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Respected Developers Begin Fleeing the App Store

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the also-known-as-the-french-rush dept.

Businesses 485

wiedzmin writes "Facebook's Joe Hewitt, Second Gear's Justin Williams, the long-time Mac software developer known as 'Rogue Amoeba' and other respected App Store developers have recently decided to discontinue their work on the platform, citing their frustration with Apple's opaque approval process. Continued issues with erroneous and snap rejections of applications and APIs are prompting more and more developers to shun the platform entirely. Though there are tens of thousands of other developers who have pumped out over 100,000 apps for the platform, continued migration away from iPhone development will most likely result in lower quality software."

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They are all writing for Windows now... (5, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158904)

Same story... "Hi, I'm Mac guy, and I've got nothing to do...because I have no software..."

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158984)

What software on windows is "so great/must have" that there isn't a viable alternative for other platforms. Windows has a bunch of bullshit software that isn't worth paying for besides custom in house apps.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (2, Funny)

Conception (212279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159028)

Access, while perhaps not "so great/must have" doesn't really have a viable alternative on any other platform. There are a few projects, but as yet no contenders.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (2, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159116)

Access, while perhaps not "so great/must have" doesn't really have a viable alternative on any other platform.

Access doesn't have a truly viable solution under Windows, either. At least, not if you care about your data.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (3, Informative)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159284)

I beg to differ. Access have a viable solution if you care about your datas: Use access as a front-end to a MsSQL back-end. You have then all the power of Access as a RAD tool with the integrity of a real database.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (5, Interesting)

drfreak (303147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159468)

But if you care about your sanity, or the sanity of your users, you are shit out of luck with Access. There is a mass exodus occurring with Access Runtime developers to .NET. Join them and be free to code your own way, in your favourite language. With SQL and .NET Express, there is really no excuse for writing apps that way anymore.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159424)

I disagree. A well developed Access db where the developer also understands the by-design limitations performs quite nicely. Haven't lost data in years. Great for one off analysis, simple data entry/reporting.

In a multi-user environment and/or where security needs to be enforced, use Access as a front end to a SQL Server back end. Works great.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159078)

What software on Mac is "so great/must have" that there isn't a viable alternative for other platforms. Mac has a bunch of bullshit software that isn't worth paying for besides custom in house apps.

Fixed that for ya.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159176)

iWalletEmptier

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159170)

Minesweeper.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (2, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159228)

AutoCad would be nice to have on Mac OS X.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (1)

turtleshadow (180842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159712)

What about Sketchup Pro for OS X? I think it imports and exports to autocad 2007.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159298)

Amusingly (because of the purpose of the software): Visual Studio.

In terms of IDEs, nothing compares, and I say this as a Java developer at work running both Windows and Linux. At home, I own a Mac and a PC, and I can only code for very short bursts using Apple's development tools because I find them that irritating.

The Java tools (Netbeans and Eclipse) are great, but I get a lot more work done coding in C/C++ in Visual Studio. Similarly, I feel more productive in C# than Java, but it's harder to say what is the language and what is the tool.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (3, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159470)

What software on windows is "so great/must have" that there isn't a viable alternative for other platforms. Windows has a bunch of bullshit software that isn't worth paying for besides custom in house apps.

I've never seen an image viewer that compares with irfanview used on Mac or Linux. Then again, I rarely even see a Windows machine with irfanview. Games. Photoshop, to some extent, because the new version is so much faster on Windows than Mac. This will probably be fixed within a version, though.

Re:They are all writing for Windows now... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159396)

If you bother buying Fusion or Prallels, nothing, but that seems to miss the point.

Some games, I like Corel Photopaint myself - yes there are alternatives, none seem to have as high a rate of format compatibility, few seem to have ease of use (without losing functionality), and all of those cost more money.

2010 Year of the linux (1, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158906)

cellphone

Re:2010 Year of the linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159528)

Perhaps, but the providers are going to lock them down so tight it might as well be an iPhone.

Re:2010 Year of the linux (4, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159616)

People who use the iPhone don't care about things like this.

And I'm going to put forward that the approval process has less to do with developers leaving than the fact that the iPhone app market is quite saturated and the Android market is not.

