I couldn’t have said it better

The app store process is crazy. If you’ve developed iPhone apps and have submitted them for the store, you know exactly what I mean.

Even worse, if you’ve discovered a critical bug in your release, a fix can take 4-8 weeks AND can be rejected. Essentially, this flies in the face of what we’ve become accustomed to in the last 10+ years of software development and deployment.

I remember buying a Diamond Stealth card, only to install it and have my favorite game crash ( Descent 1 ). I read through a BBS that there was a fix if you called the company. I called, they sent me 2 disks in the mail. I remember praying that the disks would not be corrupted by the mail system xray machines or someone putting the mail bag next to a huge magnet. It took 2 weeks to get those disks.

Since then, we got this new thing called the “internet”, don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it makes getting fixes pushed out to the users an “instant” experience.  And as such, developers have adopted a “launch fast and iterate” development cycle that we’ve all become accustomed to.  If a game gets pushed out because of budget and some bugs are missed, we’re used to it.  We, as users, have adopted and accepted that a fix is coming.  In fact, we’re HAPPIER as users for not having to wait forever for the next version of a game or a new title.  Trust me, I’m happier😉

Case in point:  Duke Nukem3D.  Arguably one of the coolest games I ever loved.  I think if 3D realms had adopted this approach with the next version, we as fans might have actually been able to play and enjoy it.  As it is, I got sick of waiting, voiced my displeasure on the 3D Realms forums and never looked back.  I still have no idea if they ever released it after all these years.

Apple has essentially placed themselves in-between a developer and their users – even at the updates level.  So, as this article says – How would apple like it if they had a bug in OSX, but had to wait 4-8 weeks for approval by a 3rd party?

yeah, they’d be pissed off too.

Check out out:

http://paulgraham.com/apple.html

  1. Maybe you could try the Android market. Approval is immediate and you’re not tied to Apple’s platform to develop.

    Platform isn’t as fast tho and there is less people.

  2. Yeah , I just got done telling Keith, I’d port Trench Run to android in a heart beat just to teach Apple a lesson. THQ isn’t bound to release on iPhone only, so a port over to a platform that supports developers with a title like this might make a difference in how Apple is approaching its developers. Right now, it’s making enemies of them – and quickly.

  3. Check out Peter Paul Koch’s response to this :
    http://www.quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2009/11/apple_is_not_ev.html

    **warning**: this article is offensive to iPhone developers. Very. He’s not entirely right – the open web solution is a bit lacking in some respects, but this will improve over time. Especially if WebGL becomes an option on the iPhone.

  4. one of the reasons why I refuse to do iphone apps. I’ll stick to Flash player. Only a matter of time before all phones are equal to or surpass iphone using a technology I’ve been using for over a decade.

  5. I totally agree with your blog post and also the original article.

    Apple has to do something quickly to address the bigger and bigger getting app store approval/ review process.

    It is indeed totally the case that the consumers on the app store are stuck with way worse versions of apps than they could have for way longer than needed in many, many cases.

    Like the author of that blog post and like yours i have the same experience and also know many fellow developers who either try to submit updates for apps but have to wait very long time spans for the approval
    (or sometimes rejections for sometimes very weird seeming reasons) or don´t submit updates at all anymore for very long time spans even for things that could be quickly and easily improved because they just don´t want to go through the waiting and hoping not to get declined thing more often than absolutely necessary.

    Then there are also various other problems coming with the review system like technical issues on apple side (an app is not marked as new one on release because it was in approval limbo for a long while for example and due to that then never getting any chance to get noticed among the other apps when never getting into the new apps category)
    and artistic limitations (no matter what we think about content type x or z, who is company y to tell everyone what is tolerable and what questionable? Its cool there´s the age rating, can´t it be good with that instead of apple policing everything regarding whether they want to have it on the store or not that much? )

    I adore the iPod touch/ iPhone, i think like the newer macs they are excellent devices and totally deserve the success they have.
    Not that they´d have the best technology in them (they don´t) but they have this part about them in every feature that gives me the feeling someone thought about intuitive usability more there than most contenders.

    Likewise i think Apple was miles ahead of the competition regarding everything iTunes and App Store distribution models.

    The thing is, once one is at the top and there are less strong contenders to challenge one in meaningful way it seems to be easy to fall into a laziness or arrogance of some sorts and Apple is in high danger of getting into that, if not already there in the eyes of more and more.

    Obviously the current app store review system is a mess and has to be changed drastically urgently and with every day without apple acting propperly its more likely that a bigger and bigger part of their developer base is looking more open eyed around to see what could be the next likely ideal platform to jump over to.

    These things happen with hardware like software companies when they get too lazy , i hope Apple doesn´t fall into that category soon, cause man do i enjoy making stuff for the iPhone =)

    • daniel.sedlacek
    • December 3rd, 2009

    motto: surprisingly Apple sucks sometimes too

    As an iPhone user I hope Apple will change it’s attitude or I will be forced to change the platform one day.

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