22 September 2008

Another iPhone app rejected

Okay, now it is getting really bad. As long as the scandal only involved Podcaster, I didn’t think it was a big deal, because you could find a plethora of excuses: Apple’s application approval process is probably quite random in depending on what individual reviewer your app is stuck with, and what mood he’s in; and Podcaster is made to download relatively big files over the air, so the rejection letter could just be a hollow excuse when they were in fact just placating AT&T’s; or maybe there was some other hidden and undecipherable reason. But, at any rate, I couldn’t take the official reason for the rejection at face value; it didn’t make sense.

Well, there appears to be a new rejected App Store candidate with the exact same reason — a Gmail “email client” (more like a WebKit control with a list of logins and passwords) that “duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application Mail without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality, which will lead to user confusion.

This is coming out ten days after the Podcaster thing; it’s happening too soon to say they’re not taking notice of the blogosphere’s reaction to that story, but it’s still clear evidence that the first occasion was not a fluke, and there must have been a policy of rejecting applications that “duplicate iPhone functionality.” (I’d be curious to check what other stupid, useless applications have been approved and published in the same ten days.)

I still think they’re going to realize that it can’t work, and they’ll change course, but I’m having a really hard time finding excuses for the App Store team devising such a policy in the first place — I guess it may be an over-the-top reaction to the original land grab of inane iPhone apps in the first few months, but someone who’s capable of taking stupid decisions like this should not be in charge of supervising the App Store approval process.

 

I’m a little confused as to why the reviewer would have bothered to add that “there is also no way to edit an account once it has been added” if the application is unfit to be on the iPhone in the first place, but I guess he or she was just being a wise-ass.

 

Wonder if the Apple will be able to dual-boot Android / iPhone OS. Well, I wonder how complicated it will be.

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