Re:2010 Year of the linux (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159672)

cellphone

2012 the year Linux accepts it's place in the computer world. Not a troll just a realist. I was an early fan and saw the potential of Linux. For at least ten of those years I have constantly heard that Linux is going to became users friendly and easy to use, install and maintain. I've finally become a realist and accepted Linux has found it's place and it isn't going to change. It's an exceptional server and works great as a workstation in companies large enough to have dedicated support people. It's great for tinkerers and has a lot of power and flexibility for the hobbyist and power users. For the average user it simply isn't going to happen. Unless an Apple sized company embraces it and puts the resources into bringing it mainstream there are simply too many problems for regular people to deal with. Like I say I was an early fan but people waiting for it to take over are kidding themselves. I'm a big fan of the open source model but it also shows it's limitations the fact that there simply aren't enough people contributing to write the drivers needed to support all the hardware out there and software developers are caught in the catch-22 of developing for a platform few people use but could be bigger if there was more software. There will always be support much as Unix never went away and it still has the potential to go mainstream I just wouldn't hold my breath. Ironically as much venom as there tends to be towards Mac it's probably the closest you are likely to see in the mainstream to Linux. I still consider it a risky but critical move when Apple developed OSX. It cost them some customer support early on but there is no way Mac would be as big as it is now without OSX. Linux absolutely could do a Mac like growth but until some one with deep pockets takes it on it's pretty much found it's market share. At least in the US and most of the developed world.

Result in lower quality software?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158916)

Wait, I thought it already had lower quality software...

"Respected Developers" don't use the App Store or code on the iPhone anyway.

Amanda Seyfried/Julianne Moore love scene? Check! (4, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158946)

> "...continued migration away from iPhone development will most likely result in lower quality software."

Dooooooooooom!!!

The only ones to "stick it out" are the ones who are the most likely to profit. This tends to be apps people mostly want.

One could argue the less likelihood of profit on an Apple Mac platform is what increases the average quality of programs -- only the "good stuff" gets ported, in addition to a handful of Mac-only apps.

Keep in mind part of Apple's "problem" with the approval process isn't related to quality at all, but rather strategic thinking on which apps to allow, to discourage competition to its own apps, or the OS as a whole.

Re:Amanda Seyfried/Julianne Moore love scene? Chec (5, Interesting)

jameson71 (540713) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159140)

Not the trend I have noticed. In the beginning lots of useful apps came out. Lately i have noticed a ton of crappy 99 cent "games" and anything more complex is having a heck of a time getting approved.

Re:Amanda Seyfried/Julianne Moore love scene? Chec (3, Insightful)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159300)

There's two sides to that coin. Software with high production costs do need to be extremely popular to make porting to apple OSs worthwhile; however, products with low production costs benefit by being as widely available as possible without the worry of massive overhead. Furthermore, simple programs are more likely to be accepted as they pose less threat.

Leaving the mac store? (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158960)

There's an app for that.

Re:Leaving the mac store? (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159020)

Only for Android though.

Re:Leaving the mac store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159134)

Yes, but it is stuck in the approval process.

Re:Leaving the mac store? (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159472)

Sorry, rejected...

Irony (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158974)

Note the irony of a FaceBook employee complainng about Apple's closed system.

Re:Irony (3, Funny)

pohl (872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159154)

He's writing a user interface for his walled garden. He was complaining about somebody else's walled garden. That's totally different.

Re:Irony (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159198)

Irony where, exactly? I was recently involved in Facebook app development, and the whole system is very open, no approval required.

Re:Irony (4, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159550)

Could you point it out to the rest of us? Last time I checked, there was no approval process for FB apps, and the FB API requires no NDA. So I'm having a pretty tough time finding any irony here.

I want to join in! (2, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158990)

I want to join the protest against iPhone apps. Is there an app for that?

Re:I want to join in! (2, Funny)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159490)

Nope, it's been rejected. Even Pre-rejected.

Implications For Future iPhone Fart Apps? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158998)

Could this mean lower quality fart apps for the iPhone if all the Respected Fart App developers abandon Apple?

Re:Implications For Future iPhone Fart Apps? (2, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159244)

Shouldn't you be in school?

Losing customers as well? (4, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159004)

I've got an iPhone and I use a Mac at work, but I certainly don't consider myself a "fanboy". I got the iPhone in part because there were a few good apps that I wanted on my first smartphone. However given all the bad press Apple gets over summary rejections of apps I'm very inclined to NOT buy another iPhone when I decide to get rid of this one. There are a number of smartphone apps that I'm aware of that Apple doesn't allow on their phones for one reason or another. My brother can dictate entire e-mails or text messages on his Blackberry using an app from a company called Vlingo. It apparently provides high quality speech to text capabilities and integrates with almost any app on that platform. They released an iPhone version a year ago but it's very limited in what it can do because Apple restricts things so much. The iPhone Vlingo app is limited to Google searches and updating Twitter & Facebook, and it's all apparently because of the way Apple restricts things.

