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Apple Bans iPhone App For Competing With Mail.app

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the forbidden-fruit dept.

Programming 464

recoiledsnake writes "Another submission has been rejected from the iPhone App Store, this time for 'duplicating the functionality of the iPhone Mail application.' The author claims that his application allows the user to log into their multiple web email accounts and that Apple seems to be confusing Gmail and Mail.app. This comes on the heels of Apple rejecting an application for competing with iTunes and rejecting other silly but harmless apps as being of 'limited utility.'" ComputerWorld has an update to the rejected Podcaster app mentioned above. It seems the developer has used Apple's "Ad Hoc" service to begin distributing the software despite the fact that they blocked it from the App Store.

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464 comments

iphone is a police state (4, Insightful)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092245)

The Iphone is an orwellian police state where everything you do on it is carefully censored and controlled by Apple. Certainly i would never use one. I wish Google or someone would come out with a phone which is based on a completely open OS like Linux and where people can write their own programs and so on for it. People often fear government as a threat to their freedom, but right here we see with Apple, an obvious violation of peoples rights to use a device that they purchased in a way they wish, and a corporation deciding what people can and cant use it for. This leads in fact to stagnation, a lack of innovation. Many interesting developments and innovations come from innovation and improving and tinkering with an existing platform. A platform that allows a person to develop software provides excellent conditions for new innovations, like new games or mail apps to be developed.

Re:iphone is a police state (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092263)

It's a general-purpose computer that's been DRM-infected to hell.

It's what Trusted Computing would actually be like: capricious, arbitrary and overpriced [today.com] .

Re:iphone is a police state (2, Informative)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092351)

I hope they are registered and approved to engage in exclusive dealing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_dealing), otherwise they may be in hot water with the ACCC over the TPA.

Re:iphone is a police state (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092969)

It's what Trusted Computing would actually be like: capricious, arbitrary and overpriced.

Are you describing a type of computer technology, or a police state?

Re:iphone is a police state (0, Flamebait)

mishehu (712452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25093037)

And it's a wonder that the iPhone is such a hot item. I personally wouldn't buy one. Too much hype scares me away from purchases, because I end up thinking to myself "what is wrong with the device that we are all overlooking?" Well, DRM and Big Brother Apple are certainly a couple major things wrong with the iPhone.

Maybe I've just been too exposed to the Apple Zealots over the recent years... It's more than likely that a lot of iPhone users are not zealotous about it. It just bothers me when there are probably other just as viable options that are more open not become a more accepted alternative to products like the iPod and iPhone.

Re:iphone is a police state (3, Interesting)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092365)

I wish Google or someone would come out with a phone which is based on a completely open OS like Linux and where people can write their own programs and so on for it.

I believe it's called android [google.com] .

Re:iphone is a police state (1, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092397)

The Iphone is an orwellian police state where everything you do on it is carefully censored and controlled by Apple.

And yet I can still slam Apple on online forums and while phoning friends while using an iPhone.

Re:iphone is a police state (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092503)

Just what is expected of Apple fans: Denial. Obviously the iPhone isn't a police state. For one, it isn't a state. That should make it clear that you're looking at an analogy. The programs are the people of that "state", and they are indeed censored and controlled by Apple.

Unfortunately the central authority model is on the rise everywhere: Even Mozilla has its one stop shop which is tightly integrated into Mozilla's products and where developers are at the mercy of the admins (without the DRM though).

Re:iphone is a police state (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092985)

Unfortunately the central authority model is on the rise everywhere:

It's the mainframe mentality expressed on a global level. And yes, it's unnerving, particularly for someone like me who was there thirty-odd years ago when the personal computer was born, and has long since been accustomed to doing whatever the hell I want with my systems.

Re:iphone is a police state (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092635)

The apple death squads just don't think you're important enough.

Re:iphone is a police state (4, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092889)

And yet I can still slam Apple on online forums and while phoning friends while using an iPhone.

Except for Apples forums, they can't handle criticism even if its just an attempt to resolve a problem.

Re:iphone is a police state (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092425)

Yes, all phones other than the iPhone are open source, free as in speech, have rainbows and pixie dust coming out of their speakers, and taste like the finest champagne.

I've read the Constitution, sir, and I missed the line wherein the people's right to use a cellular phone in any manner they wish shall not be abridged.

Grow up, apple hater

Re:iphone is a police state (2, Informative)

strabes (1075839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092695)

While I agree with you, the 9th Amendment [wikipedia.org] states that just because some rights are enumerated therein doesn't mean people don't have other rights that aren't enumerated. I'm definitely not saying that people have the "right" to use a cell phone in any manner they wish, just that the enumeration of certain rights wasn't meant to "deny or disparage others retained by the people."

It's Apple's product and if they are able to, there is nothing wrong with controlling what apps there are in the app store.

Interestingly and perhaps contradictorily, I have the opposite opinion regarding DRM and music/movies.

Posted from a macbook pro.

Re:iphone is a police state (2, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092897)

It's Apple's product and if they are able to, there is nothing wrong with controlling what apps there are in the app store.

They exert excessive and unnecessary control over the thing. There is something wrong with it, I don't care if its their phone, i don't care if its their app store. They absolutely should not be allowed to exclude applications from the thing simply because it might threaten their business model, EVEN IF they have used to SDK license to exclude those things. It's ridiculous and i hope they get sued.

Re:iphone is a police state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092479)

Buy Neo Frerunner - Runs Linux - begin developing

Re:iphone is a police state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092521)

I can see Apple not supporting these third party apps, but they should not be blocking any apps at all.

