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Old May 24, 2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Apple Relents, Approves 'Eucalyptus' eBook App



On Friday, we reported on Apple's rejection of James Montgomerie's Eucalyptus eBook application due to its ability to access "objectionable" content, namely a translation of the Kama Sutra available through Project Gutenberg's collection of free eBooks created from public domain works.

Today, Montgomerie announced on his blog that Apple has reconsidered its decision and approved Eucalyptus as originally submitted, not requiring a filter to prevent access to the Kama Sutra.
Quote:
Earlier today I received a phone call from an Apple representative. He was very complimentary about Eucalyptus. We talked about the confusion surrounding its App Store rejections, which I am happy to say is now fully resolved. He invited me to re-build and submit a version of Eucalyptus with no filters for immediate approval, and that full version is now available on the iPhone App Store.
Article Link: Apple Relents, Approves 'Eucalyptus' eBook App
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Old May 24, 2009, 03:45 PM   #2
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So now the only way around the arcane review process is to get the media to pick up the story?

Both ways, good for the devs that worked on the app. it looks great!
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Old May 24, 2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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I'm glad that nonsense is cleared up. That said... I'll stick with Stanza!
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Old May 24, 2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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"If Jesus Himself came back to earth and turned water to wine, half of MacRumors would say 'meh, this is red. I wanted white.'"

How true is this!
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Compile 'em all View Post
So now the only way around the arcane review process is to get the media to pick up the story?
Apparently...it's worked that way several times now.

--Eric
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:12 PM   #6
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actually, the best way to get around this rejection is simply resubmit the app!

Since different people review the app with each submission, you have more chance of getting it approved different people

I have a feeling, all the app rejected seemed to be based on the same person reviewing the app.

UPDATE: WOAH, $9.99???!!!!! HAVEN'T THIS PERSON THOUGHT OF CURRENT ECONOMY WHEN PRICING THE APP? LOWER IT DOWN TO $6.99 FOR FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS!
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:16 PM   #7
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When I hear of the rejections I often wonder if they have a room full of people makig $7.50 an hour to give a thumbs up or down.
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:22 PM   #8
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Wow. I had planned to buy this when it eventually hit the store (and I knew it would, it's pretty so Apple couldn't resist), however $9.99 seems very high. I was expecting $5-6, $10 is up there. The price certainly took it from a "Must Buy" to a "Wait and See" for me. Given the high likelihood of being featured, I can't blame them, though.
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:51 PM   #9
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The Algo

Secret sauce :

Code:
#include <reject.h>
#include <hype.h>

extern int enoughBuzz;

foreach ( application, newlySubmittedApps ) {

            new Thread(reject( application ));
            while ( !enoughBuzz )
                   sleep(30);
            approveApplication( application );
            ASSERT(rakeInMoreSales());
}

void reject ( Application app )
{
            Hype hype(0);
            sendRejectionLetter( app );
            while (1) {
               collectHypeInfo( &hype );
                if ( hype >= HYPE_THRESHOLD ) {
                    enoughBuzz = 1;
                    break;
               }
            }     
}
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alchemistmuffin View Post
actually, the best way to get around this rejection is simply resubmit the app!

Since different people review the app with each submission, you have more chance of getting it approved different people

I have a feeling, all the app rejected seemed to be based on the same person reviewing the app.

UPDATE: WOAH, $9.99???!!!!! HAVEN'T THIS PERSON THOUGHT OF CURRENT ECONOMY WHEN PRICING THE APP? LOWER IT DOWN TO $6.99 FOR FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS!
$9.99? What makes this reader so great it's worth $10 when it only reader Project Gutenberg titles when you can get Stanza for FREE and it supports Gutenberg plus Fictionwise? There's no demo version so I cannot even try it out. Sorry, I'm not paying $10 for an unknown quantity that can only reader one free site's books. I'd rather offer feedback to help make Stanza better.

