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MacBytes
Jul 3, 2009, 11:04 AM
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Category: Apple Services
Link: App Store Rejections: Apple rejects iKaraoke app, patent published for a karaoke player (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090703120428)
Description:: none

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Mr. Zorg
Jul 3, 2009, 11:54 AM
As a developer, I can definitely agree with the level of frustration this app dev must have. My app was initially rejected because I used Apple's plus button icon to open the media picker, and they said that icon is reserved for adding contacts. But the media picker API from Apple uses that same icon for adding songs to the playlist. :(

And then there's the length of time it's taking to approve bug fixes. I encountered a few glitches with my app on the 3GS, and submitted an update two weeks ago. It's still not published yet. :( :(

tlbuildeng
Jul 3, 2009, 12:58 PM
I too am stuck in the same boat I have submitted KaraokeLRC app which they took 4 months to reject. They stated that i also did not provide any new functionality that they didnt already provide :mad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A7f64b42bg

TuffLuffJimmy
Jul 3, 2009, 01:00 PM
My app was initially rejected because I used Apple's plus button icon to open the media picker, and they said that icon is reserved for addig contacts. But the media picker API from Apple uses that same icon for adding songs to the playlist. :(

That's just plain dumb.

Mr. Zorg
Jul 3, 2009, 06:41 PM
That's just plain dumb.
I thought so too. But I resubmitted using my own rendered version of a plus icon and that went through. I wish they'd hurry up and get my 1.0.1 bugfix out though.

alchemistmuffin
Jul 3, 2009, 07:09 PM
Apple IS coming out with the new Karaoke feature on all iPods and iPhone 3GS and 3G this fall.

Yes, they are coming out the functionality this fall.

It's basically the implementation of their new Voice control feature on Karaoke.

Also, Apple will bring Voice Control to iPhone 3G along with the release of the Karaoke feature.

float1975
Jul 4, 2009, 07:20 AM
hi all,
i am nonnus, iKaraoke, developer
thank you to all for noticing this post

as tuaw post seemed to cause some confusion regarding the apple patent and ikaraoke and how it seemed to imply i was complaining apple as stealing my idea,
i though it might be a good idea to clear it soon in this thread

as far as i am concerned apple is NOT "stealing" anything from me with this patent,
iKaraoke is "just" a .kar files player (something that quicktime does for a long time...) that displays the lyrics in realtime,
along with some nitty features like allowing user to use iphone as mic and output the mixed audio and vocals to a stereo thru the headphone jack, facebook integration and embedded webserver for easy access to app contents...
apple actually seem to be working on something totally different than what iKaraoke does and does not even seem to be related to kar files but probably some .m4k format they end up creating (like m4r for ringtones)

at the most they have been depriving my valid app its deserved place in the app store and if users indeed had found interesting eventually some income...

the main issue here is that for some reason app review is blocking this specific app (and according to another poster some others) while at same time seems to be allowing others on the app store, so it does not really seem apple is trying to keep some unknown features for itself which would be also quite troubling as you never know what they will think of next...
this issue is even worsen as they provide absolutely no feedback on the specific rejectionable parts of the app or to any of my (several) requests for info about it...

for clarification sake i will next post all transcripts of all communications between myself and app review since the app was sent to review on march 12
(i need to warn it will be a long list, please excuse me...)

float1975
Jul 4, 2009, 07:24 AM
#1
On Mar 19, 2009, at 4:40 PM, iPhone Developer Program wrote:

Dear iKaraoke,

Your application, iKaraoke, cannot be posted to the App Store at this time because it does not adhere to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines as outlined in iPhone SDK Agreement section 3.3.5.

When the device is not connected to network, iKaraoke's KaraokeBash does not load its contents and stays blank (see attached screenshot). This behavior might lead to user confusion. It would be appropriate to display either a notification or an alert stating that internet connectivity is required.

Please review the Handling Common Tasks section of the iPhone's Human Interface Guideline here:
<https://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/MobileHIG>

In order for your application to be reconsidered for the App Store, please resolve this issue and upload your new binary to iTunes Connect.

Should you require more assistance with resolving this issue, Apple Developer Technical Support is available to provide direct one-on-one support for discrete code-level questions. Please be sure to include any crash logs, screenshots or steps to reproduce this issue in your request.

