Apple Eases Controls on iPhone App Development: One Local Developer’s Experiences
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different reviewers with different judgment calls. Hopefully the new process is more transparent and clear.
X: When did these changes start, or when did they become apparent? Do you think they’re permanent?
GR: The App Store had a shut down over Christmas. Shortly after the new year we started hearing [about] these changes. We only saw our own approval happen in 20 hours last Friday. We submitted a patch for our Clock Radio application and it was approved the next day.
X: Why do you think this is happening?
GR: I think Apple wants a smooth review process just like developers. The problem is figuring out how to do this in a way that’s fair and scalable. Apple was using a fairly manual process and has been moving to a more automated process. My hope is that it’s a sign of their commitment to developers and the platform. As the rumors of the Tablet continue to spread, Apple will need to convince developers that they are a good development partner.
X: So do you think the change might represent Apple’s reaction to the fact that they weren’t universally seen as a good development partner, in view of the long waits and arbitrary rejections?
GR: Many of our clients have legitimate concerns about building iPhone apps. They don’t want to invest a lot of money just to have an application rejected. In certain cases applications aren’t built because the risk is too high. This is especially true for situations where ‘hot-fixes’ couldn’t be sent to customers for weeks.
X: Do you think this change has anything to do with the rise of Google’s Android as a real alternative mobile development platform—with a reputation for being much more developer-friendly)?
GR: I don’t think Apple did this because of Android, they did it because it’s the right thing to do. The App Store was built on the back of the music store business. When the App Store took off a lot of changes needed to be made to get the process working.
X: What will be the effects of this change on the developer community and on the general app ecosystem? How does a speed-up like this help developers, and how will it ultimately benefit software companies and consumers?
GR: The main thing this does is it speeds up the pace of innovation. Developers can make a change, listen to feedback, and make another change much faster. They can respond to bugs, issues, and crashes. Many developers are used to the pace of change on the Web, where you can make a change and it’s live instantly. This isn’t quite instant but it’s a good compromise that helps keep quality high.
This is absolutely a step in the right direction and I hope it’s a sign of more to come. We love building mobile apps and products and this has been a thorn in our side since the beginning. It’s great that this change is being made, as it’ll make it easier for us to bring quality apps to market.
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