It seems to me if someone is going to charge $10 for a reader, it should support as many formats as possible and let you add your own titles and text files stored locally as well across the local network (after all, I might want to use it in the living room sitting it an easy chair sipping coffee). Support for MS documents and PDF files would be nice as well (e.g. imagine being able to access a tractor manual on your iPod Touch sitting on your network from the garage instead of having to print it out or bring your laptop down with you. (edit: I see Stanza for the Mac can already export your own textfiles and PDF files, even to the Kindle format and even audio MP3 format via digital voice to playback a text file as an MP3 on your iPod! I'm downloading it now instead)

--
--
Edit #2: I take some of what I said back. Stanza is not a very good ebook reader for the Mac. In fact, there doesn't seem to be any really good ones. What am I talking about? You cannot even scroll pages with a mouse wheel. The feature was requested almost a year ago and they said they were planning to add it. If it takes over a year to add a tiny feature like tying the scroll function to the mouse wheel (should have taken about 5 minutes to add it), they're not on top of their game at all. In fact, I just read Amazon bought the company that makes it out so I would imagine that's primarily to make sure it doesn't offer too many features, etc. that might compete with their Kindle product (big reason I'm against mergers and buy-outs; IT KILLS COMPETITION).

I'm also not totally crazy about the presentation options on the desktop version. It's very buggy as well. If you change to say the "dawn" desktop theme and then try to switch back to default, it does nothing unless you quit and reload the whole program. Talk about an obvious bug that should never have made it out the door. Do they even test these programs before they release them? Vertical view mode uses a horizontal scroll bar. How much sense does that make? It doesn't matter anyway since the mouse scroll doesn't work. In fact, if you scroll with the arrow keys, it makes an annoying sound out of the speakers. There is no keyboard shortcut listed in the title bar menu for turning pages quietly either.

Here's where this Eucalyptus might be worth $10. From what I can see of the pictures on the iTunes store, it allows you to directly access books from the Gutenberg project. Just search, tap, download. Stanza requires you to download it with your computer first and then transfer it over a wireless network to the iPhone. They have excuses about Apple not allowing Safari on the iPhone to redirect its output to Stanza, but that's irrelevant now that they allow internal web-kit browsers to function, which I imagine is how Eucalyptus directly searches and downloads books off the Internet.

Now that Amazon owns Stanza, I wouldn't expect ANY such features to emerge for it since they'll want to pad their Kindle browser and that's designed to try and get you to buy their Kindle hardware reader. Of course, even if Eucalyptus is a nice iPhone reader, what about a desktop one to go with it? I'd still be stuck reading HTML or using Stanza there. Adding a desktop companion Mac version would make the $10 fee a lot more palatable, as would offering support for other formats (If I want to buy a book, I have to use someone else's reader which puts me back to square one again).

Last edited by MagnusVonMagnum; May 24, 2009 at 06:06 PM.
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:55 PM   #11
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Content supplied by Project Gutenberg

All of the Book content is supplied by Project Gutenberg.

I searched 4 authors I read on a regular basis and did not find one book.

I would prefer to have the choice to pay for a book that I want to read.

I currently have Stanza & Kindle and enjoy them. Although this is written beautifully (from the video I watched on their website). It doesn't seem to be the app for me.
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Old May 24, 2009, 05:57 PM   #12
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Talk about trying to capitalize on some free publicity.

$10 & it only reads FREE books? That's a ripoff.
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Old May 24, 2009, 06:09 PM   #13
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Fake reviews with five stars were posted with in 30 minutes of App release, and we are blaming Apple for rejection!! Wake up guys!
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Old May 24, 2009, 06:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fc4090 View Post
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...2&postcount=60

Fake reviews with five stars were posted with in 30 minutes of App release, and we are blaming Apple for rejection!! Wake up guys!
I don't know if they're fake or not. I will say $10 is too much especially when it lacks some the features that Stanza has. It remains to be seen how much effort the developer will put into this app as the developer for Stanza did. Stanza development will probably whither on the vine because Amazon bought it.

