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MacRumors
Nov 23, 2009, 01:08 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/11/23/airfoil-speakers-touch-update-restores-disputed-icons/)

Earlier this month, we mentioned (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/11/13/rogue-amoeba-retreats-from-iphone-development-over-app-store-policies/) Rogue Amoeba's run-in with Apple over the use of "Apple-owned" images in Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil Speakers Touch [App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/airfoil-speakers-touch/id311357351?mt=8), Free] iPhone application. The incident involved an over-three-month App Store review process for an update to the application that was held up due to the inclusion of the Apple-owned images, despite Rogue Amoeba's assertion that the images were not included in the iPhone application and were instead being served from the companion desktop application in a manner exactly as Apple had intended.

Rogue Amoeba ultimately removed the images from the application in order to allow it to be approved, replacing the images in question with an Electronic Frontier Foundation logo and a link to an explanation regarding their removal. The company also announced that it was ending its iPhone application development due to frustrations over the App Store approval process.

Today, Rogue Amoeba announced (http://www.rogueamoeba.com/utm/2009/11/23/airfoil-speakers-touch-1-0-2-is-now-available/) the release of an update to Airfoil Speakers Touch that restores the disputed images, acknowledging that it was contacted last Friday by Apple, which had decided to revise its internal policies to address the situation.Following our post detailing the ordeal we had getting Airfoil Speakers Touch 1.0.1 through the store, we were contacted by Apple. They indicated that, due in part to our post, they were changing their internal policies and would allow the desired behavior and artwork to be displayed.

In short, they changed their minds.While Rogue Amoeba is pleased by Apple's change of heart and the blazingly fast turnaround for approval on the new update, the exact reason for the company's policy revision is not entirely clear, and Rogue Amoeba's decision to refrain from further iPhone application development stands.The problems of the App Store go well beyond our own relatively minor case. We pushed this update to Airfoil Speakers Touch out because we wanted to restore functionality we had to take away from our users. We're happy to be able to do that.

That said, the App Store and iPhone platform still have myriad problems, detailed in many places. Among other issues, the potential remains for months of effort to be wasted as an app sits in limbo, or is never even released. As well, the long lead times needed before updates reach users are still in place.

At this time, we don't believe it makes good business sense for us to commit much in the way of resources to the iPhone.The company does not close the door on returning to the iPhone platform at some point in the future, but it is clear that it will not consider to do so until it feels that Apple enacts more developer-friendly policies for the App Store.

Article Link: 'Airfoil Speakers Touch' Update Restores Disputed Icons (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/11/23/airfoil-speakers-touch-update-restores-disputed-icons/)



AustinJamMan
Nov 23, 2009, 02:15 PM
easy solution...just go develop on the Android platform.

SteveLV702
Nov 23, 2009, 02:40 PM
I have a iPhone and a Android phone and I for phone sort of like the Apple Approval process while they could use alot more screeners to get the apps out alot faster.... When apps come out they work unlike Android where 65% of the apps I have downloaded on my Android phone don't work at all and then 20% don't work as they should and only about 15% actually work...

Krizoitz
Nov 23, 2009, 03:24 PM
easy solution...just go develop on the Android platform.

With its tens of users? Which phone are you going to develop for? The one with the touch screen, or just the keyboard for input? The one with 400x800 resolution, or the one with 300x500? The one that uses stylus input or touch input? The one with rotation or without?

Companies are allready pulling out of Android development due to the small market size and fragmentation issues. Sure you don't have as many approval headaches, but it takes you more effort to make the app, and there are even fewer people to buy it. Trade off worth it?

sigamy
Nov 23, 2009, 04:23 PM
No offense to Rogue Amoeba because they do make nice apps but...this is really much ado about nothing. They can't be leaving much money on the table with walking away from the iPhone platform. (Can someone explain to me why I need to stream audio to my iPhone? Don't most users sync their music down to the device?)

I get the impression that their iPhone apps weren't selling much, then they hit a lengthy and frustrating app approval process and then they decided developing for the iPhone isn't worth their time.

Is the iPhone not worth their time *strictly* due to the confusing and frustrating approval process? Or because there apps weren't selling?

