, though :)

Re:Well, yeah (4, Insightful)

statusbar (314703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993827)

It is time for us to start supporting OpenMoko instead of complaining about apple's policies!

--jeffk++

Re:Well, yeah (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993885)

"The idea that it's a platform should mean no individual or company has the power to turn you off."

What? I'm just starting to get turned on!

Apple Design Awards (4, Informative)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993501)

So, hopefully iPhone devs do something about it. Ars's John Siracusa proposes boycotting the iPhone category at the Apple Design Awards [twitter.com]. Makes sense to me; like he says, it'll cause a blemish on Apple's reputation without damaging the pocketbooks of those devs who have invested in this platform. (And for Chrissake, yes it's a platform, just a badly restricted one at the moment.)

Re:Apple Design Awards (2, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993693)

A boycott of the iPhone Apple Design Awards would undoubtedly send a message to Apple, but I doubt it could be pulled off. Those awards are coveted; it's such a big temptation for developers that they won't miss out on it just for a stand on principles.

Re:Apple Design Awards (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994213)

A boycott of the iPhone Apple Design Awards would undoubtedly send a message to Apple, but I doubt it could be pulled off. Those awards are coveted; it's such a big temptation for developers that they won't miss out on it just for a stand on principles.

If that be the case, then what they have are not principles at all.

apple a.pple appl.e app.le (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993513)

ap.ple a.p.ple ap.pl.e .app.le apple a.pple appl.e app.leappl e a.pp le app l.e app.le

NEWSFLASH (-1, Troll)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993521)

Apple won't give a shit, and neither will the general public! I hear Richard Stallman could use some more wackos tho. Give him an email.

This reminds me (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993535)

This reminds me, in one single way (and only that way; cue replies that ignore this line) of religious people who want to use law to force their beliefs on others -- such people do not believe in the power of their own message. When a company goes out of its way to forbid competition, they are saying that they don't believe their own sanctioned offerings are good enough to compete. Otherwise they would welcome competition and allow it to lead to a superior experience for their customers.

For the knee-jerk types out there (I can see it now: "but its theirs and they can do that if they want so nyaa!"), I will point out that whether Apple has the right to behave in this way is an entirely separate question; my post here is assuming that they do.

Competition? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993537)

From a business standpoint, why should they allow it?

Re:Competition? (5, Interesting)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993567)

To ensure that developers keep using their platform?

To make sure that the Latest and Greatest apps are developed, first and foremost, for the iPhone and not for the Android or another platform?

Re:Competition? (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993787)

They seem to have been doing ok running 'exclusive'. So i pose the question again, why should they invite competition?

As a side note, there are some similar non compete restrictions when you buy Visual studio from Microsoft, so this isn't like its a new concept and they seem to be doing well with it.

Re:Competition? (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993911)

>there are some similar non compete restrictions when you buy Visual studio from Microsoft

Really? Care to support that argument with some facts? A quick through some VS eula's does seem to say that in Visual Studio 2002 you couldn't compete head on with Access provided you were using their JET backend... but other than that... you can build what you want.

Re:Competition? (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993807)

It is up to customer. If they have rejected to buy iPhone because of how Apple handles it, things could change.

Are they happily buying and lining up? Oh, some percentage of them hacks their iPhone, it doesn't matter to Apple at all. In fact, Apple would be happier since they have all void their warranty ;)

I still don't get the point of Android and I am a Symbian/J2ME user. Google should explain why they don't put their force behind Symbian and J2ME instead.

Re:Competition? (1)

osssmkatz (734824) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993627)

From a business standpoint, they should allow it, because people do want to download podcasts on the go, and store them. Apple does not currently allow a way to do this. --Sam

Re:Competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993631)

From a business standpoint, why should they allow it?

Because monopolies are illegal? Apple sucks ass. Get used to it.

Re:Competition? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993799)

I must have missed the court decision where they were declared a monopoly. Mind showing us your reference?