Not that I would ever buy any of Apple's overpriced, cheaply made junk anyway. If you look you can find far better quality products at a better price.

And OH BTW Apple...just because you have a trademark on the name iPod does NOT mean that you own any product name that begins with an i, or any product name that contains the word pod!

Re:iphone is a police state (5, Interesting)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092563)

When was a device built by Apple a democratic system? If I have a party do I have to invite everyone even if I do not like them?? Certainly not..

In short.. If you do not like the iPhone, then dont buy one. That is your right, and Apple is not holding a gun to your head. What they are trying to do, however, is to provide the experience that they want and not yours. If that means that they hurt some people's feelings along they way, then they seem fine with that... Personally, I am too...

Re:iphone is a police state (-1, Troll)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092903)

>>In short.. If you do not like the iPhone, then dont buy one.

(Classic Apple fanboy reply)

Then why the fuck everybody is up in arms when it comes to microsoft. Get the fuck out of here if you don't like this discussion.

Apple ][ was open. (5, Interesting)

drerwk (695572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092909)

When was a device built by Apple a democratic system?

Just to answer, when the Apple ][ was sold, the documentation included full schematics and a listing of the ROM. It also included a section on how to build an interface card that would work in one of the 8 slots. I don't think I have owned a machine that was more open than the Apple ][.

Re:iphone is a police state (-1, Troll)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092573)

The Iphone is an orwellian police state where everything you do on it is carefully censored and controlled by Apple.

Wow. Melodramatic much? How about you just cut to the quick and drop a reference to Nazis or Hitler so we can be done with this thread right off the bat...

Oh, and for the record, it's "iPhone" - lower case "i", upper case "p". If you're going to claim it's the next biggest evil of technology, at least spell it correctly.

Re:iphone is a police state (4, Informative)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092711)

I wish Google or someone would come out with a phone which is based on a completely open OS like Linux and where people can write their own programs and so on for it.

What you want is an HTC Dream. It's being released Oct 17.

Re:iphone is a police state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092729)

I wish Google or someone would come out with a phone which is based on a completely open OS like Linux and where people can write their own programs and so on for it.

You should look up Android OS.

Re:iphone is a police state (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092737)

I agree. As far as stagnation and lack of innovation it is interesting that we could claim that with the one phone that has single handedly revived innovation in the handset market (the US market anyway.) I want to see Android come online and give us the innovation AND the openness.

One question to remain though is if Android will attract as many developers. Apple's free tools for iPhone development are well polished compared to most others I've seen. Will Google put the time and energy into pushing out the same level of quality in their development tools? Unlikely I think.

Re:iphone is a police state (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092759)

Actually, here's a more complete reply to your post.

The Iphone...

iPhone. See my earlier post.

... is an orwellian police state where everything you do on it is carefully censored and controlled by Apple.

Melodramatic much?

Certainly i would never use one.

You and millions of other people. Some for the same reason and others for a variety of other reasons. That's just the market exercising their right to choose. Congrats.

I wish Google or someone would come out with a phone which is based on a completely open OS like Linux and where people can write their own programs and so on for it.

You must be new here. Android. Look it up.

People often fear government as a threat to their freedom, but right here we see with Apple, an obvious violation of peoples rights to use a device that they purchased in a way they wish, and a corporation deciding what people can and cant use it for.

Ok, first, comparing Apple's controlling what apps are available for use on the iPhone with governments infringing people's freedoms? Seriously? I don't know if "melodramatic much" is adequate for that...

Second, iPhone purchasers can use the device however they want. They don't need to follow Apple's path. Just this week, iirc, it was announced that 2.1 was hacked allowing iPhone owners to install whatever apps they want. And when the next iPhone OS comes out, within a week or two, it'll be hacked as well. And so on and so on. iPhone owners can use the device however they want.

This leads in fact to stagnation, a lack of innovation.

Actually, the issue at hand is that the program in question mimicked Mail too closely without any notable differences. _THAT_ is stagnation and lack of innovation and it has nothing to do with Apple not approving applications. Had the app in question been a mail program with features that differentiated it from Mail, it surely would have been approved. But more on this later.

Many interesting developments and innovations come from innovation and improving and tinkering with an existing platform.

You mean like the efforts of the iPhone hacking team (sorry, I don't know if the team has an official name)? You mean like the efforts of the many, many, many iPhone app developers who have made some truly excellent apps already (check out Trism as but one example of a spectacular and innovative app that takes full use of the iPhone's abilities). Interesting developments and innovations surround the iPhone. And more will come as people push the limits of it's capabilities.

A platform that allows a person to develop software provides excellent conditions for new innovations, like new games or mail apps to be developed.

Um, people can develop apps for the iPhone. Apple doesn't need to approve all those apps (as they make clear in their documentation for developers), but people can develop apps for the device. There are already plenty of apps on the iPhone. Over a million have been downloaded already. Your point is a non-issue.

It sounds like the app was not approved because it was basically a carbon copy of Mail - same functions with no additional, differentiating features. So, if they approved it, people would buy the app, download it, realize they got duped into buying something that comes with the iPhone OS, get pissed and complain - the later two being things Apple wants to avoid. Rather than go that route, they did not approve the app. Had the developer actually developed something - spent some time and effort adding additional features that made the app different (and probably better) than Mail - Apple almost certainly would have approved it.

How posts like yours get modded up are beyond me. Melodramatic drivel alongside false information. Normally Slashdot reviewers get it right but sometimes they just miss the boat...

