Friday, May 14, 2010 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iPhone Apps I Can’t Have

Mike Ash:

These ideas almost all fall under the category of “utilities.” And this is no coincidence: utilities are largely tools which work in concert with other software to offer more power in combination than you get separately. Apple prohibits third party apps from influencing anything outside themselves, so this sort of utility is impossible. The Utilities section of the App Store is a joke. Most of what it contains is either useless or miscategorized, because Apple forbids the creation of any true utility software for this platform.

Some interesting ideas there, and I, too, would like to be able to buy and develop utilities for the iPhone. However, I believe the larger problem is the uncertainty regarding apps that do follow the developer agreement. Is anyone maintaining a list of all the rejected apps?


"Is anyone maintaining a list of all the rejected apps?"

You can add them here to the appropriate Wikipedia page.


Uncle Walt would be really proud of Steve.

Roy was the stupid kid in the family. Eisner was smart, but was still only a suit. Now he's got Steve to carry on his benevolent but psychotic Wonderland dictatorship.

He'll be thrilled after he's unfrozen.

"However, I believe the larger problem is the uncertainty regarding apps that do follow the developer agreement."

Well, it's just a matter of sussing out the various "unwritten rules".

For example, the guy whose Wifi Sync app was rejected related Apple's explanation thusly:

"While he agreed that the app doesn't technically break the rules, he said that it does encroach upon the boundaries of what they can and cannot allow on their store. He also cited security concerns."

There are a bunch of "unwritten rules" about not building upon, or even really acknowledging Apple written apps that exist on either iPhone OS or OS X.

And near the top of the unwritten rules about staying away from Apple written apps is "Thou Shalt Stay the Fuck Away from iTunes unless we give you an API".

I'd strongly guess that is the AppStoreReviewMonster's reason for rejection here.

One can make some educated guesses about what the AppStoreReviewMonster will allow past the velvet rope ahead of time, which reduces uncertainty for developers somewhat.

But, of course, that means one should never even bothering trying to write the kinds of utilities that Mike Ash rightly bemoans the loss of, as well as a bunch of other interesting and useful stuff.


Someone should start a FakeSteveJobs-style satiric blog written from the point of view of the AppStoreReviewMonster.

Then they could submit a iPhone OS viewer app for the blog, and get it rejected.

Am I a genius, or what?

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