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MacRumors
Dec 2, 2009, 11:57 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/12/02/steve-jobs-reportedly-intervenes-in-iphone-application-approval/)

Ars Technica reported yesterday (http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/12/steve-jobs-intervenes-approves-knocking-streaming-video-app.ars) on the approval of Knocking Live Video [App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id335489392?mt=8), Free], which was notable for the apparent personal intervention of Apple CEO Steve Jobs after the iPhone-to-iPhone video streaming application was initially denied.

Jobs' interest in the case appears to have been sparked by an e-mail sent to him by the developer after the application was rejected for relying on private programming functions that are prohibited by Apple's iPhone developer agreement. In the e-mail, the developer argued his case by noting the functionality of the application and the fact that other applications using the same functions had previously been approved, and expanded his message to include the frustrations of many developers with the App Store review process.Meehan ended up composing a passionate plea to Apple's CEO, explaining he has been frustrated and disheartened with the app approval process, which often leaves developers wondering and waiting with little or no response from Apple about any potential problems. He pointed out that there are other apps that had been approved using the same private API call -- though it was prior to Apple's suspected use of automated analysis software that can comb through code and spot references to unapproved APIs. Meehan even "humbly" requested that Jobs himself review a demo of the app and reconsider it for approval.Less than 48 hours later, the developer received a call from an Apple executive to discuss the situation and note that a decision to revisit the application's status came "directly from the top", suggesting that Steve Jobs himself had become involved. Within three hours of the executive's phone call, Knocking Live Video had been approved for sale in the App Store.

Apple has received a significant amount of criticism over its App Store review policies, and a number of high-profile developers have recently quit (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/11/12/facebook-iphone-application-developer-quits-over-apples-review-process/) iPhone development in frustration. For its part, Apple has started to become more vocal about its vision for the review process, with senior vice president Phil Schiller recently going public (http://www.macrumors.com/2009/11/23/phil-schiller-defends-app-store-approval-process/) to defend the process as the company also strives to continue improving it.

Article Link: Steve Jobs Reportedly Intervenes in iPhone Application Approval (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/12/02/steve-jobs-reportedly-intervenes-in-iphone-application-approval/)



Rocketman
Dec 2, 2009, 12:23 PM
You know what would solve this in more than half the cases? Apple could have an API approval process since some functionality can only be added with customized API's. Apple's concern for security and platform stability and resource usage is real and actually justifiable. Some API's have resource hog potential that even wit it on the list specific applications might still need case by case approval with guidance provided by Apple what likely approaches would result in non-approval. The main thing developers object to is laboring only to be rejected on release.

The procedures they have put in place since iPhone deployment have resulted in a diverse and robust initial ecosystem. It's time to expand the pool a bit, carefully yes, but even a few API additions will greatly widen the scope of applications iPhone OS can perform at little cost to Apple. Some provision for API cross-licensing may be needed as well, in the stock developer contract.

Steve, put your toe in the water on this slowly but you will be rewarded with the loyalty and innovation of your developers. iPhone OS has legs.

Rocketman

dejo
Dec 2, 2009, 12:29 PM
So, use of private APIs is fair-game now? If you get rejected, you can just get Steve Jobs to step in on your behalf?

Unspoken Demise
Dec 2, 2009, 12:30 PM
If you get rejected, you can just get Steve Jobs to step in on your behalf?

Sounds about right...not sure how I feel about this...

nwcs
Dec 2, 2009, 12:31 PM
Have to admit, I'm surprised that an email to Steve Jobs would even be looked at! You don't usually find CEOs or executives at that level worrying or concerned about developers at all.

Unspoken Demise
Dec 2, 2009, 12:32 PM
Have to admit, I'm surprised that an email to Steve Jobs would even be looked at! You don't usually find CEOs or executives at that level worrying or concerned about developers at all.

They get 30% of App profits (mind you, this does not apply here, seeing as it is a free app), so naturally Apple and Steve care. But this level of caring, over a free app, is interesting.

ethana
Dec 2, 2009, 12:41 PM
Cool for him, crappy for all other developers who stay within the rules that they agreed to when signing up for the SDK.

If they are just going to circumvent the rules, then what's the point.

hanpa
Dec 2, 2009, 12:42 PM
Can I ask Steve to approve background execution for music applications like Spotify? I have no use whatever for the iPod applicatiion on my iPhone so what do you think Steve, can I run Spotify in the background instead of the useless built-in app?

jaw04005
Dec 2, 2009, 12:53 PM
Have to admit, I'm surprised that an email to Steve Jobs would even be looked at! You don't usually find CEOs or executives at that level worrying or concerned about developers at all.

