The Asymmetry of App Review

This is a good collection of links from Michael Tsai about the inherent asymmetry of App Review.

David Barnard on Twitter:

I think the asymmetry of App Review is still lost on Apple. For indie developers our hopes and dreams (and sometimes our finances) hang in the balance, for the App Review team it’s just another app rejection among tens of thousands. I know they think they get it, they just don’t.

I often wonder if Apple knows whether it wants the iPhone to be a general-purpose platform or something more tightly controlled. I know fourteen years of the App Store suggests the latter must be true, but it is not really. App Review is lax enough that it permits exploitative games for children, the kind of “amateur hour” apps Apple has long said are prohibited, and plenty of apps that break its rules. Prank phone call apps are disallowed, yet there are dozens on the App Store; scams and unnecessarily expensive subscriptions are commonplace.

Apple has third-party accessories available in its retail stores. It chooses only a handful of the ones it thinks are of the quality it is willing to stand behind. But the App Store? Just chock full of trash.

So the iPhone’s App Store is not a carefully curated selection of only the best apps for the iPhone after all. It is a flea market with a few high-profile vendors. It is completely backwards. Great developers should be rewarded for building high quality apps. Instead, they are frightened every time they submit an update to the store while watching yet another crappy horoscope app with abusive in-app purchases creep up the charts.