Re:Competition? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993867)

I must have missed the court decision where they were declared a monopoly. Mind showing us your reference?

Indeed. The iPhone is not the only cellphone available; it is not even the only "smart" phone available. Right now many people may feel that it's the best; in the recent past that was not the case and in the future that may or may not be the case. This is definitely not a monopoly. Hell, I wish the operating system market was more like this! I don't like what Apple is doing here, but my grounds for objection have nothing to do with monopolies.

Re:Competition? (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994227)

The court system doesn't decide facts. They are used as an attempt to discover facts. Every company that was found to be a monopoly by the courts was already a monopoly before the courts weighted in.

Re:Competition? (1)

Televiper2000 (1145415) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993637)

It feeds directly to their bottom line, and ultimately diversifies one of their flagship products. It means the customer has an alternative to the standard Apple software.

Re:Competition? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993809)

It can also eat away at their bottom line just as easily.

Its a business risk they don't feel is worth doing.

Re:Competition? (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993939)

It can also eat away at their bottom line just as easily.

Its a business risk they don't feel is worth doing.

I think that's inherently part of the problem. When you're an upstart company or at least new to a particular market (especially in a market full of established, entrenched competitors), you're more willing to take a risk like that because the very business itself is a risk that could easily fail. When your brand becomes well-known and you become more and more established, there is also a tendency to become more and more conservative because you like your current position and are interested in keeping it. I'm sure I am greatly oversimplifying things but I think this is largely responsible for the general perception that "it was great until it got really popular; now it sucks". I think what we're seeing here is something in-between, as Apple is not a Microsoft-type juggernaut but they're certainly not unknown either.

Re:Competition? (3, Interesting)

Mhtsos (586325) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994093)

From a business standpoint, why should they allow it?

1) Make iPhone more useful
2) Sell more iPhones
3) Profit

Apple stop the insanity! (3, Insightful)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993539)

I hope this trend ends soon. The screening of apps started not long ago and I think was a result of the amount of crap that Apple allowed to sell on the store. Between the numerous "flash light" apps and the infamous "I am Rich" app a lot of people were annoyed at the signal to noise ratio. Then there was "Netshare" which was pulled because it violated ATTs terms of service (luckily I got my copy early.)

My guess is that Apple responded to all this by making it some middle manager's responsibility to come up with a set of ground rules to "improve" the situation. He/she/the committe or whatever obviously went way overboard. As a potential iPhone developer it gives me the chills that you could spend months on a project just to have it rejected for a rediculous reason like the one here.

Re:Apple stop the insanity! (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993651)

Then add a featured app category or something, and only give the "Apple Fanboi Approved" stamp to it. Or don't require crippled signing to run, and only host the things you like on the store.

iPhone is neat hardware. As soon as linux for it is stable I might consider one. Or I could just pay less for an FreeRunner. I can afford to wait for a year or two.

I've been burned by apple's poor worksmanship and terrible tech support/warranty too many times to consider their platform again.

Re:Apple stop the insanity! (4, Interesting)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993969)

iPhone is neat hardware.

Yes it is. Artificial and intentional crippling makes me really angry because this device is capable of doing so much more. It's a beautiful device will horrible restrictions that would make even Microsoft blush. Crippling is enough to make one not become an Apple developer.

*Crosses fingers* C'MON ANDROID!!!

Re:Apple stop the insanity! (2, Insightful)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993931)

"As a potential iPhone developer it gives me the chills that you could spend months on a project just to have it rejected for a rediculous reason like the one here."

If Apple really wants that tight control, they should allow a way for proposals to be submitted before development begins. That way months aren't wasted on the project, and you would know early on whether your project is bad. (I'm not an Apple Store dev so I don't know if this is currently an option).

Actually, maybe it's not such a great idea because Apple could just reject your idea, and make their own, better one based on your designs.

Re:Apple stop the insanity! (3, Insightful)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994097)

Nonsense. The screening of apps starting in the very beginning with a process designed to enable that very thing. Apple stated from the start that they would be screening apps. Only fools believe it's for anything other than Apple's best interests.

