updated 05:00 pm EDT, Tue September 23, 2008
Apple extends iPhone NDA
Apple is looking to keep developers quiet on the subject of App Store rejections, according to claims. Reports say that Apple is now adding more labeling to rejection letters, appending them with the clause that "the information contained in this message is under non-disclosure." While discussion of details in iPhone development is generally restricted, numerous developers have complained publicly about rejections without repercussion.
The most recent of these is Angelo DiNardi, who says his MailWrangler app was rejected in late August. The app lets users quickly switch between multiple Gmail accounts without having to log in and out of each one. Apple refused to host the app, however, saying it "duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application Mail without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality," and that it could cause confusion. This mirrors reasons given for the blocking of Podcaster, which was said to mimic iTunes too closely.
Developers have in some cases accused Apple's SDK terms of being overly restrictive, preventing evolution in the coding community by blocking idea exchanges normally taken for granted. To circumvent the problem, a few developers have been paying each other token amounts to qualify as "sub-contractors."