It’s well known that Jobs reads his e-mail. In some cases, he even personally replies. I’ve personally had three separate problems addressed successfully by e-mailing Jobs. Although I would only recommend it for the most desperate of cases.

My cases were fairly desperate.

- The first issue was my account was corrupted on .Mac’s servers (MobileMe has since replaced .Mac). At the time, you only could interface with .Mac support through web forms and e-mail (similar to the iTunes Store now). I exchanged roughly 20 e-mails with different .Mac representatives with the vast majority of their replies being copied directly from the Apple knowledge base. Very frustrating. I e-mailed Jobs and a .Mac engineer had my account restored and working properly within just a few hours after two weeks of hassling back and forth with Web support.

- The second issue was the iPod replacement part web page was down for a week before anyone noticed. It was an obscure certificate error when you tried to checkout. I tried e-mailing webmaster@apple.com and even called AppleCare to alert them. However, no one bothered to fix it. I e-mailed Jobs and it was fixed within 24 hours and I received a phone call from an corporate relations representative thanking me for letting them know.

- The third issue was with the Apple Store. I pre-ordered 10.5 Leopard only to have the disc arrive scratched and unusable. I called the Apple Store six times trying to get a return/replacement order created. Each time, I was assured a replacement order would be sent via USPS. After a month, I e-mailed Jobs and I had Leopard the next day. They also refunded me the $129+ for my 10.5 order and sent me a $100 gift card.

So needless to say, it works.

macduke
Dec 2, 2009, 12:54 PM
Have to admit, I'm surprised that an email to Steve Jobs would even be looked at! You don't usually find CEOs or executives at that level worrying or concerned about developers at all.

Actually, Steve Jobs replied to one of my emails once with one of his famously short replies. It wasn't sent from his iPhone though. It was after 2.0 came out and the apps / media were disappearing. I was one of the more vocal members of the forum at the time who had this problem. He put me in touch with the manager of iTunes Customer Experience Daniel Erlewine and they ended up discovering a bug in iTunes that was corrupting something on my iPhone when new apps were installed. After they updated iTunes everything was fine.

wackymacky
Dec 2, 2009, 01:01 PM
Where in this does it say that 'Old Jobs personally got involved?

"From the top" could just mean what ever manager is overseeing the shambles of the approval team.

Next time my and app needs to be force-quited or the beacjh ball spinns a little long, I'll call up Steve to pop around to my place and sort of the problem.

stratmancj
Dec 2, 2009, 01:08 PM
prepare for your inbox to be flooded steve

DaveGee
Dec 2, 2009, 01:30 PM
So, use of private APIs is fair-game now? If you get rejected, you can just get Steve Jobs to step in on your behalf?

What could you _possibly_ mean?!?!

As so many will tell you the App Approval Process is a clear set of rules and regulations that even a 3rd grader should be able to understand... :rolleyes:

Kilamite
Dec 2, 2009, 01:40 PM
"From the top" - it is more likely to be Phil Schiller than Steve Jobs..

CherryJul
Dec 2, 2009, 02:02 PM
Where in this does it say that 'Old Jobs personally got involved?

Isn't it obvious Phil Schiller comes across as a complete doofus regarding App store approvals. :)

DTphonehome
Dec 2, 2009, 02:09 PM
So, use of private APIs is fair-game now? If you get rejected, you can just get Steve Jobs to step in on your behalf?

only if youre lucky enough to get a audience with His Holiness.

RedTomato
Dec 2, 2009, 02:18 PM
I emailed Jobs with my frustration when they took firewire off the macbook - it affected the non-profit I work at (who use cheap FW cameras for working with deaf people and sign language).

I'm sure I was just one of many many people who also did the same thing. I got no reply, but a few weeks later, firewire was back on the macbook, in the form of the new 13'' MBP model. FW800 no less. This was after he said "FW is dead. It ain't coming back."

dejo
Dec 2, 2009, 02:51 PM
This was after he said "FW is dead. It ain't coming back."
He said that, did he?

mgamber
Dec 2, 2009, 03:16 PM
Jobs says a lot of crap that doesn't have any basis in reality. After all, Woz actually did something, Jobs just said whatever people wanted to hear to make them buy what Woz did. This is pretty funny tho. I didn't really think the app "process" could get any less consistent and any more full of ****** and yet it seems that it can.

huntercr
Dec 2, 2009, 03:36 PM
How about allowing access the User's iTunes library to manipulate?