Re:Apple stop the insanity! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994189)

Netshare was officially banned today:

September 13th, 2008 NetShare, banned from the AppStore Looks like Apple has decided they will not be allowing any tethering applications in the AppStore. As such, NetShare will not be available in the iTunes AppStore. We are seeing a lot of similar reports from various developers who's applications were abruptly removed and banned from the AppStore without any violations of the terms of service. This is all unfortunate news for the iPhone platform end-users.

http://www.nullriver.com/ [nullriver.com]

I noticed Tris is gone too.

People are surprised? (5, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993541)

I have stated multiple times on Slashdot and have multiple times be called a troll...

THIS is EXACTLY the same behavior Apple exhibited with the Apple and their token program!

Ah, but this is so old news (over 20 years ago) that people tend to have forgotten!

Now Apple is all good and dandy! BS!

Re:People are surprised? (4, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993691)

I have stated multiple times on Slashdot and have multiple times be called a troll...

THIS is EXACTLY the same behavior Apple exhibited with the Apple and their token program!

Ah, but this is so old news (over 20 years ago) that people tend to have forgotten!

Now Apple is all good and dandy! BS!

Yeah, I know what you mean. I posted on this same story and said that a company which believes in its products isn't afraid of competition; I was almost instantly modded Redundant even though all preceding comments were about whether the iPhone can be considered a "platform". It seems that Apple is another of these near-religious subjects that weak-minded people get all upset over and of course that's your fault for saying something with which they disagree. In a society where many children don't even know who their father is, it seems that there is a lack of calm, collected, strong-minded men not given to this type of childish impulsiveness who could perhaps model a better example of how to live. Make no mistake, it is about how to live; that sort of impulsive, reactionary mentality is not at all limited to this subject or this Web site. If anyone perceives my disdain of it as being caused by a lower score on a Slashdot posting, they have missed my point entirely.

It is not an open platform (4, Insightful)

blool (798681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993559)

Apple has created an embedded device and is choosing to tightly control the available applications for it. If you think this is a bad thing, don't develop for it and don't buy an iphone, it's that simple. Things like the gameboy and xbox live tightly control the available content, and I don't see nearly as much bitching about them as I do about the iphone. People jailbreak/develop home brew apps for the devices and don't expect to be embraced by the hardware creators. If you want to develop for an open platform develop for the PC or another device which actually wants and maintains good relationships with independent developers.

Re:It is not an open platform (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993603)

If you think this is a bad thing, don't develop for it and don't buy an iphone, it's that simple.

You left out the part about raising a big stink about it so that others don't make the same mistake of buying it, or taking the risk of developing for it, either.

Re:It is not an open platform (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993663)

What risk? Apple was clear right from when the SDK was launched that you couldn't do apps that duplicated the functionality of the built in apps. And also various other categories of apps that were not allowed (porn, gambling for money etc.)

People who have gone ahead and developed apps that they weren't sure were OK should have asked before spending time on them.

Re:It is not an open platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993783)

I think the argument is that this doesn't duplicate functionality of the built-in app. The built-in app doesn't provide the ability to download podcasts. Therefore, this app doesn't duplicate the functionality....

Re:It is not an open platform (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993619)

don't develop for it and don't buy an iphone

You're absolutely correct.

I won't do either.

Re:It is not an open platform (0, Flamebait)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993681)

You will comment on something you aren't "interested" in. Funny - most fuckers don't bother with threads they have no interest in. Almost like you're a sterile nerd fag loser. This of course amuses me. Keep it up.

Re:It is not an open platform (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993767)

You comment in response to someone you have "a homosexual attraction" to. Funny - most fuckers would shy away from direct contact with people they have a homosexual attraction to. Almost like you're a proud fag. This of course fascinates me. Keep it up.

Re:It is not an open platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993893)

I'm considering to go buy one just to cancel you out.