Re:iphone is a police state (2, Funny)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092891)

There is: http://www.openmoko.com/ [openmoko.com] .

Re:iphone is a police state (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092955)

Apple is a private corporation and they can run their service any way they wish as long as they are not in violation of the law. So far as I'm aware, they aren't, so I don't think "rights" come into play here. The devices in question are sold under certain terms, and if you don't like them you're free not to give Apple your money. The cellphone market is competitive as hell, and there are plenty of alternatives (and while the iPhone may be the slickest thing out there right now, the competition will catch up.)

However, otherwise I agree with you: I'd certainly never choose to develop for the iPhone, knowing that Apple might choose to eradicate my hard work at any time. Forget it. Now, I suppose Apple could set up an "Applications Approval Commission" that would prepare guidelines for what is an "acceptable" application for the iPhone at any particular time. Furthermore, this Commission could accept submissions of proposed ideas from independent developers, and would approve/disapprove of those ideas for use on the iPhone. Hell, they might even decide that some of those ideas would be good enough for Apple to develop for itself.

Re:iphone is a police state (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092979)

You know, while I resent and dislike this scenario for all the same reasons most people here do, I have to think about this from the other side of it. My CEO loves his MacBook pro. He loves it so much, last year, he got Macs for the whole family and bought every Apple device to support it -- airports and the like -- and went full-bore Apple at home and didn't look back. It was total commitment. It was part experiment and part disgust and frustration with the misery that Windows brings.

Apple works to keep confusion out of the Apple world. They do this by controlling the environment carefully. It is imperfect in areas; faults and holes are found and closed. And it is speculative to say that Apple excludes things for anti-competitive reasons, but it is unquestionable that they do work to control the environment. But for many people, the results of this provides exactly the experience people are seeking out of Apple.

And I think the fact that Apple's philosophy exists in the form it does is useful if for no reason than to observe the practices and the results they yield.

Apple isn't in 100% control though. Apple HAS to allow Microsoft to behave like assholes in their world. By that, I am specifically talking about the difficulty of setting up Entourage to connect to a Microsoft Exchange server using SSL without getting the invalid certificate error. It's a Microsoft app and a Microsoft server. You'd think they would be able to get it right but for whatever reason, Microsoft hasn't fixed it. If Apple had their way, they would exclude Microsoft entirely from their environment... it just wouldn't be a wise business decision. Microsoft applies other limitations and broken behaviors in its products for Apple as well. This is not something that Apple easily tolerates... but they will from Microsoft and probably from Adobe as well.

Other opinions aside, I find it interesting to observe the various dynamics surrounding Apple's philosophies applied.

"Duplicating functionality" (5, Insightful)

mrbah (844007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092269)

Isn't duplicating functionality the basis for competition? The 45 different flashlight applications don't exactly support the claim that duplicate functionality is why these applications were rejected.

Seems to me like they're trying to reserve the right to develop their own alternative to any application on the store and pull the third party version. Don't you just love closed platforms?

Re:"Duplicating functionality" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092483)

The article is a little vague on how the new app allows one to manage podcasts from the iPhone.

Doesn't iTunes download podcasts over your computer's Internet connection and then sync them with the iPhone?

Could Apple just be trying to discourage direct podcast downloads over AT&T's cellular network?

Re:"Duplicating functionality" (4, Interesting)

Archimonde (668883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092815)

Even if I don't support it in any case, it is about duplication of *apple's* software functionality. So it doesn't matter if there are 45 versions of flashlight apps, apple doesn't have one so they don't care. When you start to design your music player, mail and itunes app, then you get into the problems.

But by using a different distribution method (jailbroken device + cydia or installer.app) you could duplicate the functionality of apple's own apps.

Re:"Duplicating functionality" (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092871)

Part of the problem is that Apple hasn't built their existing applications to be removable, so even if they allowed the these competing apps they'd still be competing against entrenched applications (like IE on Windows).

Now, I don't think it's quite as bad as IE on Windows, but only because at this point it's sort of in a middle-ground between a real handheld computer and an embedded system. But still, Apple should just treat it like a real handheld system, allow competing applications, open all the APIs and allow their applications to be removed.

Apple declares: "Fuck it, we're evil" (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092275)

"Fuck it," said Steve Jobs to an audience of soul-mortgaged thralls, "we're evil. [today.com] But our stuff is sooo good. You'll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It's shiny and it's pretty and it's cool and it works. It's not like you'll go back to a Windows Mobile phone. Ha! Ha!"

Re:Apple declares: "Fuck it, we're evil" (1)

dogboi (1111269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092457)

You mean people actually use Windows Mobile? Who knew? I thought Symbian was where it was at.

Re:Apple declares: "Fuck it, we're evil" (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092639)

Personally, I'm eagerly awaiting the Linux-based phone where you do everything from a bash prompt. The Command Line! The Quintessential One-Dimensional Desktop!! [today.com] What Linux devotee could settle for less?

Re:Apple declares: "Fuck it, we're evil" (1)

dogboi (1111269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092693)

Hope it has a bluetooth keyboard then. I can't stand those little tiny mobile keyboards. Bleh. (Though ANY tactile keyboard beats a touch screen keyboard hands down.)

Re:Apple declares: "Fuck it, we're evil" (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092895)

The mobile device I use the most is my Nokia 770 with a bluetooth keyboard. The ARM port of Linux doesn't seem to have a framebuffer console, so I run a full-screen xterm and run vim in that. Great for writing articles in the park or pretentious coffee shops (although an OpenBSD port and a better beret would make the latter better).