If a company like Vlingo can extend the functionality of smartphones like the Blackberry, Android, etc. in ways that Apple and others never seriously considered then I'll very likely go with those phones in the future, and not one that's artificially restricted due to the limited vision of people like Steve Jobs.

Re:Losing customers as well? (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159412)

If a company like Vlingo can extend the functionality of smartphones like the Blackberry, Android, etc. in ways that Apple and others never seriously considered then I'll very likely go with those phones in the future, and not one that's artificially restricted due to the limited vision of people like Steve Jobs.

It isn't really a matter of vision...

No single product is going to meet the requirements of everyone, everywhere. That's why there are different kinds of smartphones out there, all of them making money.

So you're really impressed with this Vlingo stuff and you want to use it - well, by all means, buy a phone that it'll run on. But maybe someone else doesn't care about that... Maybe what someone else really wants is a phone that integrates nicely with their iTunes, or a phone that uses the same apps as their iPod Touch, or maybe they're just really hooked on some random app that's only available on the iPhone, or maybe they're a Mac developer and want to show some brand loyalty... Who knows?

The point is that there are an awful lot of people out there who are very happy with their Vlingo-crippled iPhones. Just as there are plenty of people out there who are utterly miserable with their Vling-enabled Blackberries.

Do your research and buy the product that meets your needs.

Re:Losing customers as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159702)

Maybe what someone else really wants is a phone that integrates nicely with their iTunes, or a phone that uses the same apps as their iPod Touch, or maybe they're just really hooked on some random app that's only available on the iPhone, or maybe they're a Mac developer and want to show some brand loyalty

that's the whole problem with apple and why i will always hate it with a vengeance. exclusivity sucks!

Re:Losing customers as well? (4, Insightful)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159428)

"... and not one that's artificially restricted due to the limited vision of people like Steve Jobs."

As a Windows user, I feel I should defend Apple here (though I'm certain any number of Apple users and fanboys/girls will leap to their defense). First, I'm positively certain, Steve Jobs has more important things to do than to sit around and spot check every single application that gets run in his company's app store. However, assuming for a minute that he does, have you stopped and considered that the application that Vlingo's application or any other developer that gets disapproved may have been disapproved for a reason...perhaps a misalignment of either company's visions?

Don't get me wrong, your perfectly able to choose what you want to use (I'm fairly certain you will), but one does have to consider your comments suspect when you start throwing out terms such as "limited vision" since they are not doing what YOU want them to do. Apple doesn't create apps that I want them to do either, but I would never be so...rude, to say or accuse any particular person (e.g. Gates, Jobs, Torvalds, or even crazy RMS), of having a limited vision.

Re:Losing customers as well? (2, Funny)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159446)

You have described precisely why I chose Windows Mobile and keep a close eye on Android et al.

Re:Losing customers as well? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159524)

Yeah Steve Jobs' vision is so limited he lives in near middle class poverty...Oh wait no he doesn't, how about you?

Early Jobs "vision" (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159666)

Yes, that money he stole from Wozniak really paid off.

Re:Losing customers as well? (5, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159532)

Do you have a citation for your Vlingo complaint? Vlingo is available on the iPhone and can dial numbers, search, bring up maps and update social networking status. It can't take dictation, but it seems Vlingo has also stopped selling free dictation on the Blackberry (it now costs $17.99) so it may simply be that they haven't written it for iPhone yet. I wasn't able to find anything about Vlingo getting rejected from the app store. The ability for applications to send e-mail is a fully supported feature in iPhone OS 3.0+.

typical apple bait and switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159014)

Stevie's been doing it since the days of disco.
Jobs wants developers in a cage; just as any fashion designer wants the actual labor in a sweat shop in an overseas dictatorship. Just don't tax it; that'd be interfering in "free trade".

Sudden outbreak of common sense? (0)

syntaxeater (1070272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159016)

Subject says it all.

Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159760)

No shit. Not something that was hard to see from the very beginning. Won't see me on that site, as a developer nor as a customer.

part of the story (5, Interesting)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159022)

They may cite disapproval with Apple's approval process but the reality the app store is getting diluted with more and more apps and developers, and it's getting tougher to make those million dollar apps. Like anything, the first on board have the best chance of benefiting the most fiscally and in popularity. I assume some of these developers are also getting disillusioned that the glory days are gone.

Re:part of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159380)

How about having to code in Objective-C? That wasn't a turn off for anyone?

Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159040)

I'm a full time iPhone developer. I'm going no-where.