Re:It is not an open platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24994011)

Please go buy one more - I want to be canceled out, too.

Re:It is not an open platform (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993859)

Things like the gameboy and xbox live tightly control the available content, and I don't see nearly as much bitching about them as I do about the iphone.

Probably because neither of those pretended to be a complete computer. The iPhone's biggest appeal is that it is more than just a phone, and is, in fact, a general-purpose pocket computer.

Apple never said this, but frankly, that's where the hype comes from, and I imagine that's largely what these developers see in it.

It's also directly detrimental to consumers -- here's an example of an app which probably would have been beneficial, but Apple blocked it.

tell me again... (3, Interesting)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993569)

Tell me again why this phone is so cool?

Re:tell me again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993685)

I am so tired of explaining why iPhone with current scheme is NOT a smart phone at all.

As OS X/Apple owner I just stare to "weekly kb (support) changes" list which only have 5 or 7 changes, no software update (quicktime/itunes doesn't count) and decide to hate iPhone instead of ignoring it.

I think iPhone seriously undermines Apple's concentration to their core business which generates 40% of their income. That is computers and software.

If one looks to OS X Leopard update release scheme, he can easily confuse it with a mainframe OS like IBM Z/OS, so stable that it doesn't need updates but it is not the case.

Issue is worse than Microsoft Vista, there are no "Microsoft fanboys" who will swear at people for just daring to claim they have problems, no "Intel fans" to shout "upgrade your CPU!" and so on. Apple has been mystified by their fanatics (not fans or customers) and keeps going on auto pilot.

There are some non troll people who got so confused by iPhone dictatorship that they think OS X Laptop/Desktop application installs requires permission from Apple. I can't explain how dangerous bad image that is.

Posting as AC while having 4 Macs and numerous OSX software licensed, that is because of idiot fanatics too... Enough wasting my karma to Apple.

Re:tell me again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993889)

Because its shiny and dumb people can use it.

Prepare to be spun (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993581)

Here's what's going to happen. It'll happen because it always happens.

Apple gets caught with its pants down. Everyone condemns Apple while its PR teams huddle together to find a way to deal with the issue. Finally, Apple announces that the issue was to do with an oversight caused by a miscommunication caused by an unrelated issue that actually was a case of the application not being approved yet, not that it was really rejected.

People outside of Apple circles will laugh, but then be flamed endlessly for laughing to the point that we no longer want to talk about it any more.

Happened when Apple was using cheap third world labour to build iPods. Happened when Apple stopped releasing source code to Darwin. And it's going to happen again. Apple will, as with those issues, completely reverse itself, while making it sound like it was its policy all along.

So I'm not even going to bother. Here's the thing though: this is Apple's mentality. They will try to lock down iPhone if they can. They do in many areas already, and they will continue to do so. I can swap out a SIM in an iPhone and tether my laptop to a real cellphone instead, and it'll work, but Apple bans applications that allows you to use iPhone for this. I can install any application I want on my Motorola V635 - which isn't even something most people would describe as a "smartphone" but is, thanks to J2ME, completely programmable and has oodles of storage space thanks to microSD - but I can only install "approved" applications on an "smart" iPhone.

So yes, Apple will reverse itself on this issue, and all of you criticizing it now will be criticized as lying Apple haters who misrepresented what Apple was doing. But iPhone will always be a locked down platform. And as long as it is, there will be many of us who will just steer clear of it.

And if what you want is a locked down platform, don't start whining when you hear some app developer has been screwed over because of it.

Re:Prepare to be spun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24994121)

Just to let you know, the full source code for all version of Darwin [PPC,Intel] have been available for a very long time now. Even the source for Darwin 9.4.0 (I think... mac os x 10.5.4 whatever that is).

I do agree with everything you say though. Apple is one very messed up company.

Non-story (0, Troll)

SnowDog74 (745848) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993633)

Apple has noted that people who want to distribute apps to a small group are directed as to how to go about it.

