Posted By RichC on April 13, 2015
An article in published in an online story on Medium this past week shared the growing discontent from software developers over Apple’s dominance and authoritative control over “app” reviews. Dave Kushal believes that the slow review process hurts the reliability as well as “impedes the pace of innovation.” While I’m somewhat in agreement with Dave, I also am happy with Apple keeping iOS devices reliable, fast and safe from garbage (yes, their opinion). Could Apple do more to speed up the review process and be quicker to help developers quickly fix bugs … definitely. BUT there hasn’t been a huge outcry from users about buggy apps or that the slowish day or two fix is too slow. I other words, most users who spend their money are satisfied with Apple’s current approach to their testing and releasing of new apps.
One area I am becoming more and more concerned with is over Apple becoming the “arbiter of taste and speech,” just as I am with Google. Personally, I prefer a clean from porn and violence Apple Store, but am growing concerned that one companies point of view does dictate their views on users … this is particularly concerning when their view is different than mine – half joking and smiling! (isn’t that the way it always is?). The point is that it is a slippery slope when it comes to one company’s religion, politics or having a “points of view” different than others. The issue has even become more noticeable in recent months as companies, and high profile CEOs, interject their POV and corporately threaten states over divisive issues.
Then there is the “in app advertising and purchases.” At what point does Apple garner too much control over where someone purchases items. Kushal’s example highlights users not being able to bypassing Apple’s “30% cut” when clicking links to buy books for the Kindle app (Amazon being a competitor) or videos in the YouTube app (owned by Google). There is a point where Apple prowess nears predatory business behavior.
Finally there is the criticism that Apple’s “rules are subjective and poorly enforced.” This would be difficult to prove although developers can throw Apple’s own comment the comment back at them … “we know it when we see it.” On the other hand, this kind of criticism in true for all but the most “open” open source software portals.
Disclosure: I might have a slightly biased opinion since I am a long time Apple shareholder and have purchased and used their products since the 1980s. I do TestFlight pre-release and early build testing for several iOS apps and have enjoyed beta testing software for developers in Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Palm, WebOS and iOS for decades.