I find Joe Hewitt's whining to be maddening. He made a very popular iPhone library (the Three20 project) and knowingly used some private API's inside - as far as I can tell without anyone knowing. Then when it turned out Apple started looking to see what symbols your code was using in an extra step to enforce this, Joe basically abandoned the community and decided to quit.

The sad part is that he didn't even need to use them. There are multiple forks [google.com] of Three20 now that fix the use of the private API's with no loss in functionality.

The other guys, they have more of a reason to be angry although apps rejected continue to be a pretty minor aspect of things, and many rejected apps get through with a few simple changes. But Joe lost any right to complain when he abandoned the people that relied on his expert judgment in the creation of a framework.

Re:Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (4, Insightful)

JohnFen (1641097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159146)

According to TFA, his leaving the iPhone has nothing to do with Three20.

Personally, I understand completely why developers are leaving. Apple is aggressively anti-developer with the iPhone. I was initially very excited by the platform, registered as a developer and started planning projects. After looking at the process, I began to get nervous. After watching how Apple runs things, my fears proved founded.

There is no possible way that I'd waste my time continuing to use the iPhone, let alone developing for the platform.

Re:Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (3, Insightful)

Webcommando (755831) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159708)

I understand it too but seems a very one dimensional view. I have a few very niche applications available (including an RPG helper app GMToolkit) that made it through the approval process within a couple weeks with relatively few issues. I have to wonder why a small independent developer can do reasonably well?

When I read the developer message board on the approval process, something (gut opinion) comes to me. Many of the developers complaining the most seem to have used bad judgement in using Apple icons improperly, API's incorrectly, failed to follow the Human Interface Guidelines, or had really complicated applications that probably should take a while to look at. Certainly it isn't true for everyone and, obviously, the store needs some updates to improve the developer and user experiences but that doesn't mean I plan on going away.

I looked at Android development but haven't been able to get the kit up and running on my Mac properly (is it a firewall problem for accessing Android site, versioning problem with Eclipse, wrong SDK or ADT versions? Who knows?) and still find the iPhone SDK and development process superior for me.

I don't think the iPhone will go away overnight...so... maybe I'll get more exposure when the big guys leave.

Re:Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159282)

How dare he not spend time working on a platform for free! He should be forced to put time into making a library that I can use to make money!

Re:Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159362)

Meh, my guess is that the grass is greener on Android so off they go. From a consumer perspective, I am now planning to go to a droid or similar device when my AT&T contract is up.

Re:Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (5, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159392)

Boss: How was your trip.

Reporter: Mostly uneventful, although I spotted Joe Biden on the Amtrak before he got off at the next stop.

Boss: "RESPECTED POLITICIANS BEGIN FLEEING MASS TRANSIT!"

Reporter: Uh, I don't think he was fleeing mass transit per se, nor did it seem to be the start of any trend...

Boss: He left, didn't he?

Reporter: ...also, I'm not sure he counts as "respected."

Re:Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (4, Interesting)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159686)

...and many rejected apps get through with a few simple changes...

FTFA, Rogue Amoeba's issue was with a rejection to an update to their existing application, though the rejection itself had nothing to do with the proposed change. Instead, Apple decided that features in its existing, approved version are now a problem.

Apple's problem is that they have put a guard on the gate to enter their walled garden, except there are thousands of gates each with their own, different guard, and apparently only the vaguest of ideals are guiding their decision-making.

Isn't that the point? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159696)

"I'm a full time iPhone developer. I'm going no-where."

Re:Joe Hewitt abandoned developers (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159714)

But Joe lost any right to complain when he abandoned the people that relied on his expert judgment in the creation of a framework.

I was sort of with you until there. Why does this guy have an obligation to help everyone who can't figure it out themselves? Why is the developer community entitled to his knowledge and experience? If he was upset at how Apple is controlling things then he has every right to take his toys and go home, and complain about it all the way home. Developers who can't do things themselves have no automatic entitlement to anyone else's expertise, his guidance is given purely on a volunteer basis, and he's completely allowed to stop volunteering his expertise whenever he wants to, for any reason.

If I was a knowledgeable member of an extremely locked-down development community where everyone else felt entitled to my knowledge, I would probably leave also and find people who appreciate what I do a little bit more.

Dear fleeing developers. (4, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159070)

The N900 is about to be launched. Come on over to http://www.maemo.org/ [maemo.org]

You will be welcome, and no one will tell you what you can, or cannot do.

Cheers!

Re:Dear fleeing developers. (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159192)

This is my current plan. Unless Nokia biffs it completely, the N900 looks to be Truly Great.