What's being done here is that Apple is stating they will not aid in the proliferation of a competitive piece of software by marketing, promoting and distributing it through THEIR store... which is not the only possible channel of distribution, strictly speaking, but certainly the most convenient.

Do we talk, however, about the flipside of this? Where is the integrity in a developer knowingly creating an application to do something a product already does? You mean to tell me that in the marketplace of ideas that developers are so bereft of creativity that they cannot think of something unique?

I know that even Apple doesn't originate ideas... but it's a bit different when you go buy a company making something you think you can integrate better versus simply writing an app that does roughly what another one does and then pissing and moaning that the distributor refuses to help you cannibalize their own apps.

Are we complaining that Bose stores refuse to sell anything but Bose, or that Dell stores refuse to sell computers other than Dells, or that Ford opts not to distribute Daewoo parts at its stores?

Apple will scare talented developers? If they were truly talented would they have attempted less than surreptitiously to ask a distributor to promote a competing product rather than writing any number of applications that haven't been thought of yet?

Re:Non-story (1)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993795)

which is not the only possible channel of distribution

I thought it was? Is there another way (that doesn't include modifying hardware or system software or invalidating the warranty) of getting apps onto an iPhone?

Are you serious? (3, Insightful)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993847)

Where is the integrity in a developer knowingly creating an application to do something a product already does? You mean to tell me that in the marketplace of ideas that developers are so bereft of creativity that they cannot think of something unique?

You're either not serious, or out of your mind.

Are you seriously trying to say that a developer should never develop an application that does something another application already does? Even if it does that something much better than the original?

In that case, we don't need Firefox or Opera because we have Safari; we don't need Adium because we have iChat; we don't need VLC because we have Quicktime.

Screw competition! Right?

Re:Non-story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24994009)

Where is the integrity in a developer knowingly creating an application to do something a product already does? You mean to tell me that in the marketplace of ideas that developers are so bereft of creativity that they cannot think of something unique?

You're right, Apple never should have developed the iPod because there were already similar mp3 players. Shame on Apple. Those Linux people making a bunch of different distributions are obviously lacking in what you call integrity, too.

My point being that it's not just what it does but how it does it that matters.

As for the rest of it, Apple does indeed have the right not to put competing apps on their website, and we have the right to say "Hey, Apple, stop being such douchebags." Your analogies are rather inaccurate, though: although till somewhat imprecise, it'd be more like Dell or Ford refusing to sell third party performance or cosmetic items compatible with their products. Not too surprisingly, both Dell and Ford sell third party upgrades; if you buy a non-Ford part from someone else the only catch is if that part causes a problem with other parts of the vehicle, they won't cover the repairs under warranty. (Some of that is because that's what the law dictates, but Ford has gone out of their way to encourage car enthusiasts to mod their cars for performance or show and have them come and show off at official Ford events.)

Re:Non-story (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994269)

Seriously, you're being fairly silly. While it's probably completely within Apple's rights to do this, it's a total shoot-themselves-in-the-foot move. The computer world is full of competing software, and for every Apple written application out there, there's a big pile of competing apps available. More often then not, the Apple apps are be able to stand successfully on their own. Apple doesn't need to lock out competitors to be successful, they just need to keep making quality software, and that plus their brand name pretty much guarantees them success.

But even if I took your silly "developers should know better than to make a competing application" idea as valid, try to think ahead a little. What if I write a completely original application, and then six months later Apple comes out with their own version. Do they shut down my competing app then? Is my user base then unable to get updates? What if some other third-party developer pays Apple for the right to be the only notepad available? Will Apple kick all the other notepad apps out of the store?

All those questions are valid concerns for developers. A lot of people are motivated to spend the time making things because they're interested in sharing them with others, whether for profit or for free. If they aren't convinced that they'll be allowed to share those apps, then they'll go make their software for a different platform. I don't know why Apple would want that.