I understand there are issues with the App Store but we need to be very careful and really understand the full reason(s) developers walk away from the iPhone: business ethics in regards to app approval, low sales, or a combination of both.

trainguy77
Nov 23, 2009, 04:32 PM
I get the impression that their iPhone apps weren't selling much, then they hit a lengthy and frustrating app approval process and then they decided developing for the iPhone isn't worth their time.


The app they speak of is free. It is designed to support the desktop app which is pay for. As the iPhone app is useless without the desktop app.

cmcbridejr
Nov 23, 2009, 04:43 PM
No offense to Rogue Amoeba because they do make nice apps but...this is really much ado about nothing. They can't be leaving much money on the table with walking away from the iPhone platform. (Can someone explain to me why I need to stream audio to my iPhone? Don't most users sync their music down to the device?)

I get the impression that their iPhone apps weren't selling much, then they hit a lengthy and frustrating app approval process and then they decided developing for the iPhone isn't worth their time.

Is the iPhone not worth their time *strictly* due to the confusing and frustrating approval process? Or because there apps weren't selling?

I understand there are issues with the App Store but we need to be very careful and really understand the full reason(s) developers walk away from the iPhone: business ethics in regards to app approval, low sales, or a combination of both.

I totally agree.

Rogue Amoeba makes one of my favorite Mac applications - Radioshift.

However, Radioshift has not been updated in a long time (and it can certainly take some improvements). When I saw Radioshift for the iPhone, I got very excited and it was one of the few iPhone apps that I payed $10 for. Looking back, I probably would not have payed $10 for it. They have not released any updates, it does not have all of the stations that the desktop app has, and the navigation is weak.

Perhaps, Rogue Amoeba needs to rethink their strategies to developing apps and not blame their problems on the App Store approval process. Especially if they are going to charge $10 for an iPhone app and never update it.

miketcool
Nov 23, 2009, 04:53 PM
With its tens of users? Which phone are you going to develop for? The one with the touch screen, or just the keyboard for input? The one with 400x800 resolution, or the one with 300x500? The one that uses stylus input or touch input? The one with rotation or without?

Companies are allready pulling out of Android development due to the small market size and fragmentation issues. Sure you don't have as many approval headaches, but it takes you more effort to make the app, and there are even fewer people to buy it. Trade off worth it?

Seriously, good call! Why bother developing games and applications for Mac OS when their are billions more M$ Windows users. Clearly it is all about whoring out your ideals and principles to make the most money possible and reach the clearly larger user base. That is what the Mac experience is all about. Right?

Krizoitz
Nov 23, 2009, 06:58 PM
Seriously, good call! Why bother developing games and applications for Mac OS when their are billions more M$ Windows users. Clearly it is all about whoring out your ideals and principles to make the most money possible and reach the clearly larger user base. That is what the Mac experience is all about. Right?

Nice baseless comparison completely ignoring the fact that my argument only included user base as one factor.

JPyre
Nov 23, 2009, 10:48 PM
Are you kidding me? I'm getting sick of developers whining like little kids.
Ok Apple changed their minds but you shouldn't use images you don't create anyway. Period.
The only devs that have a right to cry are the ones taken down by tim langdell or luxor or other IP trolls.
If the app isn't within standards apple placed then its not within standards, stop bitching and rewrite the app.
This is really annoying, there are thousands of companies making money on the appstore, if you cant get a app approved then its YOUR fault.
Make a simple game or app for christ sake, and stop trying to stream massive data over celular, run unauthorized code, use copywrited images, copying existing functions, porn and foul language.
How can a developer seriously be worried about an app "in limbo" or "long lead times" on approvals or updates if you write the app correctly the first time. STOP TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH.


