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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:23 AM   #1
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Apple's App Store Review Guidelines Offer Remarkably Candid View of App Store Philosophy






Just a short time ago, Apple announced that it is making some changes to the App Store review process, and among the changes is publication of the company's App Store Review Guidelines, offering developers a more transparent look at how their app submissions are examined by Apple's team of reviewers.

Engadget has re-published the guidelines, in which Apple utilizes a remarkably direct and candid tone in the introduction in an attempt to connect with developers.
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Okay, so while Apple's tone throughout the guidelines is extremely direct, the highlights definitely come from the introduction, where the company basically lays it down:

- "We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps, and parental controls don't work unless the parents set them up (many don't). So know that we're keeping an eye out for the kids."
- "We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don't need any more Fart apps."
- "We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour."
- "If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps."
- "This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your app will trigger this."
- "If it sounds like we're control freaks, well, maybe it's because we're so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products."
The meat of the document consists of a multi-page list of well over 100 brief, to-the-point guidelines broken down into sections that primarily provide developers with concrete reasons why their apps might be rejected, but also offer a few tips about specific situations to define what may be permitted.

Article Link: Apple's App Store Review Guidelines Offer Remarkably Candid View of App Store Philosophy
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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This is fantastic, I absolutely agree with their rules on duplicate Apps. Parental controls, not so much, but how many flashlights do we really need? (Only one, thanks to HandyLight)
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:27 AM   #3
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good news.

hopefully this will allow us to get rid of the "stand in, wannabe" MR.app(s).
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:28 AM   #4
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sounds like a fair deal to me
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:29 AM   #5
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You can never have too many fart apps.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:30 AM   #6
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Apple is playing pseudo parent again.... awesome.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:34 AM   #7
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I love how they put voice to the guidelines. Usually it's a bunch of boring PR crap that no one reads.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:37 AM   #8
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It is good that they posted this, but I find their intro comment about Parental Controls to be maddening. "Hey we have Parental Controls, but no one uses them, so we have to neuter everything in case a kid might download something naughty!!" THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

Give me a break. Everyone suffers because negligent parents don't use the control tools provided.

It's Apple's decision to be like this, and we can take it or leave it -- I just think it's a crappy decision.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:38 AM   #9
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Good news that they are being more transparent. This should help people understand the rules as they are.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:40 AM   #10
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What do you mean no need for more fart apps?!
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:40 AM   #11
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I'm glad to see this. Considering a lot of Developers have temper tantrums once they receive that denial letter and don't even potentially work on fixing the problem.

I agree Apple can be control freaks, (look at the patent that was posted here for remotely shutting down jail-broken devices) but there is a line in which quality should beat out quantity and security for protecting customers and their data should beat out any joe-schmo application that doesn't fit within certain standards.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:41 AM   #12
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I like when documents speak in plain english. It's very refreshing.

And I'm glad they have something in place to prevent "just another ___ app" proliferation. It's already pretty annoying if I want to search for an app, say a Facebook or Twitter client, and I am presented with two dozen options, all of which look about the same (but I can't know for sure until I pay the 99 cents to try one of them out).

You know, one thing that would be useful is if the apps each came with a one or two sentence description that was shown along with the app's icon and name in the search results.

Is there a pre-approval process at all? I'd hate to spend hundreds of hours perfecting an app, only to submit it and be told it's rejected. Is there a way one could ask "Hey Apple, here's what I plan to write, is this OK?" and be told right away if it isn't?
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:42 AM   #13
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Good.

This is no different than any curator situation. If you go to the Louvre, you'd be pissed if you found someone stuck their three-year-old's finger painting in front of the Mona Lisa. Or if you went to the philharmonic and found out that there were lots of amateur hour guys wanting your attention instead of the normal orchestra.

So Apple is telling everyone what the rules are, and you can play along and make some money, or you can go elsewhere, but you can't just throw any old junk into the store and call it good.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:43 AM   #14
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know what I want? Apple curating my options. That bit about running to the press sounds like how college security deals with rape reports. "We'll handle this internally."
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:45 AM   #15
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I like how they are at least put out a list of guidelines.

I would like some sexy bikini apps, but I guess I can make do with safe and a proper. I don't like the Android market in that it's not even moderated. At least Apple is doing something.

Running to the press is a kind of a douche bag thing to do. Everyone deserves a second chance, so if you expect one from Apple, reciprocate.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:46 AM   #16
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Of Course!

Of course you don't want any more fart Apps! The guy running the app store now wrote the original fart app and he doesn't want his profits taking a hit!
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:46 AM   #17
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I like that they are finally clarifying the approval process, but man there is a lot of #@%&&y apps out there! I can't imagine how bad the ones that aren't approved must be!
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:47 AM   #18
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"If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps."

That's a stupid argument... that board is paid by whom... Apple... therefore, what kind of decisions are they going to take?
I'm sure from time to time they will object to Apple's decisions... but most of the time, they will confirm Apple's decisions as they are paid by Apple and work for Apple.

That board is pretty much like this figure banks have, a bank consumer defender, paid by the bank... ergo... useless to appeal

It is obvious that complaining to press is stupid in many cases, but in some others, making public opinion aware of some tactics which are very wrong and unethical will force a company to change
So the press is still necessary regardless how many review boards there are as long as they are not independent

Last edited by wschutz; Sep 9, 2010 at 09:54 AM.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puuukeey View Post
know what I want? Apple curating my options. That bit about running to the press sounds like how college security deals with rape reports. "We'll handle this internally."
Buy a Droid and be happy then. Real world laws are curating your options too. Either it's good and you play along or find something else.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:50 AM   #20
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- "We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don't need any more Fart apps."

That sets an incredibly poor precedent. What happens when that becomes "We don't need another note-taking app, there's already a dozen", even when the new app offers a different interface that users may prefer?

This is the kind of stuff that happens when you can't install your own applications. It's Apple's idea that "You do have choices. You can choose from our preselected options A, B, and C" that becomes the problem. And attitudes like that (even if I agree with the uselessness of fart apps) will drive developers away in droves once they see their colleague's useful applications get rejected on those same grounds.

"We're not accepting any more video player apps, we already have 10". Yea ok Steve, watch as innovation within your app market stagnates.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:52 AM   #21
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rough! but to the point. I like
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:52 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple
"App user interfaces that mimic any iPod interface will be rejected."
"Apps that look similar to apps bundled on the iPhone, including the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBookstore, will be rejected."
..and here was me thinking consistent UI was a good thing....
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:53 AM   #23
sailnavy
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Reasonable

Seems pretty reasonable to me. If you want the wild west, go get a droid.

Oddly enough, this is sounding a lot like the Mac vs PC debate. You want to be able to pirate programs, go get a PC. You want really good consistent UI with a great user experience get a Mac.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:54 AM   #24
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They should have the same policy with the itunes music store.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 09:55 AM   #25
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Apple has always been like this, or I should really say that Steve Jobs has always been like this. Back in the late 1980s a lot of Macintosh users used to say, "Mac is the computer we love to use, in spite of the company that makes it."
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