Competition with planned features? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993687)

Who wants to bet that Apple will add this feature in the next release and doesn't want to deal with thousands of people demanding their money back when they realize they just paid for something they were about to get for free?

This sort of problem points to a clear need for a way to getting app concepts preapproved by Apple prior to development. Apple should never reject a useful app after it has been written. If Apple is going to reject lots of useful apps for reasons outside the scope of the developer agreement, the burden rests squarely on them to provide another way for app writers to obtain guidance so apps never get written if they have little chance of being approved.

If Apple needs a good reason to solve this problem, here's one: in the absence of such a concept approval program, an individual (non-corporate) developer would have to be an idiot to risk months of development time only to have Apple reject it arbitrarily. Thus, individual iPhone developers are better off releasing quick, half-assed products that take a week to develop and suck massively, then fix the bugs after Apple has approved the first version. If Apple wants the quality of 1.0 versions in the store to be utter bollocks, don't worry--it will get there soon enough if they don't improve their developer relations. And, of course, every time an app developer does that, it costs Apple bandwidth.

SDK Agreement, anyone read it? (5, Informative)

houbou (1097327) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993689)

By the way, I've cut and paste what I found to be relevant to this topic, two paragraphs of the Terms and Conditions of the iPhone SDK download Agreement and the first paragraph of the iPhone Application Submission Agreement.

SDK Terms and Conditions

1. Relationship With Apple Inc. ("Apple"). You understand and agree by becoming a Registered iPhone Developer, no legal partnership or agency relationship is created between you and Apple. Neither you nor Apple is a partner, an agent or has any authority to bind the other. You agree not to represent otherwise. You also certify that you are of the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which you reside (at least 18 years of age in many countries) and you represent that you are legally permitted to become a Registered iPhone Developer. This Agreement is void where prohibited by law, and the right to become a Registered iPhone Developer is not granted in such jurisdictions.

9. Apple Independent Development. Nothing in this Agreement will impair Apple's right to develop, acquire, license, market, promote or distribute products, software or technologies that perform the same or similar functions as, or otherwise compete with any other products, software or technologies that you may develop, produce, market, or distribute. In the absence of a separate written agreement to the contrary, Apple will be free to use any information, suggestions or recommendations you provide to Apple for any purpose, subject to any applicable patents or copyrights.

iPhone App Submission Agreement

1. iPhone GTM Programs. The web applications you submit will be considered for inclusion in Apple's iPhone product pages, ADC web pages, Apple eNews programs and other related Apple developer and marketing web pages and programs (collectively "iPhone GTM Programs"). You understand and agree that Apple has complete discretion over whether to include your web applications in any iPhone GTM Program. You also understand and agree that Apple reserves the right, at its complete discretion and without prior notice to you, to remove your web applications from any and/or all iPhone GTM Programs. Should Apple decide to include your web application in one or more iPhone GTM Programs, you agree that Apple shall have the right, and you hereby grant Apple a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive right and license, to use, reproduce, publicly display, reference, link to, and distribute in connection with such iPhone GTM Programs, your web application URL and all related information and materials (including without limitation images, trademarks, and logos) you provide with your submission to Apple (collectively, the "Submitted Materials").

End Result

Apple covered themselves very well on this topic and basically, if you are going to develop an app for the iPhone, you should be well aware of the risks and they are fairly, clearly stated.

Fiefdom (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993703)

As a developer, I just can't imagine developing for the iPhone fiefdom. I'm not going to spend weeks building an application that then gets pulled because Apple shake their magic 8-ball and decide that they want another shrubbery before they'll put it on there. What if you wrote a cool app, had some decent income, then Apple release a new app in some firmware that copies your functionality and then rule that your product is competitive?

I can write for Symbian and release it. I can try and sell it through my cell operator's store. If they reject it, that might be a setback, but the point is that I can bypass that and sell direct or through another store.

