An example to follow
If only other app stores were as selective!
Apple has finally confessed to the reasons why developers' iOS apps are failing to appear in its vaunted App Store. On a new site, Common App Rejections here, Apple has begun listing on a week-by-week basis the reasons behind the rejections being issued from Cupertino. It has also provided a list of tips and advice that …
Their vetting process is inconsistent and apparently arbitrary.
I had an app accepted with a bug that meant it required an immediate update just to be usable.
I also had version 1.0.0 of an app, made for a specific company (and dripping in that company's livery), accepted to the general app store. Six weeks later, version 1.0.1, which looked identical but had slightly improved functionality was rejected because it was for a specific company. It was subsequently accepted in the business to business app store, whilst version 1.0.0 was still on the general app store.
I stopped working on iOS apps in February but for the year and a half that I did it there was a catalogue of such inconsistencies. Not a lot the developer can do other than submit, accept any reasons for rejection and fix them, even if they didn't matter last time and probably won't matter next time.
"If only other app stores were as selective!"
Yeah, we'd miss out on the following:
* Alternative browsers - as in proper browsers with their own web engines
* Alternative dialers, keyboards, launchers
* Emulators for consoles, old computers, arcade boxes etc.
* Shells and root tools
* Firmware flashing & management software
* Software that uses a programmable runtime of any kind
* Betas / alphas of interesting software
* Applications with their own payment models / infrastructure
* File managers
* P2P clients
* Bitcoin wallets
* Anything remotely sexually suggestive (except for when it's okay)
* Anything critical of public figures (except for when its okay)
* (For developers) a release turnaround measuring in minutes instead of days
If only other app stores were as selective!
I think the word you're looking for is 'restrictive'. In other app stores, particularly the Play store, the good apps are chosen by the market, as it should be, and float to the top of the search results. Bad apps may get into the store, but they sink to the bottom of the results. That is, in my opinion, a much better way of selecting the best apps than ensuring that the market never gets to see some of the apps.
In other app stores, particularly the Play store, the good apps are chosen by the market, as it should be, and float to the top of the search results. Bad apps may get into the store, but they sink to the bottom of the results.
Really? I despair every time I try to find a useful app on the Play store.
As far as I can tell the ratings are useless - half of the reviews are obvious astro-turf - I mean REAL obvious, written by the developer obvious - and the other half are useless one line "Hate it" trashes that don't tell me anything useful.
Then there was the review that read "The app is still downloading to my phone, but it's really amazing!"
I'd guess that 60% of what's on the Play store is utter crap, and thirty percent is overpriced or lacking significant features. The great challenge is that it's pretty much impossible to tell which is which without actually downloading and installing the damned thing.
Somewhere in all of this there's got to be a way to make money with a site that has actual live human beings testing out apps, or at least reading and approving reviews.
Your forgot the 95% of apps on Play that ask to too many permissions for no good reason.
For instance it took me 4 attempts from the first page of torch app hits to find one that didn't want to slurp my contacts or monitor the phone dialer.
Apple may be control freaky but by luck or design that freakery tends towards far more consumer protection than Google's laissez-faire approach. If it inconveniences the El Reg elites (who are not representative consumers) or developers - tough.
"Your forgot the 95% of apps on Play that ask to too many permissions for no good reason."
Personally I think Android's permission system is a joke - upfront, broad and irrevocable permissions are a bad idea but I don't see that has much to do with "curation" so much as Android's half assed security model.
Personally I think the Play store should put extra weight on apps which ask for extra and unusual permissions compared to their peers so they sink faster unless their ratings keep them afloat. I also think that Android should allow particular permissions (contacts, gps and telephony stuff in particular) to be revocable at the install dialog and after installation regardless of what the app says it needs.
> If only other app stores were as selective!
Are you a trolling or serious - why should any store police itself ??? What is the rating system for ?? Do the bookstores reject a work of fiction because the font is too small ? The free market will decide what they want to do with the app and a bad app will go out of circulation in a natural manner. Nobody needs to play god. This whole heavy handedness suggests that app store thinks they know better than the customers.
But maybe they are right - their customers are usually sooo dumb that they need helicopter parenting. That's what you get when you choose looks over true innovation.
