updated 01:45 am EST, Tue January 6, 2009
Newber app awaits approval
FreedomVoice Systems was prepared to tout its Newber iPhone app at the Macworld Expo this week, but delays with the App Store review process have left the program hanging and still awaiting approval. The team first submitted the app on October 2nd and has yet to receive a formal rejection or acceptance from Apple. Other developers have expressed similar frustration with the review process recently, receiving canned messages that claim "unexpected additional time for review."
Newber adds the function of an additional phone line to the iPhone, allowing a second "business" number that links to the handset. The app would also enable users to route calls to other mobile devices or landlines, in an effort to conserve battery life or improve reception in fringe areas. GPS information is used to automatically redirect the calls to the nearest configured location, such as an office phone or home phone, without requiring the destination to be continuously selected manually.
Apple will reject apps that duplicate existing iPhone functionality, violate the SDK rules or cause reliability issues. Although a straightforward rejection is not desirable, the developers would at least have the opportunity to overcome the issues or drop the project entirely. The frustration builds, however, as more money and effort is put into marketing and furthering the technology.
Although FreedomVoice could not use the Macworld Expo to launch Newber, the company created a petition encouraging Apple to clarify the App Store policies, expand the definitions of factors involved in the approval process, provide more detail on the status of submissions, and provide more information detailing why an app is rejected.