Developer Technical Support
<idp-dts@apple.com>

Best Regards,
iPhone Developer Program


#2 (no reply ever received)
On Mar 20, 2009, at 5:58 PM, Silicon Studios wrote:

hello

i have implemented reachability code on every view controller that is accessing the internet
and wil display alert warning user if there is no network connection

i also took the chance to update audie engine to updated version and improved device orientation support
(i found a issue with it, so it was a good thing i had the chance to resubmit binary :)

i hope all is ok now

thank you for your support

abraços

nonnus


#3 (no reply ever received)
On Apr 7, 2009, at 5:45 PM, Nonnus™ wrote:

hello

after receiving your submission feedback on 19/ 3 and promptly satisfying your requests and resubmitting new binary on 20 / 3
i have not yet received any further info from you regarding my application submission to the app store

as this delay is not usual at all in my app store experience,
i would like to know if there is any further problem to the one described on your feedback
or anything i have to takecare

thank you very much for your attention and support

abraços

nuno pereira


#4 (no reply ever received)
On Apr 10, 2009, at 12:30 AM, Nonnus™ wrote:

hello

i had already added reachability code showing users a warning when no network was found as soon as i received this notice


but in the meanwhile i also found out was wrongly checking remoteHostStatus instead of internetConnectionStatus
i have corrected this and all should be working ok now and more user friendly

i will replace the current binary with a revised one

thank your for your attention and support

abraços

nonnus


#5
On Apr 18, 2009, at 3:33 PM, iPhone Developer Program wrote:

Hello Silicon Studios,

Your application, iKaraoke, cannot be posted to the App Store at this time because it does not achieve the core functionality described in your marketing materials, or release notes. Applications must adhere to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines as outlined in iPhone SDK Agreement section 3.3.5.

When the user taps the "hip hop" item, there is no selection to be downloaded. Additionally, the activity indicator spins indefinitely without any content being downloaded

In order for your application to be reconsidered for the App Store, please resolve this issue and upload your new binary to iTunes Connect.

Should you require more assistance with resolving this issue, Apple Developer Technical Support is available to provide direct one-on-one support for discrete code-level questions. Please be sure to include any crash logs, screenshots or steps to reproduce this issue in your request.

Developer Technical Support
<idp-dts@apple.com>

Regards,

iPhone Developer Program
****************************


#6 (no reply ever received)
on Apr 18, 2009, at 5:37 PM, Nonnus™ wrote:

hello

thank you for the feedback

actually the problem was in the php supplying the xml
which supplied a blank item when no items were found like in the hip hop section
i corrected the php and the same ikaraoke binary you have should not be displaying erratic item in the hip section now

in the event no items are found (like in current hip hop section)
the spinning wheel will stop spinning and disappear and list will be blank with no erratic item to click on

as you asked to resubmit new binary i can add a message to the tableview telling users there is no item found in the listing when this happens to make it more clear for them, does it seem the correct approach for you ?

by the way,
the ikaraoke track listings are supplied by third party providers,
in this case karaokebash and they might change anytime,
like in this case of hip hop section (before it had one track which seems to have been removed now, probably to be corrected or improved)

maybe i should add some info telling users that these listing may change with time and occasionally some itms might not be available ?


please let me know your reply asap so i can follow your instructions and we can finally get the app on the store ;)
as such i will refrain to do any other changes to binary to avoid another excessive delay

once again thank you for your feedback and support

abraços

nonnus


#7
On Apr 24, 2009, at 12:12 AM, iPhone Developer Program wrote:

Dear Nuno,

Your application iKaraoke1.0 is requiring unexpected additional time for review. We apologize for the delay, and will update you with further status as soon as we are able.

Thank you for your patience.