Re:Fiefdom (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993805)

You can. The problem is that if you want to make money, selling iPhone apps is the way to go, not selling Symbian Apps. At this time there are far more Symbian smartphones out there than iPhones. But for the most part owners don't buy any software that doesn't come with the device.

Apple have made it so easy to purchase applications that lots of people do.

Oh, and I spend years writing Symbian software. The iPhone SDK and tools are about 100 times nicer and faster to work with.

Re:Fiefdom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24994159)

Apple can keep its weblet level apps and 15+ year old feeble games.

Openmoko (3, Funny)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993705)

Come on in, the water's fine in the Openmoko pool! A truly free platform, and anything compiled for Linux on an ARM CPU will run (assuming the dependencies are also present).

Apparently (2, Informative)

speedingant (1121329) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993735)

It is just one guy who is being over cautious and denying the apps. There's a few instances of this person at Apple denying perfectly legitimate apps. Normally they will go through and review the decision, and allow it into their store.

This is Apple's device (-1, Troll)

Helldesk Hound (981604) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993753)

> "Let's be clear: forbidding 'duplication of functionality' is forbidding
> competition. The point of competition is to do the same thing, but better."

Yes - indeed.

It's not a "platform" - it's a CELLPHONE!

If you wish to create a better cellphone, then feel free to do so.

Meanwhile, apple can quite rightly manage what extensions can be added to its own mobile phone(s).

Port it to Android and Windows Mobile (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993789)

Windows Mobile is offered on a LOT of devices these days and is gaining in popularity. If Apple isn't offering a level playing field for 3rd party developers, then use your talent to write applications for other mobile platforms.

Re:Port it to Android and Windows Mobile (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993949)

Windows Mobile has been around like a decade longer than iPhone and has not generated a lot of interest because many apps do not sell well. This is not due to the applications but rather the limitations of Windows Mobile and the the interface. Open Moko and Android have far more potential.

Amazon.mp3 (1)

spikesahead (111032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993791)

I own a tmobile Wing and I have had no problems using the Amazon mp3 service to download songs on the go, and then I have the music DRM free and can use it however I like.

Amazon could certainly stand to make a streamlined interface for use with the Windows Mobile Internet Explorer, since it's very handy to hear a song on the radio and then simply go and get it when I'm out and about. Then I can put it on my stereo when I get home or play immediately.

With Iphone you're paying for something that supposedly works flawlessly within Apple's strictly proscribed domain, while with a Windows Mobile platform you're paying for something you can do anything you want with.

Some people don't find Windows Mobile worth the trouble, but then again I'm the kind of person that prefers stick shift to automatic.

Re:Amazon.mp3 (0, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994051)

do you also prefer slavery to freedom? Neither the iPhone nor and Windows platform gives you the freedom of open source.

This app is exactly what I've been looking for!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993815)

Arggh!! This is frustrating!

I don't sync up my iPhone unless I'm udating the firmware because 1) it takes way too long, and 2) I've got to boot back into windows to even run iTunes.

I don't listen to music and the ipod section of my iPhone is empty.

I DO listen to a lot of podcasts. Up to this point, I have been using Safari to navigate to the home pages of the podcasts that I am interested in and then I download the podcasts directly. This works very well, but is a bit hard to do while I'm driving.

I've been hoping that someone would make this exact app because apple is not providing this functionality themselves like they should. And now that someone has, I can't get it. I would totally pay $10 today for this functionality.

Anyway, hopefully this means that apple is going to open up and allow the iPhone's music store the ability to do this.

It seems so dumb that you can't open the iphone itunes music store app from the iphone unless you are connected to wifi. Hello! That is what 3G is for!

Arg. Hopefully they will either add this functionality themselves, or reconsider and let this app through. From looking at the video of the app in action, it looks like one of the most thoughtful iPhone apps in existance.

Welcome to Apple's world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993819)

Anyonewho uses Apple products has no right to complain abount overt anti-competitive practices.