They were always evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092565)

Back in the day late 80s to early 90s, when Apple was charging folks waaayyy more up the ass then they are now, their customers would recite the Apple mantra that "Apple controls the hardware and software giving us a superior, A SUPERIOR, product I TELL YOU! MS sucks because THEY don't control the hardware and PC companies don't control the OS!"

I explain that MS controls the hardware anyway because companies want the "Windows Compatible."

And every pro Apple argument is an excuse Apple uses to charge you up the ass.

And if Apple were so "superior" then how come the MAC crashes all the time? Hmmmmmm?

Today, things are a little better with the MAc but still in no way justifies it's price.

Re:Apple declares: "Fuck it, we're evil" (2, Funny)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092631)

Just another entry in the iProduct [gizmodo.com] line.

yes but GOULASH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092295)

you are all straight heterosexuals who like the insertion of cock into pussy and nothing else ever. Ha ha ha ha ha

Why should Apple open up? (-1, Troll)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092333)

It's Apple's platform, Apple's SDK, and Apple's store. Why should they allow any product on the shelf that competes with their own business? Why should they allow useless products? You don't get mad at Best Buy for not selling maps to Circuit City. You don't get mad at Circuit City for not selling empty cardboard boxes for $999. Why should Apple's store be any different?

Re:Why should Apple open up? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092349)

>>It's Apple's platform, Apple's SDK, and Apple's store... blah blah... Why should Apple's store be any different?

And it's apple's dick in your mouth. Why should I listen to you?

Re:Why should Apple open up? (1)

LCookie (685814) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092557)

Saying the truth gets you modded flamebait, gotta love slashdot for that. Stupid Apple fanboyZ at work.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092357)

Self interest if nothing else. Developers will be less likely to develop for such a closed, restrictive platform especially when more open alternatives (like Android) will become available and possibly just as widespread (if not more).

Re:Why should Apple open up? (4, Insightful)

gaderael (1081429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092387)

It's Microsoft's platform, Microsoft's SDK, and Microsoft's store. Why should they allow any product on the shelf that competes with their own business? Why should they allow useless products? You don't get mad at Best Buy for not selling maps to Circuit City. You don't get mad at Circuit City for not selling empty cardboard boxes for $999. Why should Microsoft's store be any different?

Sound's pretty silly now, doesn't it?

Re:Why should Apple open up? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092497)

Sound's pretty silly now, doesn't it?

Nope. Not to Apple Fanbois. kthxbye.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (4, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092501)

Why should Microsoft's store be any different?

I can't think of any reason other than Microsoft is a monopoly, and users have next to no choice but to use Windows for many purposes. However, if you're talking about Windows Mobile, or some other MS platform that isn't a monopoly, then it really doesn't sound as silly as you might think it does.

Re:Why should Apple open up? - For profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092505)

that's right, they'd make more money. Indeed, if Apple's management wasn't so closed-minded and irresponsible, they'd have more customers and greater sales, all without having to compromise anything.

What Apple is doing is both ethically wrong and complete mismanagement. Apple is a shade of what it should have been.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (2, Insightful)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092551)

Although I very much disagree with the grandparent, your "analogy" also doesn't work because, at least in the PC OS market, Microsoft are, all together now, a monopoly. Apple are not one in the smart phone arena. If you do not like Apple's device, services, distribution model, etc. you can go buy one of dozens of devices form a dozen manufacturers, claiming they do more than the iPhone. So, although massively stupid move on Apple's part, it's fair game.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092673)

Parent is another fool (or a paid-for shill) that thinks apple is some saviour and somehow very different from micro$oft.

The fact remains apple is every a bit as evil as micro$oft. M$ even owns some apple shares. It's the same racket.

If you're looking for something different, try http://gnu.org/ [gnu.org]

Re:Why should Apple open up? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25093035)

You mean like the XBox?

If you don't like it, don't buy it. From any vendor.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092393)

Because it's pissing people off in a way that's bad PR, firstly to the developers and secondly to the users. There's a reason why so many of the latter have jail-broken their iPhones - Trusted Computing sucks to be bent over for.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (1, Insightful)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092669)

I agree with you that this is a very stupid thing for Apple to do. It will needlessly alienate a lot of people - not enough to hurt sales, but, again, needlessly many. However, I am very much against jail-breaking, especially as a result of Apple doing something wrong. It simply doesn't send Apple a message that whatever they've done is not going to be tolerated by the market. Once they've sold you the device, they couldn't care less how much you disagree with them. And they'll do the same thing again.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092901)

The depressing thing is that they did exactly the same thing on the desktop in the '80s, and it cost them a market that they came close to completely controlling. Many of us assumed that Steve Jobs had learned this lesson at NeXT, but apparently not.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (5, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092439)

It's Apple's platform, Apple's SDK, and Apple's store. Why should they allow any product on the shelf that competes with their own business? Why should they allow useless products? You don't get mad at Best Buy for not selling maps to Circuit City. You don't get mad at Circuit City for not selling empty cardboard boxes for $999. Why should Apple's store be any different?

I am an Apple fan to the highest degree, but this has to be the stupidest analogy I've ever heard. It's one thing for Apple to ban apps that violate privacy, harm the network, or even that go against AT&T's TOS (like the tethering app). But to ban an app that competes with Apple's free included apps? If Best Buy won't sell your software, you can always try getting Circuit City to sell it or if that doesn't work, sell it from your own site and pay for advertising. If Apple won't sell your app on the App Store, you have no alternative. I have a regular old Samsung flip phone on the Sprint network. The included web browser sucks. I went over to Operamini.com. downloaded it, and now I have a great browser. Apple would never allow a competing browser,

Re:Why should Apple open up? (5, Interesting)

dogboi (1111269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092445)

It's Apple's platform, Apple's SDK, and Apple's store. Why should they allow any product on the shelf that competes with their own business?