I suspect you would get the same metrics when applied to any other development environment as well, though it would be interesting to know how many developers try again, and how many times they do before they are accepted.
Apart from the obvious, experience and attention to detail are the best traits to develop when developing software.
I wonder how it would have worked out if they had taken Microsoft's approach.
> I would happily settle for an app store that contained just a few
> hundred high quality and useful
Do you mean as a consumer or as a developer?
As a developer, the danger of such an environment is that you might create something good, but not quite good enough to reach this "top 100". So you don't take the risk, and code for iOS and Android instead. As a result, consumers don't get the apps that they wanted.
If you want to split the difference and have basic quality control (rejection of crash magnets, checking for absence of malicious behaviour and conformance to UI design guidelines) and a genuinely free market with fairly good signal to noise ratio in the reviews then I suggest a Windows Phone. While I am picky in my choice of apps and have less than a dozen installed, I don't think I've seen an app crash in the last six months. My partner switched to WP based on her experience with mine, and you'd need an oyster knife to make her let go of it. Our kids (in their 30s) have Android phones that are perpetually failing in one way or another. Every now and then I consider developing for Android but the tools are so poor and the platform so fragmented that I just can't be bothered.
"Has finally" is correct. Apple as a company is a singular entity. It's one company. Number agreement in English therefore requires has rather than have, which is paired with plurals. "Manchester United have scored again" is grammatically incorrect, always has been incorrect and will continue to be grammatically incorrect no matter how many sports announcers say it. The company has, we at the company have. The government has raised taxes, those greedy pigs have raised taxes. This is basic grammar. Learn it.
I know I'm being a grammar Nazi, but you deserve it.
While most of the reasons are fair enough, I thought this one was odd at best and discriminatory at worse
"applies to a small niche market, it may not be approved"
So what if I make a "Welsh Moris Dancers" app it gets rejected since its not generic enough. I wouldn't expect it to get anywhere near the top of the app store but rejected on entry is quite bad. Unlike other platforms I have no way to get in my idevice. At least Windows Phone have the developer unlock application and Android has the "Allow untrusted apps" checkbox.
That is a worry to me as well; I run a website, which has a selective membership based on specific criteria (ie, many of those who apply to join are rejected), totalling around 3200 worldwide.
We have an Android app, because we didn't have to jump through hoops, and we don't put it on the Play Store, because then we'd be forced to go along with Google's bizarre moral guidelines, not to mention the inevitable one star reviews from people who downloaded the app without realising they had to apply for membership, or had been rejected.
I'd more or less resigned myself to having to strip out some functionality for an iOS version (though they seem a little less prudish on some fronts than Google, in fact). But this could be the thing that knocks the idea of an iOS app on the head - why should I spend hours coding something, only for Apple to tell me that users of our web site don't constitute a big enough market, and so don't deserve an app?
The same would apply to one of the clients for whom I run a website, which has lots of information for their profession, including legal info, conference transcripts, and so on. I could make a good case to them for an app to distribute to their members - but with a membership of only 800, I expect they too might be told it's too small a niche.
Of course, I could be wrong - but without a little more clarity on what exactly consitutes a "small niche market" it's hard to justify spending time on a project that might never see the light of day. Better to concentrate our limited dev time on an HTML5 version.
You do realize that the iOS interface specification was on the first set of 10-Commandments tablets - the ones that Moses destroyed? It is holy and above mortal reproach, and <Deity> realized humans weren't ready for such a thing. It wasn't until His Holiness, St. Jobs, came along that <Deity> relented and gave us another copy.
"Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought-through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected."
Seriously? I assume the more recent iOS updates weren't subject to that "high bar" because word is the user interface is "less than very good" and certainly has many failings under "refined" and "well thought-through".
If your user interface is ... less than very good, it may be rejected.
Based on some of the apps I've seen in the app store Apple must have a far different idea of what makes a good interface than I do. Some of the UI sins I've seen in the app store would have my boss telling me to scrap it and start over if I committed them them.
Try using many apps when you've spent years as a UI (UX) specialist... it's hard to not apply work to usage.
Very similar to how after a few years of assessing lip-sync in video playback on custom hardware and encoding schemes has left me unable to cringe when I spot lip-sync issues in broadcast media. Gits.