Re:Dear fleeing developers. (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159448)

As long as you're not in the States, its sure to be a success.

Re:Dear fleeing developers. (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159242)

Love the phone, hate the name.

For some reason it makes me think of custard with cat hair in it.

Re:Dear fleeing developers. (4, Funny)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159310)

and no one will tell you what you can, or cannot do.

Except, of course, sell any software to Americans [cnn.com]

oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159088)

"respected developers" indeed

Let's do the math, shall we? (1, Flamebait)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159120)

Over 100,000 apps on the store, and a handful of anecdotes of people deciding to leave the market. Somehow, I'm not particularly concerned.

-jcr

Re:Let's do the math, shall we? (2, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159312)

Depends on if the apps are maintained, or any good, for that matter.

Re:Let's do the math, shall we? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159658)

Well, are they?

Re:Let's do the math, shall we? (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159664)

Perhaps they're leaving because there's 100,000 apps in the store, so many of which are out and out horrible that it drowns out any possible quality product unless you have a large marketing budget or can get lucky enough to crack one of the top 10 lists.

Or they might just prefer working in a more open enviroment, which is what it sounds like. As a software engineer, things like the iPhone approval process make me very nervous about investing quite a bit of time and money into a project, especially if the process is overly opaque. I've worked with large corporations on getting software approved before, and usually it is more of a cooperative process.

Not lower quality apps. (3, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159188)

>> Though there are tens of thousands of other developers who have pumped out over 100,000 apps for the platform, continued migration away from iPhone development will most likely result in lower quality software."

The developer who flits from language to language trying to get rich off the latest trend isn't going to be the guy I want to buy apps from anyway. I'd rather buy something from a hardcore guy who won't give up on a platform no matter what the world says. That guy is going to be making the best app for the platform. Not the guy who learned enough objective-c to make compiler errors stop.

An alternate statement could be made that it will result in fewer high quality apps making it easier for the cream to rise to the top. The same exact thing that I actually enjoy about OSX. OmniGraffle is kind of the only game in town but it definitely gets the job done.

So the flee ... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159204)

So they flee.

Where there's money others will step in.

(This is still capitalism, isn't it?)

Re:So the flee ... (1)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159638)

Well, when the first round "respected developers" are leaving because the money is not as good as they thought, due to reasons such as investing a year of their time in development only to show zero for it because Apple rejected their app...

Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159206)

With the increasing number of smartphone running Android, I think many developers are shifting toward the new platform, maybe some going for Maemo 5 too. There may be some greater benefits to release software with Google rather than Apple. If any expert could give a quick comparison... Perhaps Google and Nokia even contact the top developers directly.

100k apps? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159268)

Though there are tens of thousands of other developers who have pumped out over 100,000 apps for the platform..

100,000 apps? Are these truly unique apps or are most trivial differences (app#1 main icon is blue, app#2 main icon is red...)

Re:100k apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159372)

70,000 of them are shitty tower defense clones that barley work.

Re:100k apps? (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159676)

Barley has always been my least favourite grain anyway.

Re:100k apps? (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159508)

Some of them aren't even apps. They're content unlockers for other Apps because Apple hasn't had in-app purchase until recent.

Re:100k apps? (1)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159744)

Also from what I understand somewhat inflated by ridiculous "apps", for example apps that are in fact just a single book built into a single purpose reader, or better yet, select chapters of a book split into multiple apps so you hook a reader on the cheap and then keep on selling to them.

That's not the biggest problem... (3, Insightful)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159280)

The problem isn't so much the app store approval process, it is that there is no other way to get your app onto (non jail broken) iPhones.

Soon everyone will have an app store, and maybe they too will refuse to carry applications that compete with them, but at least those other platforms allow the consumer the choice to get those applications somewhere else.

The smartphone is the next personal computer, so let's imagine for a moment that Microsoft had done for Windows what Apple is now doing with the iPhone: they get to approve every app, take a 30% cut of all profits, and deny anything that might compete with them (e.g. any browser other then IE). Windows would have no viruses, but at what cost?

Re:That's not the biggest problem... (2, Interesting)

jumpingfred (244629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159394)

It will be interesting to see if. Verizon opens up the possibility of getting aps for the android phones without going through Verizon. If they do then perhaps Apple will have to change their ways. If Verizon continues to lock down aps then there is very little pressure for Apple to make things easier.

Re:That's not the biggest problem... (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159736)

It would suck, but Microsoft could have only done that if it had released hardware *and* an operating system that was as far ahead of the competition as the iPhone was from its competition. Apple had the advantage of a really high quality device and OS; when you make something good you get to make a lot of rules.