Huh? (-1, Troll)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993829)

Can these three guys actually convince anyone that they are about openness? It doesn't look like Mr. Kafasis' software is open. Why doesn't he butch the fuck up and make his software open source so that the consumer benefits from the competition? Why doesn't Mr. Gruber open up his blog so that anyone can change the main postings and collect some of the ad revenue? Is he afraid of competition? I don't see the public control of Mr. Winer's blog either. Nor do I see the public API that would make his blog a platform. Why is that? Afraid of putting some investment into it and then having the GNAAers come along and trashing his efforts?

Why is Apple's investment of hundreds of millions of dollars, engineering, and negotiations less than the investments that these "pundits" have made in building their brands, products and reputations. Until they can show why they should be allowed to be closed and Apple isn't, I think I'll skip the righteousness.

Somebody call me when Daring Fireball becomes community controlled, Rogue Amoeba is open source and revenue sharing, and Scripting News is anything except a third rate political blog.

This is why my iPhone is jailbroken -nt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24993877)

., ..

I don't get it (2, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#24993985)

I'm a fan of Apple hardware. I've got an iPod Touch. I'd never use the app in question because I'm happy with the way iTunes handles my podcasts.

But I don't see why Apple should care about this app. I assumed the Slashdot summary was way off base, which more often than not is the case nowadays - but it's pretty accurate in this instance. So why is Apple doing this? As far as I know they don't make money off of podcasts - heck, most of them are free. So why should they care? Are they worried that, somehow, this will be used to move other files onto the iPod/iPhone? I just can't figure it out (and yeah, I'm discounting with prejudice the conspiracy theories that seem to be rampant here today - those don't really stand up to any sort of analysis either).

It just doesn't make sense.

This is why "Open Platform as a Service"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24994033)

is the future. Thats exactly right that nobody should be able to reject or shut you off. You should also not have to build somebody else's future. You should be able to build your own. Services like Force.com are iPhone are today. www.sullivansoftwaresystems.com ModBox are the future of the "Platform".

Handango (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24994037)

If you're looking for software for a non-closed smartphone, check out http://www.handango.com/ [handango.com]

Handango sells all kinds of third party content for Blackberries, Palms, Windows Mobile devices, Symbian, even Tablet PCs.

And there's no draconian limitation on selling podcast software.

Apple now is just like the rest now (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994043)

I lump Apple, Microsoft and Google together these days. Same business practices and callousness to their customers and the public.

Well, who will be the next up and coming company that we can love and rely upon? - that is, until the lust for money drives them into the same above category.

Wait a second.. (1, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994089)

They rejected an iPhone app because it COMPETES with the iTunes service?

Hello, antitrust lawsuit. Welcome to Microsoft's shoes, Apple.

I hate arguing semantics, but... (2, Insightful)

HunterZero (102709) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994115)

"And Dave Weiner argues that the iPhone isn't a "platform" at all: "The idea that it's a platform should mean no individual or company has the power to turn you off.""

I disagree. All of the modern game consoles are clearly platforms, yet you must have approval in order to develop and sell software for them. You have to submit your game to MS, Sony or Nintendo and they have to approve it. They can (and will) refuse authoring and certification of your game if you fail to meet their criteria. Granted, I don't think they've ever refused a game due to competition (only technical issues) but they can still refuse. The iPhone is a de facto platform. Whining about how it isn't open enough won't change that.

This is Apple after all, they've been locking people into developing software *their* way for as long as I can remember. Apple stopped being about openness a long time ago.

Openmoko and FreeRunner: Just across the pond... (2, Interesting)

walter_f (889353) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994181)

... there's freedom, for developers, and users as well:

"Our license gives developers and users freedom to cosmetically customize their device or radically remix it; change the wallpaper or rebuild the entire house! It grants them the freedom, for example, to transform a phone into a medical device or point of sale device or the freedom to simply install their own favourite software. Beyond freeing the software on our devices we have also released our CAD files under Creative Commons. And at Linux world 2008, we announced the release of the schematics for our products."

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Main_Page [openmoko.org]

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