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Apple Owns the App Store and Makes the Rules

By deans ~ November 13th, 2009. Filed under: Observations.

Airfoil Speakers Touch Screenshot

Airfoil Speakers Touch

Here we go again.  These stories just won’t stop…

I sighed when I read about Rogue Amoeba‘s recent decision to place their iPhone development efforts on the far back burner.  Normally, I would have just written the story off as yet another developer in a (perhaps justified) snit. Then, I read Jeff LaMarche‘s carefully written, and forcefully argued, defense of Apple’s actions in this situation.  My crude summary of Mr. LaMarche’s response is, “The rules were clear.  You broke them.  Stop whining.”

Then it got good.  Mike Ash (@mikeash), an engineer at Rogue Amoeba, tweeted his, less than pleased, response to Mr. LaMarche’s (@jeff_lamarche) post.  Through the 140 character at-a-shot dialog, Mr. Ash seems to assert that the images in question were served up from their desktop app, and pushed onto the phone.  The images are available to programs on the desktop and are permissible in desktop apps.  Thus, Mr. Ash argues that the iPhone app is just displaying an image, not unlike a browser.  Good point.

Does the computer on their iTunes Connect screenshot look suspiciously like an iMac?

Mike Ash Explains the Image Issue in Airfoil Speakers Touch

Mike Ash Explains the Image Issue in Airfoil Speakers Touch

Here’s the bottom line for me.  It doesn’t matter what seems “right.”  It doesn’t matter what seems “fair.”  Apple has made it exceedingly clear through its actions that it owns the App Store.  It makes all of the rules and interprets / enforces them as it sees fit.  If developers don’t like it, they can follow Rogue Amoeba and the Facebook App guy out the door.  Apple has more than 100K apps in the store and they clearly don’t care about any specific individual developer (unless the individual can raise a big enough ripple, like Jason Snell at Macworld).  As they say, “There are a thousand other developers who will gladly take your place…”


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1 Response to Apple Owns the App Store and Makes the Rules

  1. 4gb carte memoire

    Some people feel strongly about this. In fact, some people have felt strongly about this for a long time. A few thought this centralised system so wrong, so likely to produce tyranny, so at odds with the needs of the people that they told the British government this in no uncertain terms.