"This update restores functionality we reluctantly removed at the behest of Apple"

A copywrited image is "functionality"? That made me LOL. This dev is obviously not making money, and wouldn't even if it had apple's logos in the first place. I bet theyre just pissed they cant make Audio HiJack for iphone.

lowbatteries
Nov 24, 2009, 12:18 AM
Are you kidding me? I'm getting sick of developers whining like little kids.
Ok Apple changed their minds but you shouldn't use images you don't create anyway. Period.
The only devs that have a right to cry are the ones taken down by tim langdell or luxor or other IP trolls.
If the app isn't within standards apple placed then its not within standards, stop bitching and rewrite the app.
This is really annoying, there are thousands of companies making money on the appstore, if you cant get a app approved then its YOUR fault.
Make a simple game or app for christ sake, and stop trying to stream massive data over celular, run unauthorized code, use copywrited images, copying existing functions, porn and foul language.
How can a developer seriously be worried about an app "in limbo" or "long lead times" on approvals or updates if you write the app correctly the first time. STOP TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH.


"This update restores functionality we reluctantly removed at the behest of Apple"

A copywrited image is "functionality"? That made me LOL. This dev is obviously not making money, and wouldn't even if it had apple's logos in the first place. I bet theyre just pissed they cant make Audio HiJack for iphone.

Dude - this app didn't use any copyrighted images any more than the OS X Dock or Finder uses copyrighted icons. Using the icon of an app to represent that app, using functionality PROVIDED BY APPLE FOR THAT PURPOSE, and then being blocked from the app store for it, is ridiculous.

guet
Nov 24, 2009, 02:30 AM
I get the impression that their iPhone apps weren't selling much, then they hit a lengthy and frustrating app approval process and then they decided developing for the iPhone isn't worth their time.

What do you base this 'impression' on? Obviously not very much research, as the app works in concert with their desktop mac app, and is free.

Is the iPhone not worth their time *strictly* due to the confusing and frustrating approval process? Or because there apps weren't selling?

If you'd ever developed an iPhone app, you'd know the answer to that question; it's most likely the reason they stated themselves (frustration), as the process is a badly managed lottery, with zero feedback and huge delays at every step.

guet
Nov 24, 2009, 02:37 AM
Are you kidding me? I'm getting sick of developers whining like little kids. Ok Apple changed their minds...If the app isn't within standards apple placed then its not within standards, stop bitching and rewrite the app.

The rejection in this case was not based on any specific clause in the app agreement, but on a vague proscription from an app store reviewer.

This is really annoying, there are thousands of companies making money on the appstore, if you cant [sic] get a app approved then its [sic] YOUR fault. Make a simple game or app for christ [sic] sake, and stop trying to stream massive data over celular, run unauthorized code, use copywrited [sic] images, copying existing functions, porn and foul language.

I'm not sure why it would annoy you to see Apple correct course like this, but you clearly have no idea what you're talking about given the above rant.

Still, what we really need to see are positive changes to Apple's entire process here, not one-off reversals of increasingly common mistakes.

stagi
Nov 24, 2009, 03:06 AM
If they are closing their doors on iphone development why are they releasing a new update? If they are so upset with apple why not pull their app? I bet they will keep developing for the iPhone because of the $$$ maybe they put this post out to get publicity?

RHutch
Nov 24, 2009, 05:50 AM
If they are closing their doors on iphone development why are they releasing a new update? If they are so upset with apple why not pull their app? I bet they will keep developing for the iPhone because of the $$$ maybe they put this post out to get publicity?

They put out the update so that they could return the app to the state it was in prior to Apple rejecting their previous update to it. They wanted to get it back to where it was before. Also, this app is free, so they are not making any money on it.

miketcool
Nov 24, 2009, 07:42 AM
Nice baseless comparison completely ignoring the fact that my argument only included user base as one factor.

Lets be fair, it's difficult to discern why you were mentioning screen resolution, input methods and accelerometers for display orientation. Are you suggesting that having only one set of parameters is better? Or are these are superior and unique features that developers will be looking for?

Wouldn't want your argument based around some silly idea that having too many resolutions, or the option of different input methods would be a turn off for developers. Heaven forbid you were able to develop a game with multiple resolutions. Why bother including support for a joystick on a flight sim, when you could only focus on one method of input such as a number keypad.