Apple will change their tune when the rest of the smartphone world catches up to them. Android will gain a lot of traction due to the Droid/Verizon combination; I think there are a lot of business customers dying for an iPhone who can only use Verizon and if they get Droids it will boost the usage considerably.

And some of it may depend on Apple's ability to "sell" these restrictions as features; if Android ends up with a ton of rogue apps targeting it, people may flee for a redistricted phone out of fear. It's not like Apple doesn't aggressively market itself as free from the virus problems of PCs already.

Google Voice (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159294)

I love my iphone, but I'm going to get a nice Android phone when my contract is up because I'm tired of Apple putting its own design philosophy and profit motives over my preferences as a consumer. Their rejection of the Google Voice app was bs, plain and simple. I like Google Voice, and I want to use it as easily as possible. Their meddling in the app store prevents me, the user and customer, from doing this.
I wonder what other great, useful Apps are being turned down because Apple thinks they will "ruin the user experience" or "confuse the user."
Imagine if Microsoft tried to tell people what software they could and couldn't put on their PC's.

Re:Google Voice (2, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159350)

I'm tired of Apple putting its own design philosophy and profit motives over my preferences as a consumer.

It's not so much that, well, it is only directly. It is Jobs' intent to control the asthetics and "feel" of the environment by making it very hard to customize. There is also the side benefit of locking down the user so much the system is hard to break, which reduces support costs. I'd rather deal with potentially breaking a system than to not be able to use it to its fullest potential.

App process is annoying. Not impossible. (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159316)

Yes, you may get rejected for no understandable reason, but you also get accepted without any major modification.

To clarify, Steve Jobs is not personally approving all apps.

Some recent college grad with an unknown degree and a checklist is doing this work, which is why it's kind of random.

The iTunes store has so many advantages, it's worth the hassle.

Cry wolf (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159348)

Read the following sentences VERY carefully:

Facebook's Joe Hewitt, Second Gear's Justin Williams, and long-time Mac software developer Rogue Amoeba have all recently decided that enough is enough, and the loss of these [two?]developers and others [what others]

What a load of weasel language. ALL should really be both, and "these" should really clarify that "these" is only two. And where are the others?

There are 100.000 apps out there. Now call me silly but while there are a lot of possible programs I think that it is safe to conclude there won't be many CAD applications or ACID databases among them, the rules of the app store and the limitations of the iPhone hardware limit what is available. So a lot of it is meaningless drivel that nobody will miss.

And this respected developer mentioned in both story links? Did a facebook app. ONE facebook app... OMG NOSERS!!1!!!! How will they EVER find anyone else to write something like that!

Sorry, everyone knows that Apple likes total and complete control, people knew this when they signed up for it and they were happy to take the dollars that came with it. Why should Apple change?

Don't get me wrong, I think the one good thing about Bill Gates/Steve Ballmer is that at least they are not Steve Jobs or IT would REALLY be screwed but what is the issue her? What next, companies complaining that they can't add nudity to a 360 game? Then don't develop for a closed format with a megalomaniac calling the shots. Either you support open formats OR you accept that you WILL be fucked up the ass, no lube and bite your tongue.

Re:Cry wolf (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159540)

...yes. That kind of means that it's time for everyone to move onto the next thing now.

Now everyone can port their relatively simple apps to the next platform and see how that works out.

Re:Cry wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159566)

ALL should really be both, and "these" should really clarify that "these" is only two.

Not arguing against your overall point, but you don't do counting too well, do you? Here, count along with me...

Facebook's Joe Hewitt (one), Second Gear's Justin Williams (two), and long-time Mac software developer Rogue Amoeba (three) have all recently decided that enough is enough...

Re:Cry wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159576)

Facebook's Joe Hewitt

Second Gear's Justin Williams

and long-time Mac software developer Rogue Amoeba

Three.

Re:Cry wolf (3, Informative)

localman (111171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159678)

Sorry, everyone knows that Apple likes total and complete control

I hear this and I hear people buying into it and it's just a foolish statement. I can develop whatever I want for OSX and that works out just fine. Sure, Apple tends to be a controlling company, but their flagship product is so useful precisely because it isn't overly controlled. Hell, they embraced a UNIX underpinning and let people run X-Windows and Windows/Fusion stuff now. And it's great -- that flexibility is a huge part of what I like about OSX.

The iPhone approval process isn't so bad as to kill things (as this article implies), but it's a disadvantage. Restricting a platform/OS is always a disadvantage. Currently the iPhone has enough other advantages that it doesn't matter, and maybe it'll stay that way. But it's still stupid.

