Why I won’t be developing for the iPhone/iPad

I love my iPhone. It is a brilliant piece of technology; so easy to use and the big screen with ‘soft’ keyboard is so much better than the tiny ‘hard’ keyboards on some of the other smart phones – especially with my big fingers. But, I have ‘issues’ with the approval process for the iTunes Store.

Apple are currently removing thousands of previously approved apps because of ‘adult content’.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/23/apple_goes_prude/

Now I am not about to write a ‘girlie’ app any time soon, but as the article points out:

But for the developers this is rough – we might snigger at those pushing low-grade porn apps but they’ve still got mortgages to pay and kids to feed. The six months in which such applications have been allowed was long enough to convince them that they had a viable business, only to have the rug pulled out from under them because Apple had an attack of commercially-motivated conscience.

Wi-Fi hot-spot finding apps are now in Apple’s sights.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/08/iphone_cydia/

Note that the only way to get an app on to the iPhone is via the iTunes Store, which is controlled only by Apple. The iTunes Store Terms and Conditions include:

“Apple may…reject Your Application for distribution for any reason, even if Your Application meets the Documentation and Program Requirements.”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/09/iphone_developer_agreement/

So it is just down to how Apple feels on the day and subject to change at any time.

The only other way is to ‘jail break’ your iPhone, which creates a whole new set of security and compatibility issues. Apple are also moving to cancel the iTunes Store accounts of some people with jail broken phones.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/16/apple_bans_iphone_hackers/
http://macviruscom.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/app-store-and-jailbroken-iphones-update/

There is now a whole web site devoted to rejected apps.

http://apprejections.com/

While these apps have been removed, adult content from Playboy Magazine can still be purchased via iTunes. Why would anyone want to commit serious time/effort/resources/money to developing something only to be at the mercy of Apple’s commercial imperatives?

 

 

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