I applaud any efforts taken by individuals who don't just roll over for corporate nonsense and take a stand in protest for bad behavior. In a world that increasingly focussed solely around making $$ and putting a price on EVERYTHING, it's nice to see someone futilely stand for some ethics.

miketcool
Nov 24, 2009, 07:45 AM
Dude - this app didn't use any copyrighted images any more than the OS X Dock or Finder uses copyrighted icons. Using the icon of an app to represent that app, using functionality PROVIDED BY APPLE FOR THAT PURPOSE, and then being blocked from the app store for it, is ridiculous.

Haha! You just threw the hammer at the screen!

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/images/2007/03/22/ad_apple_1984_2.png

VSEAE15O
Nov 24, 2009, 08:15 AM
Seriously, good call! Why bother developing games and applications for Mac OS when their are billions more M$ Windows users. Clearly it is all about whoring out your ideals and principles to make the most money possible and reach the clearly larger user base. That is what the Mac experience is all about. Right?

True. Rogue Amoeba still has a valid point. Such an example even as much to get a behemoth such as M$ to become more open to opensource communities is for people to take the initiative to begin using opensource alternatives. If you can't beat them, you will eventually join them. In this case, it will not benefit Apple if Rogue Amoeba begins to think about the size of userbase and develop on the Windows platform. What generates the most revenue is what counts right?

tbrinkma
Nov 24, 2009, 10:18 AM
Lets be fair, it's difficult to discern why you were mentioning screen resolution, input methods and accelerometers for display orientation. Are you suggesting that having only one set of parameters is better? Or are these are superior and unique features that developers will be looking for?

Not terribly difficult to discern at all, if you have any development experience.

Having to handle multiple screen resolutions (especially multiple *low* resolutions) involves a lot of extra work making sure your UI is consistent and *usable* across all of those resolutions. Handling multiple, different (sometimes exclusive) input devices makes designing a usable interface quite difficult. Why do you think flight-sim type games that get ported to consoles have such limited functionality? On the PC, you've got a keyboard, mouse, probably a joystick (maybe even a whole flight stick setup). There's plenty of room to fit all the controls you need to have a reasonably accurate flight sim. Now, move to a platform where you have 2 joysticks and 12 buttons total (4 of which are mutually exclusive from one another). That's your typical console. That's a messy transition no matter how you shake it.

Now move to a platform where you might have 320x240 *or* 480x320, a touch screen *or* a multi-touch screen *or* a dinky keyboard *or* a '5-way' selector and an variable number of hardware buttons. Give me a consistent interface between those platforms.

Wouldn't want your argument based around some silly idea that having too many resolutions, or the option of different input methods would be a turn off for developers. Heaven forbid you were able to develop a game with multiple resolutions. Why bother including support for a joystick on a flight sim, when you could only focus on one method of input such as a number keypad.

His point was that despite being billed as a 'platform', Android phones may or may not have one (or more) of the following input devices:
Touch Screen
Multi-Touch Screen
mini keyboard
slide-out mid-size keyboard
hardware buttons
5-way selector (4 directions + select button inside)

Give me a consistent, intuitive interface that can be used on a platform with a multi-touch screen, *or* touch screen paired with *EITHER* a keyboard *or* a 5-way selector. Doing it for a business or utility style app isn't that hard (with some forethought), but doing it for a game is like trying to make sure your full-featured flight sim can be played with *just* a numeric keypad.

Then again, you were probably just being intentionally obtuse in the first place.

kiljoy616
Nov 24, 2009, 11:14 AM
If they are closing their doors on iphone development why are they releasing a new update? If they are so upset with apple why not pull their app? I bet they will keep developing for the iPhone because of the $$$ maybe they put this post out to get publicity?

Dam more trolling, did you not read the same story we all did. They are not closing anything. For you who works at McD I can understand you don't know anything, but for those who do it makes business sense not to waste to much time on a platform that is costing them money and PR.

People will look at updates as been the companies lack of support and not realize that Apple is the one delaying it. I have a felling that the company know what its doing when its looking at not going thru hoops to get something out. I figure they will continue to support the Iphone/Touch but not push themselves to make new products till there is more transparency from apple.

PR is the live blood of a company, products are important but any business major will know that the best products can fall to the side if PR suffers.