How does a product that they would sell in their own app store compete with their business, pray tell? They are the gatekeeper. Any application could, potentially, help them sell more iPhones if it's good enough, and at the very least, they make money from the sale of the app. Even free apps encourage people to go to the app store, thus increasing the odds they'll buy something.

Why should they allow useless products?

Like 100 flashlight applications? Like the "I am Rich" application? Like more failing social networks then you can shake a stick at? I'm failing to understand how apple has prevented useless products from arriving at the app store.

You don't get mad at Best Buy for not selling maps to Circuit City. You don't get mad at Circuit City for not selling empty cardboard boxes for $999. Why should Apple's store be any different?

Because, if I choose to buy a piece of electronics, Best Buy is not my only option. I can choose to go somewhere else. If Apple restricts an app for no viable reason, then I have no recourse. If I own an iPhone, I am absolutely restricted by the whims of Apple, and that is absolutely ridiculous. They call the iPhone a platform, then they need to treat it as a platform. Since you sound like a Mac person, let me ask you this: What if Apple came out with their own massively powerful graphics editor, and then they told Adobe to take a hike because Photoshop was competing with their app on OS X. No one would stand for that. Yet everyone seems to accept it on the iPhone. It's unacceptable. [For the purposes of disclosure - I do own an iPhone and I do own a MacBook running OS X, so I'm definitely not Anti-Apple. This whole App Store thing, though, is incredibly dangerous precedent and disturbs me greatly.]

Re:Why should Apple open up? (4, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092475)

It's Apple's platform, Apple's SDK, and Apple's store.

It's also my iPhone (were I to have bought one).

Why should they allow any product on the shelf that competes with their own business?

What are they selling Mail.app for these days? Oh, wait - it's included for free. So, let's rephrase your question so that it makes sense: why should they allow any product on the shelf that enhances part of the OS? Answer: because then it makes their OS more attractive to users. This is generally regarded as a good thing. At least they thought so when they offered Firefox for OS X for download [apple.com] from their own site, even though Firefox "competes" with their own Safari.

You don't get mad at Best Buy for not selling maps to Circuit City. You don't get mad at Circuit City for not selling empty cardboard boxes for $999. Why should Apple's store be any different?

Last I checked, Best Buy and Circuit City haven't gone out of their way to prevent me from installing software I've bought elsewhere.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092937)

The difference, perhaps, is that FireFox is free. It would give people a negative impression of the platform if they paid money for something that didn't give any useful features not present in the original software, while no one would be too upset if they downloaded FireFox and decided that they liked Safari more.

Removing software from the App Store because they don't like it isn't the evil thing here. The evil thing is that the App Store is the only way other than jail-breaking or paying $99 to be a developer of getting software on to your phone. No one complains about Apple deciding not to put various OS X applications on the Apple Store, because it's easy to buy them elsewhere.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25093041)

It's also my iPhone (were I to have bought one).

Very true, but you also (theoretically) bought one knowing it's capabilities. Or I should hope so, at least. When they first went on sale (when I got one), there were exactly sixteen apps included, and one of them was Settings. There was no App Store, nor was there a promise of one. Of course nobody expected for a second that Apple would let something with so much potential go to waste, but up until the day it was announced you couldn't reasonably claim that you were "owed" one. You bought one (or didn't) knowing what apps were included, and what the limitations may be knowing that's all you got.

And then after months of continual whining *cough*digg*cough*, it was announced and then several months later actually arrived. There was never a promise of any kind of app within the store, etc. It was made quite clear that not everything would be allowed into the store.

What's my point from this? Anyone with a sense of entitlement from the App Store is being completely idiotic. You didn't pay for the thing* - it was added after the fact, and just like the iTunes Store is not all-inclusive.

Don't get me wrong here - I think Apple's being irrational and, lacking a better word, dickish. But at the end of the day, it's their decision to do things that way. I'd love to see an app that deals with multiple email accounts (especially gmail) better than the built-in Mail.app

*at least on first-gen phones, though even on the newer phones you'll still get some debate about buying hardware vs software. As software updates on the iPhone are free, I'm sure Apple would argue that you're paying for the hardware and the software is free, so if you don't get what you like in a software update than you can fuck right off. It's certainly their business model for Macs. The fact that their generally-good software is the REASON you're buying the expensive hardware just makes them more clever than you for not having thought of it first. Now I don't necessarily agree with that approach, but it's what they use.

Re:Why should Apple open up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092547)

Free market, bitch, do you understand it?

Re:Why should Apple open up? (4, Interesting)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092583)

One might have thought you were trying to make a reasonable point, right up until your Apple fanboism shone through:

Why should they allow useless products?

Because clearly, once Apple has created a product it's PERFECTION! Nobody should even bother to do anything encroaching on so much as the realm surrounding the vision of the idea that Apple coded. By golly, if we were to have more than one email client on a computer the whole technology thing would never have picked up steam!

Or, perhaps competition is good? Perhaps there actually ARE multiple products that do essentially the same thing and the world hasn't coming crashing down on our heads? Perhaps we have these concepts of markets and supply and demand that are capable of weeding out useless products without bothering our Beneficent Apple Overlords with having to take time out of their day? I wonder why nobody's ever tried such a thing? Customers deciding whether they like a product or not? Whoddathunkit?

