Developers Deserve Consistent Policies

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-02-23 Print this article Print

5. Ambiguity reigns supreme

Since the store's launch, Apple has cultivated a sense of ambiguity that continues to impact both developers and consumers. When it does divulge information on why it has rejected certain applications or it talks about its policies, the company is intentionally ambiguous, doing everything it can to not divulge too much about how it operates its store. That lack of detail makes some wonder if Apple can even be trusted.

6. Developers are still kept in the dark

Unfortunately, developers don't know what their apps' chances are of being approved once they send it to Apple for review. It seems that Apple likes it that way. The company has been criticized for years about its decision to let developers in on very little during the review process. It has said that it will open up to more developers going forward. But so far, few have been satisfied.

7. Why does it take so long?

Speaking of the approval process, some developers are still wondering why it takes so long. Granted, Apple reviews thousands of applications, which slows down the process, but some developers are still waiting weeks before they find out if their application will be added to the marketplace. The sooner the apps are added to the store, the better.

8. Apps are held to a higher standard

When users are looking for content in the iTunes Store, they can find just about anything. Right now, several films and songs with content targeted to adults are available for purchase in Apple's Store. And yet, applications that feature the same or, in some cases, even more innocuous visuals have been taken down. If a policy affects one section of a store, it should affect all sections.

9. Precedents going forward

Apple has done an adequate job in recent months outlining some of its App Store rules, but it needs to do better. Some of the applications that were recently removed from the store were selling extremely well. Simply removing them without a fair warning to developers was a major blunder on Apple's part. It needs to establish policies that will determine how such a situation should be handled going forward.

10. It goes too far

Apple's App Store decisions go a little too far. Rather than individually sift through the worst of applications, the company tends to use a broad brush to eliminate any applications that might offend someone. Fairness is certainly not guaranteed in Apple's App Store, but a fairer process of vetting applications is definitely needed. Apple's policies have negatively affected several developers that have created applications that might not have deserved to be taken down. It needs to address that.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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