Though Stanza is way ahead in terms of features, I think people should give it time. Stanza did not have all the abilities that it has now when it first came out. The edge that Eucalyptus has is that it has a strong foundation to build from. It's obvious the creator put a lot of work into it. Stanza's interface would have to be rebuilt from the ground up to do what Eucalyptus can do visually. Amazon will not allow Stanza to create a better app than the Kindle app and Amazon is not going to put serious effort into the Kindle app because they want you to buy a Kindle.

Eucalyptus only has a very short way to go to catch up to Stanza than Stanza does of catching up to Eucalyptus. If the developer was smart, he'd make a "Delicious Generation" Mac app and a Windows version. As has been said by a previous post, there are no good book readers for the Mac. If the developer put some elbow grease into it, he could have a great combination of apps ala Things.
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Old May 24, 2009, 08:30 PM   #15
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I like how they talked about the "confusion surrounding its App Store rejections". Which confusion would that be, the one where Apple staffs people that don't know what they're doing to test apps?

I reckon a monkey could do about the same job, and maybe that's why.
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Old May 24, 2009, 09:29 PM   #16
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too expensive

After all this commotion about this application I was ready to check it out, but not for $9.99. Not sure what I paid for Classics, but I think it was around $2.99. I do not read enough books on my iPod touch to justify this expense.

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Old May 24, 2009, 10:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parapup View Post
Secret sauce :

Code:
#include <reject.h>
#include <hype.h>

extern int enoughBuzz;

foreach ( application, newlySubmittedApps ) {

            new Thread(reject( application ));
            while ( !enoughBuzz )
                   sleep(30);
            approveApplication( application );
            ASSERT(rakeInMoreSales());
}

void reject ( Application app )
{
            Hype hype(0);
            sendRejectionLetter( app );
            while (1) {
               collectHypeInfo( &hype );
                if ( hype >= HYPE_THRESHOLD ) {
                    enoughBuzz = 1;
                    break;
               }
            }     
}
funny.

though would be more optimized with a mutex rather than constantly sleeping and waking.
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
funny.

though would be more optimized with a mutex rather than constantly sleeping and waking.
Not a bad idea - after all they do need to scale to lots of application rejects and subsequently ensuing buzz !
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Compile 'em all View Post
So now the only way around the arcane review process is to get the media to pick up the story?

Both ways, good for the devs that worked on the app. it looks great!
agree - cannot believe that it took this much media attention to have Apple review his complaints...even though things are corrected, there needs to be improvements in the review process (and of course the approval process as well) - esp since his emails asking for further review and explanation went unanswered...
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post
I don't know if they're fake or not. I will say $10 is too much especially when it lacks some the features that Stanza has. It remains to be seen how much effort the developer will put into this app as the developer for Stanza did. Stanza development will probably whither on the vine because Amazon bought it.

Though Stanza is way ahead in terms of features, I think people should give it time. Stanza did not have all the abilities that it has now when it first came out. The edge that Eucalyptus has is that it has a strong foundation to build from. It's obvious the creator put a lot of work into it....

Eucalyptus only has a very short way to go to catch up to Stanza than Stanza does of catching up to Eucalyptus....
Stanza has been out for a long time and is well developed. I would say Eucalyptus has quite a ways to go in that aspect. In respect to availability of books, with the recent acquisition by Amazon, Eucalyptus will never be able to catch up to book availability of Stanza. Amazon has an eBook selection that can't be matched. As for Eucalytus readership numbers, I wish them luck trying to gain as many app owners as Stanza. That just is never going to happen with a $9.99 app trying to compete with a free app.
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fc4090 View Post
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...2&postcount=60

Fake reviews with five stars were posted with in 30 minutes of App release, and we are blaming Apple for rejection!! Wake up guys!
I agree. I think this should raise many eyebrows. I really wonder if their ever was a "rejection." Apple can't even respond to their own developers, they certainly aren't going to answer to the vaildity of this so-called rejection outcry. In this regard, Eucalyptus probably played their cards right as we will never know if this app was really rejected. Apple ceratinly isn't going to tell us.