Oh, and the article named three developers (two people and one compnay) so "all" is appropriate and "developers (people) and others (company)" is also appropriate. If you're going to read the sentence carefully, as you said. I agree though that they're trying to make far more out of it than it is.

Cheers.

Re:Cry wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159754)

...Joe Hewitt, ... Justin Williams, and ... Rogue Amoeba. I count three.

Hewitt leaving, but not Facebook (4, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159382)

I think this also has to do with the maturing of the platform. The low-hanging fruit is essentially gone, and it will get harder and harder for the free-thinking lone wolves to come up with original and compelling software that can compete. Businesses however, have the resources to continue to create more advanced and complicated iPhone versions of their products. They also have the resources to better manage the approval process, both by building carefully to the API, and (for bigger businesses) by having a phone call relationship with Apple.

Hewitt, who is undoubtedly a great and innovative developer, decided to strike out for more open pastures. Who can blame him? But the Facebook app is not going anywhere, and most likely will continue to be developed to a high quality. Over time I expect we'll see a greater mix of apps by existing software businesses, and less duplication in app functionality as more independent developers get frustrated or bored and leave.

Keep posting this story til it sticks, I guess. (3, Interesting)

Etone (627948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159386)

/. has posted this same story or variants on it about three or four times in the past week. I guess keep saying it til' it's true.
btw, in regards to the headline: "developers" in this case equals 2. "respected" in this case means "working for a well known company" in the case of Hewitt. "fleeing" means dramaposting and ragequitting.

Android Market says hello! (2)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159408)

With the Droid pushing momentum behind the demand. It will be interesting to see how Apple's and Android's app markets compare over time. Based on their tactics I don't think this one is going to swing Apples way.

Thank God I own a Blackberry (3, Informative)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159420)

This is one of the many reasons I bought the 'berry instead. I can purchase whatever apps I want from whomever I want. I bought it, I paid for it, it's MY smartphone, I'll do what I want with it.

Re:Thank God I own a Blackberry (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159624)

Glad you like your Blackberry .... but come on! The Blackberry isn't some "mecca" of freedom either. I'm constantly reminded of how frustrating they can be, because I have several clients who need new ones set up for Enterprise messaging, for new hires, and it's *never* easy.

Unlike the iPhone, where I could link it to an existing Exchange server just by entering the appropriate connection info -- on the Blackberry, I have to first make sure the cellular provider provisions the phone correctly. (Otherwise, the "Enterprise Messaging" option doesn't even SHOW UP on the Blackberry's menus!) And 9 times out of 10? When they buy one of these phones and get it activated at a local store, Verizon screws up and doesn't provision it properly.... go figure.

THEN, I have to contact their email hosting service and wait for their people to send me a message containing an activation password, so I can get the phone to start doing the actual Enterprise messaging with their Exchange box.

So in other words, I can't make the phone even work with the guy's email without the assistance and permission of not ONE, but TWO unrelated 3rd. parties!

Re:Thank God I own a Blackberry (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159780)

I can purchase whatever apps I want from whomever I want.

Sure! Dozens of them.

-jcr

Approval vs Sales (3, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159514)

I've had no problems with approvals. In fact, my last updates were approved in less than a week (for both the full and free versions).

What has surprised me is that sales have not been as good as expected, considering the app was featured on the first page of the "What's Hot" in iTunes Games for weeks, and peaked at #6 in Adventure in the USA (for a comparison, The Secret of Monkey Island peaked at #4 in Adventure).

We've placed better than many well established franchises. So assuming there is any correlation whatsoever between the top 100 charts and sales then a lot of big publishers are losing money.

So if developers are leaving the platform it is because:
* Competition is so fierce that the pie is cut very thin, resulting in low sales for the vast majority of apps.
* Piracy is rampant, and Apple is not doing anything to resolve the issue. Google search results for our app was showing 4-5 hits on the first page of pirate sites providing cracked versions of our app. I've never seen piracy so prevalent and mainstream as it is for iPhone. Back in the Pocket PC days we had to search very thoroughly to find pirated versions of our apps - usually in the .ru TLDs. Now they are front and center.
* Free. A typical end user could "live" off of free apps alone and satisfy months of gaming just playing the free / lite versions of apps. I have around 60 games on my development iPod. All are free versions except for 1, because it was the only game that I wanted to purchase after playing the free levels. So the current market scenario of the iPhone is resulting in such a tremendous amount of free content that instead of users buying full versions, they seem to simply seek out other free games when they tire of or have played through a lite version.
* Platform is limited. There is only so much that can be done without a D-Pad. This is why Carmack produced Doom on rails instead of an actual FPS type game. I have yet to play any game originally built around physical controls that transferred to iPhone in an acceptable manner. The really good games for iPhone are games designed around a touch screen, and not a port or modification of a game to try and make it use multitouch, accelerometer, etc.
* 95% of the foreign markets are a joke. We were the #1 Paid App, #1 Paid Game, and #1 in the sub categories for a number of foreign markets and only sold around a dozen copies a day in those markets. Totally pointless, especially considering you have to have $250 in commission in a single country for Apple to pay out the developer's share.

