Friday, September 12, 2008


Podcaster, an iPhone application from Almerica, was rejected from the App Store:

Apple had nothing in the terms prohibiting developers from duplicating features currently available on desktop application. I followed all the guidelines and made sure everything is in the correct place. Yet Apple denies me because I allow users to download podcasts just like iTunes.

In the past, Apple has removed applications and rejected applications that were arguably not very useful. I don’t think Apple should be the arbiter of taste or quality, and the applications clearly met Apple’s stated terms for inclusion. Most people didn’t seem too bothered about the removal of joke applications, but others worried about a slippery slope. Turns out, they were right. As John Gruber says, this is flabbergasting and indefensible. Not only is Podcaster a useful application, but developers will also be less likely to create new applications, since there’s so much uncertainty about whether they will be approved. It keeps getting harder to give Apple the benefit of the doubt.

Update (2008-09-13): More from Fraser Speirs, Brian Webster, John Gruber, Paul Kafasis, natevw, and Chuq Von Rospach.

Update (2008-09-15): John Gruber on section 3.3.3.

Update (2008-09-20): Angelo DiNardi’s MailWrangler (for accessing GMail) was also rejected from the App Store, for duplicating the functionality of Mail.

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[...] Also, some of the rules are scarier now that they’ve been made explicit. For example, no third-party browsers, no apps that “duplicate” apps that are already in the store, no apps that are simply “content aggregators,” and restrictions on commentary unless you’re a “professional political satirist.” Some rules remain unwritten: there’s no mention of the prohibitions for “limited audience” or competing with Apple’s built-in apps. [...]

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