Besides, what ever happened to the Apple NDA? I thought if people go shooting their mouths off they get their iPhone developer license taken away? Maybe Eucalyptus skirted the discipline of the NDA by disclosing something (a fabricated story) that never even originated from Apple's lips?
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:38 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by kas23 View Post
Stanza has been out for a long time and is well developed. I would say Eucalyptus has quite a ways to go in that aspect. In respect to availability of books, with the recent acquisition by Amazon, Eucalyptus will never be able to catch up to book availability of Stanza. Amazon has an eBook selection that can't be matched.
But Amazon's eBook selection is going to go toward the Kindle app, not Stanza. At least I'd be surprised if it did, especially considering it's been nearly a year and we still don't have an official Mobipocket app that can read my handfull of DRM'd books. (Sooo grateful I mostly went with eReader while on the Palm PDA.)
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kas23 View Post
Stanza has been out for a long time and is well developed. I would say Eucalyptus has quite a ways to go in that aspect. In respect to availability of books, with the recent acquisition by Amazon, Eucalyptus will never be able to catch up to book availability of Stanza. Amazon has an eBook selection that can't be matched. As for Eucalytus readership numbers, I wish them luck trying to gain as many app owners as Stanza. That just is never going to happen with a $9.99 app trying to compete with a free app.
I'm not an apologist for the pricing of the app but Stanza does not sell Amazon books. That's what the Kindle app is for. While no one can ever have the size of books Amazon has, Stanza did a pretty good job without them. Stanza for the iPhone has not been out long and the features are far more robust now than what Stanza had initially offered. To do what Eucalyptus has done, Stanza would have to rewrite the app itself which is no easy task. Eucalyptus has an easier job to make the same deals with publishers who are always going to look towards getting the product in as many places as possible.

While the price is too high, some people have to understand the time it took for a developer to do this. I'm sure if you were the developer you'd want to be compensated for something so slick. Any book that is thrown into the app will adapt to that interface. This app must have taken a long time to develop. This was the opposite approach that Classics took and it takes forever for them to release a new book because they are essentially re-writing each book for their app. Classics at the time of release was like $2.99. Though this app is worth 10x as much, it shouldn't be priced like that.

I know people are kind of angry but the price will come down. The market will dictate the price. I'm a little peeved myself. It might even be more cool one day if Apple released a tablet. This app would work brilliantly with it. I would love it if Apple bought this developer out. It would be a nice to see them do battle with Amazon.

Last edited by str1f3; May 24, 2009 at 11:05 PM.
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Old May 24, 2009, 11:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post
...

I would love it if Apple bought this developer out. It would be a nice to see them do battle with Amazon.
Why would you love to see this happen? Amazon has the market on the e-book and book market. Apple has the market on the music.

Wouldn't it be more beneficial if Apple put their resources into what they know best and offer a solution (kindle on iPhone) for other areas of expertise?

Amazon, like Apple didn't get to where it is overnight.

Apple makes a profit on each book sold with the Kindle app and they have put no resources into it because they have no development time and don't have to negotiate terms with publishers.

Last edited by Seahawk Fan; May 24, 2009 at 11:49 PM.
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Old May 25, 2009, 12:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post

Here's where this Eucalyptus might be worth $10. From what I can see of the pictures on the iTunes store, it allows you to directly access books from the Gutenberg project. Just search, tap, download. Stanza requires you to download it with your computer first and then transfer it over a wireless network to the iPhone. They have excuses about Apple not allowing Safari on the iPhone to redirect its output to Stanza, but that's irrelevant now that they allow internal web-kit browsers to function, which I imagine is how Eucalyptus directly searches and downloads books off the Internet.
Correction: you can absolutely download books directly on the iPhone using Stanza. If you look in the menu 'Online Catalog' you can get either free books from Feedbooks, Gutenberg, Random House, or buy them from Fictionwise, O'Reilly, BooksOnBoard. It works great either way.
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