Finally, the article doesn't actually bash the approval process, as far as being opaque, or taking too long, or the developer having any difficulty getting apps approved. The developer states "I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process. I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms, and soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software developer.". In other words he wants all platforms to be open, like Windows, Linux, OS X, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, etc. I tend to agree, but it is also true that most platforms have certification processes in place to brand, promote or sell applications within certain market spaces. Essentially all iPhone Apps are represented by Apple and sold in iTunes, whereas with other platforms (like Blackberry) only developers that specifically submit their apps for the "official" store have to go through an approval process.

So again, I don't think this is as much about the difficulty of getting an app approved, but simply that the developer has to seek approval in the first place.

Add to that the greedy money grab by apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159542)

Just for listing on their 'app store', they take a shockingly greedy percentage. I really hate the whole controlling attitude of apple, and their totally locked-in monoculture, where it is totally forbidden to Think Different, and if you do, Apple lawyers will soon declare a fatwa, and hunt any infidel down, before legally torturing them in the court of death.

Truly Open Source Phone (2, Insightful)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159614)

Can we PLEASE just have a truly open source phone yet? This is FOSS's chance to beat out the big crap corporations. AGAIN. Let's not drop the ball this time.

Where are the people going to move to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159668)

My question is, where are the developers going to move to? I'm hoping that Windows Mobile and Android can woo them to their platforms, so new apps appear there. As it is now, if a local news station has an app, it will be for the iPhone only. I'm hoping that changes to at least the iPhone and the Android platform.

At least the iPhone boom and bust was over fairly quickly, as bubbles go. Long term, Apple will be hurt overall because they wanted so much control over the distribution chain (have to use OS X for app writing, use me.com for the account, pay $99 at the minimum for a dev ID, then have to submit your app to their store and at their whim, they might approve it.) This was a dumb move on Apple's part. Both Android and Windows Mobile allow for application developers to distribute to users their works without having to go through a central choke point.

In 2006, the industry was caught with their pants down because they thought American phone customers only wanted the next RAZR or a minimum functioning phone. However, unlike the MP3 player market which expanded and took people in who never had such a device, cellphones are a zero sum market. One iPhone sold means one less Nokia phone. So, even though Apple won the first round, now they have actual competition from companies such as Motorola and HTC. Cell phone providers who don't like being in AT&T's shadow (in the US that is) are furiously working to stay relevant. Sprint/Nextel is trying to cater for businesses. Verizon has a solid CDMA network. T-Mobile has very good customer service and top notch global coverage.

So, combine the fact that there are a lot of entrenched cellular network providers, many cellphone makers, and four solid operating systems (Symbien, Android, WM, and BlackberryOS) that can easily go head to head with Apple, and there is plenty of room for the devs who have gotten the middle finger by Apple.

Yes, Apple has momentum because they have had around two and a half years of unrestricted market grabbing, but with the latest gen phones like the Droid, Apple actually has competition.

One lesson I hope that HTC, Motorola, and the other Android makers learn from having Apple's boot to their crotch for two years is that they need to innovate and not just play catch up. Their phones need cool and useful features and they need to invent those themselves and not chase Apple's latest thing. For example, if Sprint decided to get an Android unit made that included wireless routing like the MiFi, they would have a hot seller on their hands because virtually every laptop user wants tethering. Or, if T-Mobile got together with Napster and offered a music subscription offering unlimited music for $15 a month, people would jump at that.

Niche Niche Niche (4, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159716)

Apple likes to control user experience, and that won't change. That is their niche. They may relax their review process a little bit if there's a backlash, but they won't change their spots. Other phone brands will probably take up the cowboy coders who don't like red tape because they want to catch up to Apple's offerings. Their more relaxed review process will probably result in cheaper and perhaps more varied apps. However, it will be just like the Windows world compared to the Mac world:
* more choice
* lower prices
* more hackers
* more chaos
* more bugs
* inconsistent UI
Same as it always was.

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