While I personally disagree with the FCC’s involvement with the recent iPhone/Google Voice controversy, Apple’s response completely boggles the mind.
First, Apple starts off with some complete BS about the store, the number of apps, and how it functions. While the app store is much better than any prior cell phone app development and distribution, it still sucks in comparison to the Mac- especially because it doesn’t have to (more on that later).
Next, they describe three core reasons why apps are reviewed: “protect consumer privacy, safeguard children from inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone.” None of these points to good reasons why apps HAVE to be reviewed. The first will be quickly found out by the community. I’m not a child (and many iPhone users aren’t either), so I don’t need to be dictated too, so reason number 2 is bunk. And finally, the third reason assumes I can’t choose which apps DON’T hurt how my iPhone works. Actually, having MLB At Bat or AOL Radio in the background DOESN’T hurt the core experience. In fact, preventing those apps from running in the background HURTS the core experience- because I have to stop them to check email, text, or do anything else. So get off your high horse Apple.
Then they outright lie about the approval process: “When there is an issue, we try to provide the developer with helpful feedback so they can modify the application in order for us to approve it.” HAHAHA. Most of the time they just say “The app doesn’t comply with out guidelines. Its denied. Suck it, dev.” Many developers only WISH they provided helpful feedback. And finally (just in that paragraph): “95% of applications are approved within 14 days of their submission.” THAT ABSOLUTELY SUCKS! That should be 95% is approved in within ONE DAY. 14 days in an insanely long time- especially for bug fixes.
Now we start in on the answers to the questions. Q1 answer: “Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it.” THAT MEANS ITS REJECTED. If its not approved, its rejected. Period. End of story. Stop lying. Besides, it DOESN’T alter the user experience- IT CAN’T YOU MADE SURE THAT NO APP CAN AFFECT ANYTHING. Do you not use your own product Apple? Does the Phone “app” get replaced? NO. It disables visual voicemail? HOW? Only if you CALL A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT NUMBER! Jesus, its like working with 80 year olds using an iPhone. Apple must thing we are 8 year olds with an IQ of 2. Let us decide Apple.
Okay, after a bunch of non-answers to questions, we learn that there are only 40 app review. WTF? For “65,000+ apps”? That’s insane! No wonder it takes 2 freaking weeks to approve an app. Double that app, or triple it.
Oh, and this is a complete lie: “In many cases we are able to provide specific guidance about how the developer can fix the application. We also let them know they can contact the app review team or technical support, or they can write to us for further guidance.” RARELY do they provide specific guidance, usually its “Your app sucks. Try again,” to paraphrase the email received. And NEVER can the contact the app review team or write to them for further guidance. How many blog posts do developers describe it as a black hole to find out what is going on with there app. Apple is out and out LYING to the FCC.
But what is most frustrating is that none of this is necessary. There doesn’t have to be the App Store (AN App Store is okay, but not THE App Store). There doesn’t have to be a review process. There doesn’t have to be a review team. There doesn’t have to be so much bad PR for Apple.
So many problems can be solved in one fell swoop- Allow any app on the iPhone. It will not hurt anybody. It will not hurt the “children.” It will not hurt the network. It will not hurt the iPhone. But it will make the iPhone the platform nobody hates, and nobody wants to leave.
Stop being dumb and stupid, Apple. Open up the iPhone, and watch your dominance grow.