If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected.
Now, there's a testable requirement, devoid of any subjectivity, ambiguity, or possibility of misinterpretation. Oh, and those of you writing complex applications (sorry, "apps") need not apply.
Now that His Jobsness has shed his mortal coil, I can't imagine who would be making such decisions.
Yes, so it's a good thing that this is just the pointless summary done by a journalist, rather than the more useful and linked-to-information summary done by Apple.
Try reading the original material - then you can complain about what Apple *actually* said, rather than assuming The Register's language is Apple's language.
From the article itself:
Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought-through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected.
So, I'd say that unless El Reg is in the business of manufacturing quotes from Cupertino from whole cloth (you do know that Apple is headquartered in Cupertino, don't you?), then this would indeed be "what Apple *actually* said".
Reading comprehension. I assume you've heard of it....
"apps that require permissions above and beyond their stated use will be rejected"
sms access for non-sms apps
location access for most apps non-navigation/non-social/non-local game mode apps
contact information for most apps
At least you see better transparency about the required permissions on Play. But there, or on the Apple store, it seems very little is done to restrict the "ask for the kitchen sink" approach to privacy of most app devs.
"At least you see better transparency about the required permissions on Play."
Yeah, but in this case, better amounts to foggy smoked glass as opposed to a brick wall. Much as I enjoy the OS, I find Android's permissions to be overly broad and have wished many a time for more granular control over them (read contacts so we can create shortcuts? Don't need that feature: deny).
And, yes, I know I could get that if I rooted my phone, but I'd really rather not. And I really shouldn't have to!
Hey, don't take my post as an endorsement for Android either. I would like to see this stuff radically locked down, on both platforms. My take is Android, or at least Play, is slightly better at showing you the scope of the problem. I am satisfied with neither.
What I would like is a fake access capability. Wanna see my contacts? Sure, I'll pretend you can see them, but in reality the OS only gives the app access to a locked down sandbox. i.e. you can't really see my contacts, you only think you can. Ditto pretty much everything and reviewing access logs might be most informative as to what was attempted and whether an app could actually be trusted. Additionally, it would avoid an install being an all or nothing decision - you take the app, but you knowingly limit some of its functionality. Last but not least, you'd get security conscious users warning each other about abuses.
Likely to happen? No, but one can dream, no? And, no, I definitely don't care to root my phone to achieve any of this.
If you had used the OS, you'd know that you can restrict most such permissions on an app-by-app basis. The user is asked with a dialog the first time the app tries to use such permissions, and can change the choice at any time. (I said most - still not all permissions are settable, for some stupid reason.) If it uses permissions that it doesn't need, it gets down rated or in some cases even rejected.
"the OS"? which is that?
I use both. Neither do what I want, putting them together would be better.
iOS has what you say, but only on few access rights. Location, contacts, calendars, reminders, photos, bluetooth & mic. However, they do allow you to disable those access. Does it mean the apps have no possibilty of access to other items (sms, to take an example)? Does it mean that that access is un-reported, so as not to worry us?
I dunno, but the list the of access rights has increased, slowly. That list used to be even shorter before. Again, does it mean that that possibility of app access did not exist? Or was just unreported?
Take an example - security boffins have reported some success in guessing lock passwords from reading accelerometers. & accelerometers are accessible from the iOS apis. Does my barcode scanner need 3D access? I wouldn't know if it asked for it.
Android has lots more detail, but doesn't allow you to muzzle access. Yes, I can see "full network access" for my barcode scanner, but I can't turn it off, unlike iOS. Android's Plenty of Fish has a looong list of things it likes to look at: device & app history, identity, location, photos, camera, wifi connection info, phone info, full network access, vibration control, prevent phone sleep.... That's a fair bit, no? And, way more detailed than iOS's limited list.
So, no, neither iOS 7 nor KitKat is happy land for me. I'd like any app chatting outside of its own processing and files, or its own servers on the net, to report its intent. Whether it is to access another app, the network, sms, etc... And I'd like the OS to reject undeclared interactions outright.
Then again, I am the kind of paranoid fool who won't use banking apps on a mobile ;-)
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