But I'll give you better than you deserve and actually look past the Jobs worship to reply.

It's Apple's platform, Apple's SDK, and Apple's store. Why should they allow any product on the shelf that competes with their own business?

For starters, competition is good for consumers and stifling it is wrong--sometimes legally, sometimes "just" morally. The idea that we should permit it to chase every last dollar is what's wrong with this country. Corporations exist and are given all sorts of benefits by our government. Our government is supposed to exist to do the things which are best for its populace as a whole. Holding up the idea that two products competing on their merits and one being crushed by the power of the company who produced the other as somehow equally beneficial to us is ridiculous. Would we be having this discussion if it were Microsoft or IBM of a few decades ago that was crushing its competition beneath its heel?

Beyond that, Apple isn't creating these things to be generous to you, even within the context of the iPhone. They're using your work to make money. A cursory glance at their developer program page [apple.com] shows they take a 30% cut off the top. But more to the point, they're using you to populate their application library so more people will shell out hundreds of dollars to get that shiny new iPhone.

There's nothing wrong with this, but all previous objections aside (and let's face it, storing a few Kb on their servers for apps that never sell isn't going to hurt Apple) the least they could do when you actually DO agree to let them use you that way is not spit in your face, wave their arms and scream "oh no no no! *WE* coded something like that already, you can't!" If it's so useless, let it languish in obscurity. Don't ruin somebody's hard work. If it's not useless, if it's something people actually would want and they're squashing it... well, maybe that Apple glow dims because that's no better than anything Microsoft ever did.

You don't get mad at Best Buy for not selling maps to Circuit City.

The better example, of course, would be "you don't get mad at Best Buy for not selling Circuit City's products." My response is simple: Best Buy doesn't have a program whereby they let you store your products on their shelves, integrate with their system and take a cut of your profits either. If they did, I would be equally pissed at them if they decided that nobody could produce anything that they already stocked. It's all a crappy example, though, since physical goods and digital ones vary in so many important ways. This IS Slashdot, I'd expect you to be aware of that. It comes up in every damn story about copyright infringement, which is like every other story as it is.

You don't get mad at Circuit City for not selling empty cardboard boxes for $999

I fail to see what ripping off a consumer by not delivering what you've promised to sell has ANY bearing on somebody wanting to put an app in Apple's store and being shot down. I have to assume that leaping from talking about a coupe of bucks for an app that does something to selling nothing for almost a thousand dollars is nothing more than another case of your ridiculous and baseless bias.

Nobody has made any claims that this application does not work. Nobody has made any claims that people who bought it aren't getting what they purchased. If that's the case, fine, take it down. Or better yet, develop a system whereby customers can get their money back and the application is delete if they file a complaint within 30 days or some other reasonable duration.

Why should Apple's store be any different?

You've frankly hit the nail on the head as to why I can't stand fanbois of ANY product: Because THEY don't think their pet company should ever be held to the same standards as others. They can do the same evil shit all of the companies we love to bash are doing, but somehow it's all different; somehow, these guys have managed to find the Magical Loophole that makes doing evil things good.

I don't want their store to be any different. I expect them to be fully judged as scummy little shits when they do scummy, shitty little things. Simple, right?

Re:Why should Apple open up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092765)

Erm, don't buy one then and stop moaning. geesh.

Props to (relatively) open platforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092335)

What do you expect from a company that wouldn't even let others write apps at all at first?

I eagerly await the first Android phone, regardless of how crappy the hardware may be.

It's time to face a simple fact about the iPhone (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092377)

It's a waste of investment. It's just that simple. The moment Apple wants to do something you're doing, they just get rid of you. No serious business should ever invest money into the iPhone because they are completely at the mercy of Apple here, in a way that makes Microsoft look like they're selling an open source platform.

Re:It's time to face a simple fact about the iPhon (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092471)

It's a waste of investment. It's just that simple.

That makes no sense. Most iPhones actually do what they're supposed to do. They're not supposed to be an open platform. If that's what you want, get something else!

The moment Apple wants to do something you're doing, they just get rid of you.

You seriously think that? Corporations are not evil for evil's sake, they actually want something specific: more money. How on earth could Apple spontaneously cutting off users at all help their sales? Sure, there have been complaints of bricking jailbroken phones, but they can't be expected to be responsible for non-standard phones. Users knew what they were getting into when they (jail)broke their phones. I guess Apple could in theory just ban whatever they want, but in actual, real terms, they wouldn't want to, for fear of lawsuits and drops in sales.

Re:It's time to face a simple fact about the iPhon (4, Insightful)

stg (43177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092545)

I think it was fairly clear that the grandparent was talking about developing software for the iPhone, not just using one. And I agree completely with his points. Of course, any company can develop a free program that duplicates yours, but being able to ban your software from the only place you can sell it is much worse. Even as an user, I find their attitude unacceptable, and will not buy their stuff.

Re:It's time to face a simple fact about the iPhon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092623)

They're not supposed to be an open platform. If that's what you want, get something else!

Apple released an API for developers, but ban applications between the investment and return stages, making it possible for companies to invest and be deprived of their return at Apple's discretion, regardless of how much potential customers might want the application. Your argument doesn't make sense. Why did Apple release the SDK if they didn't want developers to write applications?

How on earth could Apple spontaneously cutting off users at all help their sales?

Have you even checked what this article is about? Most people who have are a bit puzzled about where the financial incentive for Apple is in all of this, but that's irrelevant because they ARE spontaneously cutting off applications!

