The App Store Reddit Client Takedown

MacStories: “What bothers me the most about this incident is how Apple implemented its policy change. There was no imminent threat or emergency that made Reddit clients any more a threat than they were twelve months prior, but nonetheless Apple summarily pulled them and offered to reconsider the apps if the developers resubmitted. The developers worked through the night, resubmitted their apps and many were back on the App Store by the next morning. As a result, the story barely got traction and, while Apple may have avoided an onslaught of bad press, the damage was done. Developers took note.”

This mess could have been completely avoided if Apple had picked up the phone and reached out to each developer affected. Why not call and say “Hey, this is Apple, we’d like you to turn the NSFW setting on by default and resubmit your app. You have x-days to make the change.”

How tough would that have been?

Indie Mobile

App Store Economics

TechCrunch: “Meanwhile, 22% are “poverty stricken” developers whose apps make $100 to $1,000 per app per month.”

I don’t know what to say about this. It’s depressing.


Free, at what price?

David Barnard: “Ultimately, the users become the product, not the app. Selling users to advertisers and pushing in-app upgrades/consumables is a completely different game than carefully crafting apps to maximize user value/entertainment. It’d be a shame if the mobile software industry devolved into some horrific hybrid of Zynga and Facebook.”



The FastScripts LogoDaniel Jalkut: “Unfortunately, this update is not available on the Mac App Store. Apple has now rejected it twice, citing the behavior of the app when it is used to run one of Apple’s own bundled scripts:

/Library/Scripts/Mail Scripts/Create New Message.scpt

This script is terrible to start with, but starting in OS X Lion, it simply doesn’t work. It fails with cryptic errors, and FastScripts faithfully reports them. Apple is rejecting FastScripts for the behavior of a faulty script that is bundled with OS X Lion.”

This is super frustrating. Daniel is the creator, and publisher, of my favorite Mac Weblogging software, MarsEdit. He’s a super nice guy and seems to take things in stride, but this, this would put me over the edge for a time.

There is a silver lining. A Mac Developer has an option, at least for the time being. Daniel is offering FastScripts 2.6.1 through his own store. Get it while it’s HOT!

Daniel is an Indie Mac Developer, and all around good fella. Please support him and his family by purchasing one of his awesome, hand crafted, Mac products. No, I’m not paid to endorse Mr. Jalkut or Red Sweater Software. I just like his software.


Draconian App Store Rules

Jim Dovey: “The store was removed because Apple rejected any updates which included it, period. They also rejected any updates which stated that Apple required its removal, or indeed any mention of ‘compliance with App Store guidelines’. It was further rejected for the cardinal sin of allowing users to create a Kobo account within the app. Then it was rejected for providing a link to let users create an account outside the app. Then it was rejected for simply mentioning that it was possible to sign up, with no direction on where or how one could do that. Then it was rejected for making any mention of the Kobo website. Then for any mention of ‘our website’ at all, in any language. We additionally cannot make any assertions that Kobo provides content for sale, however obliquely.”

How annoying. Makes you want to poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick. Less pain.

I don’t much care for it, but it is their store, they make the rules. Either take it, or leave it. Enough leave it and they’ll make a change. Vote with your wallet.

Apple Business

No Briefs on the App Store

BriefsRob Rhyne: “I feel like we’ve all been here before. Another App Store rejection and another post on my (barely can be called a) blog. Since this is likely my final tome on the subject, I’m opting for a simpler approach. Instead of a rambling post about my continued woes of app review and more logical pleas for guidance from Apple, I’m posting a FAQ. A place to direct people as more of them discover Briefs and wonder what could have been.”

This is one of those sad times for Indie Developers. Briefs is a great application that could give designers and developers the freedom to play with design concepts before actually committing to them. It’s just darned sad to see something that could be so useful not make it to the store.

Rob, I know it wouldn’t be the same, but you should grab Chameleon and make it run on the Mac. Then you could at least distribute it from your company website. You could even wrap your work in an emulator-like window so people could get the effect.


The App Store Gold Rush?

tap tap tap: “The reality is the gold rush days of the App Store are long over – that’s not to say there isn’t loads of gold still locked up in the hills, it’s just all the easy gold deposits have been scoured and panned for and found. The market has matured, and App Store customers’ tastes and demands have grown more sophisticated. Success stories these days tend to be of hard earned fortunes and corporate bought victories instead of the parade of indie lottery-winner stories we heard again and again during the App Store’s early days.”

Back when Jay and I were working on RxCalc I was hoping to make a few hundred dollars a month. The reality of it was all together something else. A few dollars a month. On a good day we sell five copies. I haven’t given up on the idea of making a living on iOS or OS X, but it’s not going to be easy.


Manton Reece on Free Apps

Manton Reece: “Free apps and the problem of exclusive distribution are linked. Get rid of free apps, and the store can support itself naturally. Get rid of exclusive distribution, and Apple can be more creative about charging developers who do want to participate in the App Store. If Amazon isn’t happy with Apple’s terms, users can install the Kindle app outside the store and it doesn’t cost Apple anything to maintain.”

I can’t see this happening, but I’m sure a lot of folks would like to see it. I don’t happen to be one, at least not today.

Apple Core Labs Business

How can I connect?

Apple Core Labs: “My frustration with the disconnect between us and our customers on the App Store continues to grow. For RxCalc we typically see ratings that have to do more with lack of features, or new features, than the features we actually have. Don’t get me wrong, that’s great! The problem is we have NO way of communicating with these users to find out what they really want. We can make an educated guess and hope we’re correct, but that’s the best we can do.”

I posted this back in early February. If there are any iPhone development shops out there that have resolved this problem I’d love to hear from you.

Oh, and if you’re a Pharmacist using RxCalc we’d appreciate your feedback here and at the App Store.



Ryan Carson on App Store Subscriptions

Uncle Scrooge McDuck in his money vault.Think Vitamin: “This is nothing more than extortion by the second most valuable company in the world (only Exxon Mobil is worth more). They’re leveraging their power to dramatically increase their own profit.”

Folks are up in arms, once again, over Apple’s choice to take 30% off the top for in app subscriptions. I don’t know how to feel about this one. If this means Amazon’s Kindle software and Pandora are killed off that would be darned sad. If it’s about new subscription based services, like magazines, I don’t know what it means, that’s up to the publishers to and Apple to bang out.

Something Carson goes on to say is “Forget iOS and bring on the HTML5 mobile apps.” That’s one way to go, but Carson is a web guy, they do HTML and CSS for a living. I love the web, I really do, but HTML and CSS are lowest common denominator development. It’s like writing a cross platform application in C/C++. You get a similar experience on each platform but the apps tend to feel like there’s something missing, they feel off. The web browser is great for some things, but everything? I don’t think so. Web apps aren’t the answer for every app.

The only way this will change is to hit Apple in the pocket book. If users abandoned the platform, or publishers banded together and agreed to not create apps for iOS, and stuck to it, that could force Apple to change their stance. I think users will continue to purchase iOS devices because they’re built for everyday people and the user experience is just too good. The publishers need to come together, but they won’t, they have dollar signs in their eyes and will embrace the platform for fear of being left behind.

In the end they, the publishers, can’t complain too much if they ship a product on the platform.