I would be wiling to submit to a more stringent review process even if I could do this. I know you want to protect your lifeblood, but there are plenty of legitimate apps out there that could use this.

iphones4evry1
Dec 2, 2009, 03:42 PM
So, use of private APIs is fair-game now? If you get rejected, you can just get Steve Jobs to step in on your behalf?

I have a feeling Steve Jobs is about to get more mail than Santa Claus. The U.S. Post Office will soon pull up to Apple with an entire 18-wheel truck full of letters addressed to "Steve Jobs. Private. Confidential."
Enjoy. :) :apple:

RedTomato
Dec 2, 2009, 04:34 PM
He said that, did he?

More or less, and I'm sure you know the exact words. If not, why not email him and ask ;)

jaw04005
Dec 2, 2009, 04:48 PM
More or less, and I'm sure you know the exact words. If not, why not email him and ask ;)

He didnít say anything like that. All he said was:

"Actually, all of the new HD camcorders of the past few years use USB 2."

aristotle
Dec 2, 2009, 04:52 PM
He didnít say anything like that. All he said was:

"Actually, all of the new HD camcorders of the past few years use USB 2."
Well, he was right. Most new "consumer" HD camcorder do use USB 2. There is a lot less need for Firewire on the "Macbook" line. They brought back Firewire on the 13" "Macbook Pro" to differentiate it from the Macbook line.

mac jones
Dec 2, 2009, 07:15 PM
here we go again

It's perhaps wise to 'assume' that "from the top", would most likely mean

The top of my dept.
the top floor in my building.
some guy who I admire.
"the suits"

Mind you, the minion who made the call was probably so in the dark as to be privy to exactly nada.

Compile 'em all
Dec 2, 2009, 07:18 PM
That private API will be public in an upcoming SDK update.

synth3tik
Dec 2, 2009, 07:47 PM
I think this really highlights the problems with the approval process.

Basically,

Apple will deny your app approval,
you cry and moan to Jobs',
You app gets approved.

retroneo
Dec 2, 2009, 08:36 PM
Approving this isn't fair to Qik, who have been trying to use that same API for ages to bring the core functionality of their product to the iPhone.

MattyMac
Dec 2, 2009, 09:40 PM
what a pimp

macfan881
Dec 2, 2009, 10:07 PM
Steve also replied on a email about iCal edititng on ipod touches before 1.2 i think the update was that allowed it.


http://www.macrumors.com/2007/10/08/ipod-touch-calendar-to-get-add-edit-functionality/

Kwill
Dec 2, 2009, 10:54 PM
It could have been rejected because it doesn't work as advertised. :o

LethalWolfe
Dec 3, 2009, 12:05 AM
Well, he was right. Most new "consumer" HD camcorder do use USB 2. There is a lot less need for Firewire on the "Macbook" line. They brought back Firewire on the 13" "Macbook Pro" to differentiate it from the Macbook line.
Actually he (assuming he really wrote that and not an underling) was wrong. The statement, from 2008, that all new HD consumer cameras from the past few years use USB is incorrect. In fact the most popular cameras between '05/'06 and '08 were tape based ones from Sony and Canon. 2009 is probably going to be seen as the year that tape based consumer (and prosumer as well) cameras really started to decline.

That statement also ignores the fact that all of Apples editing software requires that AVCD be converted into a larger codec that needs bigger, faster HDDs and a higher bandwidth connection than USB 2.0 can reliably provide.


Lethal

dejo
Dec 3, 2009, 09:37 AM
The statement, from 2008, that all new HD consumer cameras from the past few years use USB is incorrect. In fact the most popular cameras between '05/'06 and '08 were tape based ones from Sony and Canon.
Are USB connections and tape-based mutually exclusive?

RedTomato
Dec 3, 2009, 10:07 AM
Are USB connections and tape-based mutually exclusive?

OK I made a snarky comment, and let that cat out of the bag. There's a 500 page thread on that topic. Let's stick to the topic of this particular thread OK?

One more off-topic comment about USB / firewire cameras and I swear I'll ask a mod to delete all these posts, including my own.

smegma11
Dec 3, 2009, 11:38 AM
I tried it and it wouldn't work. I looked at the reviews, 1 star all the way across the board.

Rocketman
Dec 3, 2009, 11:50 AM
It could have been rejected because it doesn't work as advertised. :o

Not to mention a true bandwidth hog if it becomes popular on an already stretched network.

Qik is a cool app. One would wonder why it was not a basic feature of iPhone3G until you realize the likely network usage impact.

Rocketman