Now Troll go back to McD and don't spit on those burgers.

websyndicate
Nov 24, 2009, 11:19 AM
Are you kidding me? I'm getting sick of developers whining like little kids.
Ok Apple changed their minds but you shouldn't use images you don't create anyway. Period.
The only devs that have a right to cry are the ones taken down by tim langdell or luxor or other IP trolls.
If the app isn't within standards apple placed then its not within standards, stop bitching and rewrite the app.
This is really annoying, there are thousands of companies making money on the appstore, if you cant get a app approved then its YOUR fault.
Make a simple game or app for christ sake, and stop trying to stream massive data over celular, run unauthorized code, use copywrited images, copying existing functions, porn and foul language.
How can a developer seriously be worried about an app "in limbo" or "long lead times" on approvals or updates if you write the app correctly the first time. STOP TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH.


"This update restores functionality we reluctantly removed at the behest of Apple"

A copywrited image is "functionality"? That made me LOL. This dev is obviously not making money, and wouldn't even if it had apple's logos in the first place. I bet theyre just pissed they cant make Audio HiJack for iphone.

You have no idea what you are talking about. The pictures/icons are provided by Apple in the MAC OS X sdk for that purpose. They are streamed from the Mac software not built into the software of the iPhone. When Apple puts it there and says you cant use it thats just dumb.

kiljoy616
Nov 24, 2009, 11:20 AM
Not happening.

Not terribly difficult to discern at all, if you have any development experience.

His point was that despite being billed as a 'platform', Android phones may or may not have one (or more) of the following input devices:

Multi-Touch Screen



Bad news this is patented by apple so my understanding is that you will not see much of it in other phones, that the thing with giving people and companies patents that kill innovation. So for now Apple owns all the rights to how Multi-touch works and executes and they are not licensing anything out.

sigamy
Nov 24, 2009, 11:43 AM
If you'd ever developed an iPhone app, you'd know the answer to that question; it's most likely the reason they stated themselves (frustration), as the process is a badly managed lottery, with zero feedback and huge delays at every step.

So would I know the answer or would I most likely know the answer? You don't know the true reason either. All we have is what RA is telling us and I'll bet my iPhone that if this app was driving tons of revenue, through purchases of iPhone or Desktop apps, they would not drop it.

Again, no argument that the App Store needs some improvements but there are 100,000 apps available in under 2 years. That is one heck of a "badly managed lottery"...I'm sure Microsoft, Google, Nokia and Palm would all love to take this mess of a store off of Apple's hands.

twilcoxen
Nov 24, 2009, 11:55 AM
While I understand the App Store approval process can be complicated and frustrating, this is really not a good example of a bad experience. Here's a good explanation:

http://iphonedevelopment.blogspot.com/2009/11/rogue-amoeba.html

It was simple enough for Rogue Amoeba to solve their problem at any time and get their app updated. It was made clear to them what the issue was and they chose not to address it.

nagromme
Nov 24, 2009, 12:34 PM
Iím glad Apple corrected this specific instance, but Iím even more glad that Rogue Amoeba is publicly standing their ground over the broken, neglected and non-Apple-like approval process. (Having rules for business partners may be Apple-like... but having them apply randomly and letting that situation go unfixed for so long and so publicly is not.)

tdiaz
Nov 26, 2009, 11:17 AM
Every marketplace has it's pitfalls. You balance them against your income from that market. If they prove to be too much, you bail.

If this is all Rogue Amoeba is willing to throw in the towel over, publicly, despite the press release, but lack of citing any other actual circumstances then I'd have to say they were making not nearly as much return as they would like and just said screw it.

Then again, their company name .. perhaps describes them best.

pdjudd
Nov 29, 2009, 01:41 AM
So for now Apple owns all the rights to how Multi-touch works and executes and they are not licensing anything out.

Wrong - Apple does not own multi-touch.

cha0tik
Nov 30, 2009, 12:19 PM
Make a simple game or app for christ sake, and stop trying to stream massive data over celular, run unauthorized code, use copywrited images, copying existing functions, porn and foul language.
How can a developer seriously be worried about an app "in limbo" or "long lead times" on approvals or updates if you write the app correctly the first time. STOP TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH.
I couldn't agree with you more. Screw innovation! Copy cat and cookie cutter apps are where it's at!