Re:It's time to face a simple fact about the iPhon (3, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092633)

It's a waste of investment. It's just that simple

That makes no sense. Most iPhones actually do what they're supposed to do. They're not supposed to be an open platform. If that's what you want, get something else!

the grandaprent obviously means that developing on the Iphone is a waste of investment. Most people do that kind of investment with a plan for a small reasonable return and a reasonable hope for great riches if their application happens to hit a sweet spot. With the iphone the situation is that, if you do hit that sweet spot, Apple can, and will just eliminate your application whilst introducing their own one. You end up doing free (or even profitable) R&D for Apple.

Others have compared this with Windows, but actually it's very similar. Microsoft has shown a willingness to kill any partner which gets too big for it's boots by competing against them. E.g. look at Borland which was wiped out by microsoft's compiler suite; look at Netscape; look even at Oracle: they were only saved because they had other platforms. Even so Oracle is in a much worse position because of MSSql than it would be otherwise.

Re:It's time to face a simple fact about the iPhon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092919)

It's a waste of investment. It's just that simple. The moment Apple wants to do something you're doing, they just get rid of you. No serious business should ever invest money into the iPhone because they are completely at the mercy of Apple here, in a way that makes Microsoft look like they're selling an open source platform.

Agreed sounds seriously close to being illegal. Like it's breaking some anti-competition law.

Extra bad in this case (2, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092395)

Apple, I don't know how to tell you this, but Mail.app sucks. Seriously. I put up with it on my Mac because it's not my primary computer and I don't use it enough to install Thunderbird. If I actually needed a good mail reader on OS X, though, Mail.app would be gone in a heartbeat.

So now I know that if I were to get an iPhone, I'd be stuck with a crappy mail reader. The silver lining is that now people know that in advance.

Re:Extra bad in this case (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092963)

Out of interest, what don't you like about Mail.app? I've used it as my primary (actually, only) mail client for a few years, coming from Thunderbird (before that, from Mozilla Mail and News, before that Outlook Express, and before that MS Mail and News), and haven't had any issues with it.

So what to do? (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092405)

Why don't you just contact your national antitrust department? E.g. in Europe we have a simple consumer form [europa.eu] .

Despite all the Apple hype their platform is the most proprietary. A golden cage.

Re:So what to do? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092973)

Because it's not a monopoly. You can abuse a minority market share as much as you want. The iPhone is, currently, the nicest phone I've played with, but it's still a tiny player. It's not even the best selling touchscreen phone. Giving up certain freedoms in exchange for a nicer user interface is a choice that individuals are free to make.

From TFA (5, Informative)

PainMeds (1301879) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092409)

⦠Your application duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application Mail without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality, which will lead to user confusion. â¦

So the 30 different versions of Voice Notes is acceptable, since it doesn't compete with Apple, but having two versions of mail applications are unacceptable?

What bothers me more than this is that the AppStore restricts any frameworks that one _could_ use to write good applications, like movie players (CoreSurface) and programs that interact with iTunes. If you look at older versions of the firmware, these were all public frameworks until the AppStore rolled out.

Re:From TFA (1)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092569)

What bothers me more than this is that the AppStore restricts any frameworks that one _could_ use to write good applications, like movie players (CoreSurface) and programs that interact with iTunes. If you look at older versions of the firmware, these were all public frameworks until the AppStore rolled out.

Well, technically before there was an App Store and an official SDK all the frameworks used on the iPhone were private.

nothing new here ... just move along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092437)

Same old apple ... still won't play well with others, which is why I never buy anything Mac. In my view all this is, is elitism and market tyranny and simply isn't worth paying for. However, if others choose to buy into the scheme, well, whatever.

They have no reason to change (3, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092485)

The average consumer just wants something simple that works and is secure and looks great. They don't care if they're making things worse for themselves. Just look at MS' monopoly. People love it.

By closing the system up it's more secure and they can guarentee their software remains popular on their system.

Re:They have no reason to change (1, Troll)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092707)

No. This is pure profit motive, that's all.
Apple is hyper-monopolistic and hyper-aggressive when it comes to their OS.
No one has built an effective Mail client for Mac OS X. No one has built a good replacement for ANY of the Mac OS X's system tools, BECAUSE Apple closes their system effectively.
On one hand they cry out loud no one builds apps for their OS, but OTOH they scuttle anything which remotely threatens them.
Unlike Microsoft.
True Microsoft is the T-Rex, but they don't compete in markets like system tools, mail clients, etc., and other apps like Bloomberg, financial apps, even browsers, where they have a good market share and poor market share too.
Microsoft actually is more accomodating than Apple in this case.
Its time to start going the Android way.

Re:They have no reason to change (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25093027)

No. This is pure profit motive, that's all.

And how much profit does Apple make on Mail.app?

If Apple allowed a competing mail app, this would encourage more people to buy the iPhone (more money for Apple), and I'm sure they get a cut of sales through the App Store (even more money for Apple).

No one has built an effective Mail client for Mac OS X.

Thunderbird isn't effective?

No one has built a good replacement for ANY of the Mac OS X's system tools, BECAUSE Apple closes their system effectively.

Or maybe because there's really not a market for someone to duplicate the functionality of, say, Disk Utility. And there's really not a lot you can do on top of Disk Utility.

True Microsoft is the T-Rex, but they don't compete in markets like system tools, mail clients, etc.

WTF? Can it be you don't know about Outlook?

Sure, they don't ban these other markets, but it's not as though they don't attempt to compete.