Regards,
iPhone Developer Program


#8
On May 12, 2009, at 4:26 PM, Nonnus™ wrote:

Hello

today it is the 12 of may,
exactly 2 months after submitting ikaraoke to the app store
(not a game for wich i could expect longer approval times)
but yet i have received no response regarding approval or rejection for some time now
all submission feedback were also promptly replied and taken care as soon as received, last one more than 3 weeks ago...

this is not my first app at all but it is the first time i have to wait 2 months (and not sure how many more to wait for....),

basically the response from app review to this app has been totally different than any other i have submitted since last july
as there was care at all to provide followup to the submissions
(unlike any other submission feedback replied before i never received any mail confirming of reception)

more recent submitted applications have already been approved so this one just seems to be totally forgotten
actually just to confirm this feeling that app store approval does not seem to be working:
another app i developed, assistance (sent almost one month after ikaraoke)
was approved to the app store despite the fact that i never ever received any kind of acknowledgment email stating so,
i had to find out on my own while updating release dates !

again i state this was the very first time something like this happened since i joined app store on july 2008,
so im quite sure it is not usual or the expected behavior at all

i can understand that you have lots of work but this service is becoming more convoluted and slow than ever before
please understand i am not trying to be rude in any way :)
just expressing how it looks for a independent developer that has been following and working with the app sore since it started (2 weeks later actually)...

i would really appreciate any kind of feedback or help to unblock this situation

thank you very much for your support

abraços

nonnus


#9
On May 12, 2009, at 10:43 PM, iPhone Developer Program wrote:

Dear Nuno,

Your application iKaraoke 1.0 is still under review which is requiring unexpected additional time. While there is no additional information to share at this time, we wanted you to know it is still in process. We apologize for the delay, and will update you with further status as soon as we are able.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Regards,
iPhone Developer Program


#10
On May 12, 2009, at 10:48 PM, Nonnus™ wrote:

hello

thank you for the fastest reply ever from appreview :)

it sure is a little relaxing to know ikaraoke is really not forgotten ;)

thank you very much for your support

abraços

nonnus


#11
On May 28, 2009, at 10:02 PM, iPhone Developer Program wrote:

Hello Nuno,

Your application iKaraoke is still under review which is requiring unexpected additional time. While there is no additional information to share at this time, we wanted you to know it is still in process. We apologize for the delay, and will update you with further status as soon as we are able.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Regards,

iPhone Developer Program
****************************


#12 (rejection 1)
On Jun 3, 2009, at 9:57 PM, iPhone Developer Program wrote:

Hello Nuno Pereira,

Your application, iKaraoke, cannot be posted to the App Store at this time because it violates section 3.3.5 of the iPhone SDK Agreement; "Applications must comply with the Human Interface Guidelines and other Documentation provided by Apple."

Your application duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application, iPod, without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality. Your app downloads media files that are not managed by the iTunes application, which also manages media files, we believe this would be confusing to the user. To avoid this customer confusion, we have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.

If you believe you can make the necessary modifications to bring your application in compliance with iPhone Software License Agreement, we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.

Regards,

iPhone Developer Program
****************************


#13 (no reply ever received)
On Jun 3, 2009, at 10:36 PM, Nonnus wrote:

hello

thank you very much for you feedback

unfortunately i think there must be some misunderstanding:

you state iKaraoke cannot be posted to the app store because it duplicates functionality of the ipod app,
however you also state that the ipod app is not able to manage the same files iKaraoke uses,
may i ask how is it possibly considered duplicating ipod functionality ?

as you correctly noticed iKaraoke is actually performing a completely new functionality:
play a currently unsupported file type that may include lyrics and display them to the user
also known as karaoke player

the app also includes complete management:
importing, organizing and playing files is done follows standard iphone guidelines,
in a way that would be hardly confusing for users
(something i could understand if the ikaraoke files were mixed with other ipod media, but they are not)

i find it it is actually intriguing the suggestion from any apple department that a simple karaoke player could confuse users, as i am sure they deserve a little more credit...

since i started iphone development i usually tried to create something really innovative for the iphone platform,
i actually considered it to be the most interesting and even desirable in iphone development:
i already developed some pioneer apps like the first ever midi controllers for the iphone, the iTM suite of apps or iDownload, the first downloader app for the iphone

iKaraoke was supposed to be the first karaoke player for the iphone os,
delivering a new functionality that i am sure lots of users would enjoy and feel the wow factor that only truly innovative apps can deliver, it took a lot

i really hope this situation can be unblocked thanks to better understanding and communication
as it is very troubling to the perception that it is better (safer, wiser) not to keep trying to develop innovative apps like iKaraoke was

i hope to hear new from you soon

thank you for you support and hard work

abraços

nonnus


#14 (no reply ever received)
On Jun 4, 2009, at 1:58 AM, Nonnus wrote:

hello

regarding your submission feedback,

i think the most correct is to mention all the features iKaraoke has that are totally inexistent on the iPod app as i think it can help to show how they are very different apps:

- Beside playing an unsupported music file format (.kar) that includes lyrics and displays them to user in realtime while the file is playing
- iKaraoke would also allow users to use it as mic and output the mixed music with their vocals to a stereo system, this feature is not present on the ipod app (and we know how much users like to sing along their favorite musics, let alone on their favorite device :)

- I would also like to mention that although iKaraoke could play any kind of audio file we had decided not to allow other media files especially to respect the ipod app as the device media player,
ikaraoke was "just supposed" to be a karaoke player

- As we have been waiting for iKaraoke approval (or rejection...) we kept evolving the app, we have already implemented some of the features we wanted to add to iKaaraoke:
Network sharing for files transfer to computer,
Facebook integration to a dedicated iKaraoke Network,
Recording of mixed music and user vocals
Lots of smaller tweaks and features like allowing tempo change (non ipod feature)

i hope you can now understand a little better how iKaraoke is a very different app than the iPod app and as such i hope you can review your decision


thank you for your support

abraços

nonnus


#15 (no reply ever received)
On Jun 22, 2009, at 7:44 PM, Nonnus wrote:

hello

i am still waiting for any reply from your services regarding this subject

for over 2 weeks i have been waiting for some responsible reply from app review,
but it seems when you have no arguments you dont even bother reply to developers

as this is not a professional way to deal with partner and you have shown you clearly have no intention to even dialogue about it:
i have no other solution but to start reporting about this specific problem to all the media contacts i have acquired in the last year including high pofile mac related websites and cnn,

the reports will obviously include all mail transcripts between me and your services regarding this subject to demonstrate the level of (low) communication and respect you have provided

i usually thank you for your work,
obviously i wont this time as you really are not providing it,,,,

nuno pereira


#16 (no reply ever received)
On Jun 29, 2009, at 2:32 AM, Nonnus wrote:

hello

i am still waiting for any reply to your services regarding iKaraoke submission,
i have never received a single reply from your services regarding this subject and this is at least the 5th emails i write to you since june 3

in the meanwhile i can see you are approving other karaoke apps despite having rejected iKaraoke submitted in march, so i have to assume my app was blocked in bad will form the part of the responsible reviewer

i would kindly ask to know why these following apps do not violate section 3.3.5 as it was stated for iKaraoke:

<links>

was it because their developers took so little care to create proper iphone app uis ?
is it because they are so ugly that those apps were not considered s violating ipod functionality as iKaraoke was ?

i have to say i never though apple would prefer such poorly developed apps,
even less when blocking another one that at least had some care to deliver a proper iphone user experience

just as cherry on top of the cake i just noticed another app that i suppose is pending review with exact same name !

<link>

obviously i expect it to be approved in o time and with no problems at all,
despite my itunes connect having an app developed with most care with exact same name with a submitted on 12 march label...

i would like to believe there is still hope that someone responsible takes care of this process as i am sure this kind of inconsistency is not the intended behavior,
so i would kindly ask your services to reconsider iKaraoke submission and (hopefully) decide to approve it as was done with the other karaoke apps,

hopefully before the other iKaraoke app as it is not correct at all that someone else is able to release an app with same name as mine months later and is able to get it thru :)

abraços

nonnus


#17 (rejection 2, try to find the differences with rejection 1...)
On Jul 2, 2009, at 6:46 PM, iPhone Developer Program wrote:

Hello Nuno,

Thank you for the email. Your application, iKaraoke, cannot be posted to the App Store at this time because it violates section 3.3.5 of the iPhone SDK Agreement; "Applications must comply with the Human Interface Guidelines and other Documentation provided by Apple."

Your application duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application, iPod, without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality. Your app downloads media files that are not managed by the iTunes application, which also manages media files, we believe this would be confusing to the user. To avoid this customer confusion, we have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.

