6 August 2009

John Gruber flip-flops like an App Store reviewer

After going back to Ninjawords’s developers and conferring with some trusted sources within Apple, I believe what Schiller says here is genuinely the case — that what the App Store reviewers wanted for Ninjawords was a 17+ rating, not for Matchstick Software to filter its dictionary listings.

Well, then maybe you could have employed the same basic researching and critical thinking just a bit earlier, like right before you wrote in your previous article:

Someone from Apple called Dave to tell him that we were being rejected again for illicit content [..] and no matter what we did to our dictionary, it will have to be 17+ to make it to the App Store.

In other words, not only must the dictionary be censored — a dictionary — but even after being purged of “objectionable” words it would only be considered with a 17+ rating.

…even though the rejection e-mail, which was quoted in its entirety, helpfully provided the following (I wasn’t so lucky with my gay chat app):

Parental Controls have been announced for iPhone OS 3.0. It would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available.

It doesn’t seem like it would be too hard, for a cold-blooded high-profile blogger who’s supposed to be super clever and analytical, to figure out that nothing in what was quoted here implied that Apple wanted to apply both censorship and parental controls (whereas you can understand how the developers took the rejections quite personally, and overreacted a bit).

One would think such a blogger, and one who regularly touts their high-placed sources within Apple, would try and check their facts before posting such an incriminating story. But, hey, when you’ve got the scoop on such effective buzz to relay — uh, I mean, on such an important, shocking story — you’re not going to sweat it, are you? Let’s just write it up as it comes!

 

This is music to my ears. That Schiller was willing to respond in such detail and length, on the record, is the first proof I’ve seen that Apple’s leadership is trying to make the course correction that many of us see as necessary for the long-term success of the platform.

As a matter of fact, what’s music to your ears is that Phil Schiller wrote you personally. As for us lowly iPhone users and developers, we’d rather wait until there are tangible facts we can judge, thank you.

 

Am I the only one thinking that the article should end with “I asked Phil Schiller in reply to explain what was up with Google Voice, but he declined to answer” or something like that? Isn’t that the least you ought to do, under the circumstances?

Is it just inevitable that any prominent, opinionated tech blogger will turn into Michael Arrington?

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