Re:They have no reason to change (1)

dogboi (1111269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092749)

And I would argue that having choice in what applications you can use would increase their sales, which is really what Apple is after. If they weren't after sales, there would be no reason for them to do things like lower the price of their products to compete with other products, nor would they invest in multi-million dollar advertisement campaigns. Apple is after our money, and providing choices creates a platform people are more willing to use.

If you don't like it don't buy it... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092489)

But don't make it out like this is immoral. To a lot of us this is not a limitation, its a feature. I like the closed system. I prefer to know that every application is vetted by apple, even if it means waiting or paying more for some functions, it means I'll never have to worry about viruses or malware. This has always been what I've liked about apple - I don't want twenty different applications that do the same thing, I want one good one.

How to find a way into iPhone? (1)

v4vijayakumar (925568) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092509)

How about submitting hello world app which could transform / upgrade itself into mail client, music player, browser, etc. :)

Re:How to find a way into iPhone? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092987)

Code which contains language interpreters or loads additional libraries not present in the original install are expressly prohibited by the iPhone SDK T&Cs. This is one of half a dozen clauses that made me not agree to it.

Android! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092519)

This is why I am waiting for Android... And not the T-Mobile rendition, but Android on a real carrier.

Absurd!! (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092603)

"duplicating the functionality"?! How can anyone put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write such utter nonsense? All other platforms have competing products that try to achieve the same or similar functionality in a better or different way, so does Apple really think their shit is going to fly? Do they think their users are idiots?

Re:Absurd!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092689)

Do they think their users are idiots?

Absolutely.

Re:Absurd!! (0, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092745)

Do they think their users are idiots?

Yep - unfortunately, they might be right. I have a couple if iPhone-owning friends who are rationalising this behaviour for them without Apple having to try.

Just because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092681)

Apple bans your app from the App Store doesn't mean you can't still develop and sell it on your own. You won't get the mass appeal of the store but you can still get it out there.

Who Cares (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092727)

The Mail app on the phone is fine..... the only problem i have is that I cant see my flags.....

other then that its great...... personally all those stupid apps in the app store that mimic other apps should be taken out......

and I dont blame apple for pulling apps that mimic their stuff..... it is there business..... if you want unstable and unsupported jailbreak your phone

and If you dont make apps because you think that apple is going to steal them thats just stupid. little apps that do mininmal stuff are bringing in 1000's of dollars a month for there developers.... just stay out of the apple area and reap the benefits

Why doesn't McDonalds sell the Whopper? (2, Insightful)

thirtimecharm (1253100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092739)

People here know that Apple is commercial enterprise, right? Google has open source apps because apps are not their core business, advertising is. Apple sells software to drive hardware sales. The have a need to ensure that their application site remains unique and that they control the entire experience because that is what differentiates them. By offering up a competitor to iTunes or even to Mail.app (which offers unique integration into THEIR ecosystem), Apple would undermine their own ability to make a profit. Which is important in a commercial venture. I do wish there were just a few more calculators, though.

Re:Why doesn't McDonalds sell the Whopper? (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25093001)

Take it one step higher. Burger King and McD's both have a business license in your city to sell the same product right? What if NYC decided to facilitate better controls over the meat industry to prevent mad-cow disease? In the process they denied Burger King's business licenses because it provides the same functionality, but only increases the amount of work on their part. Neither of our analogies are any good, BTW.

Typical apple (1)

Joker1980 (891225) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092775)

Apple LOVE closed systems, DRM and total control, the only thing that surprises me is the reaction. The lock down is SOP for Apple you know this when you buy into it (same as microsoft, in truth apple are much worse but MS is more visable).

I think that at the very least Apple need to issues solid guidelines for what they will accept and what they wont. Its bang out of order to let devs spend the time and effort creating an app that they have no idea will be accepted. Id prefer the appstore be a bit more open but it aint goin to happen (this is Apple, see above). at the very least you should know ur app is going to be accepted BEFORE you start to write it, thats the real problem here.

This isn't competition... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092787)

it's stupidity. You can already setup your mail through Mail.app. It IS confusing to a lot of customers. I think now is the shock time when we find out that there are people who aren't computer literate who are vast majority who use these things.

Debby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25092809)

Did anyone *REALLY* think that the Apple store would all the sale of software that would cut into sales *AT* the Apple store?

Fools.

Apple controls the iPhone.
They do whatever they want.

Re:Debby (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092885)

Did anyone *REALLY* think that the Apple store would all the sale of software that would cut into sales *AT* the Apple store?

Fools.

Apple controls the iPhone. They do whatever they want.

As has been mentioned, we're referring to competing with software that Apple gives away, as in gratis. There is no competition for any revenue stream of Apple's.

Re:Debby (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092943)

Yeah, this is no worse than if Microsoft didn't let you install Firefox. No biggie. IE is free.

Very disappointed Mac user here... (2, Interesting)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092863)

This is making me not only completely refuse to ever buy an iPhone, but also making me wary of buying more Macs in the future.

Apple was moving in a good direction with Mac OS X by basing their platform on BSD and building it on open source software. Now we see them pulling stuff like this.

How long until they start restricting what can be installed on Macs?

I may just return to using Linux on the desktop. Many of the issues I was annoyed with that caused me to switch to OS X in 2003 have been worked out, and I can probably deal with the remaining ones.

*grumble* just when Apple was starting to get really awesome, they pull stuff like this. Very disappointed in them.

Monopoly (1)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25092983)

This is why I won't buy an apple. Although superior to Windows products, their propriety nature and desire to control after purchase decisions makes me want to continue to buy open products which I can control what I do with it after I buy it.

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