If you believe you can make the necessary modifications to bring your application in compliance with iPhone Software License Agreement, we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.

Regards,

iPhone Developer Program
********************


#18 (no reply ever received)
On Jul 2, 2009, at 7:15 PM, Nonnus wrote:

hello

can you please specify which part of ikaraoke duplicates ipod functionality ?

i have already tried to clarify you regarding all the different features,
in fact the app does not do anything that the ipod app does as it does not play any other kind of media files other then kar and mid files,

but besides never replying to any of my emails it again you repeat the exact same statement without providing any kind of useful feedback

so i have to ask, and would appreciate if you could reply and according to the last statement on your email:
If you believe you can make the necessary modifications to bring your application in compliance with iPhone Software License Agreement, we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.

what part of ikaraoke violates section 3.3.5 ?
i would realle need to know it so i can make any necessary modifications, dont you agree ?
i asked this one month ago (june 3) without any kind of reply...

i would also like to know why there are already other karaoke apps on the app store and how did they not violate the same section ?
is there any kind of logic behind your decision that by all concerns seems mainly personal ?

in the meanwhile and due to the lack of any kind of communication from your part i have obviously reported this situation with adc (case number: xxxxxxx),
including complete info about the app (and how it is nothing similar to ipod app as you wrongly keep on insisting) and your unwillingness to even provide any kind of reply to my requests regarding a possible solution

i have also started spreading info regarding this absurd process and how you have been dealing with it on the mac and iphone related media as it seems the only way to unblock this situation

nonnus

p.s.: needless to say i will resubmit binary imediatly in hope that someone responsible takes care of it...

Pikemann Urge
Jul 4, 2009, 06:48 PM
Apple seriously needs liasons between the developer program and the developers. This is ridiculous as to be almost Kafka-esque.

bruinsrme
Jul 4, 2009, 07:03 PM
Nuno,
I think what Apple is trying to say is.

Nuno please keep submitting your inputs/updates to your submissions. With your help, Apple is using your code to make the Apple app that much better. Thank you for your continuing support and free labor.

Dr.Pants
Jul 4, 2009, 09:37 PM
Nuno please keep submitting your inputs/updates to your submissions. With your help, Apple is using your code to make the Apple app that much better. Thank you for your continuing support and free labor.

I haven't read the various agreements, but I think that would infringe on intellectual property rights....

jz1492
Jul 6, 2009, 11:34 AM
Nuno, please forgive me if I am interpreting things the wrong way, but from the thread you posted and your own words, it is clear to me that:

1) Your app had multiple issues, most of which you agreed with.

2) Apple provided detailed reasons why your app had been rejected. They were polite and gave you options.

3) Only the last rejection was not detailed enough, but you were offered the option of buying one-on-one support. Consider you are in this as a business partner hoping to make a buck, and this time you are not the customer, but Apple. You are a supplier. Suppliers suck up as a norm, everywhere.

4) You had to be told of HIG violations at least two times in a row. Don't tell me there couldn't be a third. You are the developer. You are the supplier. It is your responsibility to make your app compliant. If you can't fix it, buy support and add it to your costs as any business owner would.

5) By threatening their client and breaking their contract by going public in a misleading way (which you admit you did), most suppliers elsewhere would expect to be banned or sued. This is not a game. You are in business.

Please forgive my harsh language, I am just looking at it from a business owner perspective.

I wish only the best for you. It is time to burn the proverbial midnight oil and dig in those pesky PDFs and your code. Users expect you to do your homework if you want them to pay for your app.

;)

carbonat
Jul 30, 2009, 12:18 PM
Sorry jz1492.

The App may be more or less buggy or adhere more or less to the iPhone human interface guidelines, but you will have to agree that this kind of disrespect that Apple is showing towards the developer is far beyond any normal business practice.

Think about it, will you do that to your customer?. The developer at the least deserves the right to have a clear explanation of why his app was rejected, and as far as his post implies he does not know yet the exact cause. He should have the opportunity to modify the app in a way it is adequate for approval, but obviously he is completely lost on what to do, because Apple simply refuses to clarify anything and keeps replying (if at all) with pre-cooked standard messages, mostly unrelated to what the developer is asking.

Come on, this is totally unacceptable.