A Tale of Two Apps
Apple really needs to get a handle on its approval process. Today we learned that after days of cajoling, Tweetie 1.3 was approved for the App Store. Tweetie is a full-featured Twitter client that allows you to even check out the trending topics on Twitter. The app was rejected because you could find profanity in the trending topics section, despite the fact that said section is generated dynamically from Twitter content. The irony, of course, being that Apple has thousands of songs that people would consider profane in the iTunes Music Store. Eventually, after an enormous amount of pressure, the app was approved.
The Amber Alert app, however, languished in approval limbo for what seemed like an eternity (It was actually about a month) until an uproar about how useful it was and a personal letter was written to Steve Jobs himself begging Apple to approve the app and explaining how they had worked with CMEC to build it. To this day, there's no explanation for the delay in the app.
These two apps demonstrate the one consistent failing in the App Store: the approval process. At every turn it seems to get more arbitrary and ridiculous, rather than more structured and common sense-based. Many times a developer has complained that they aren't sure they're willing to continue to develop for Apple if the app store doesn't improve for getting apps into the store and getting criteria that's more concrete than the whim of some underpaid dope who thinks that an f-bomb as a search result is grounds for denying an app.
Fix it, Apple, because it's starting to seem like the more broken it gets the further from being able to fix it we're going to be when it's all said and done. There's no way to look at that as a good thing.
Current Apple Stuff: 24" iMac, iPhone 4, AppleTV (original), 4gb Shuffle, 64gb iPad 2.