updated 03:10 pm EDT, Tue June 16, 2009
Apple 'hostile' at WWDC?
Apple showed "hostility" towards attendees at a key session of last week's Worldwide Developers Conference, claims Marco Arment. The lead developer behind Tumblr and Instapaper, Arment observes that the session on publishing to the App Store ended 45 minutes early, despite having only offered "lightweight" examples. More seriously the company is accused of skipping the standard Q&A, which lets WWDC attendees interact with both presenters and Apple engineers.
Even as developers lined up at microphones in the session room, the presenter is said to have switched to a generic "WWDC" slide, and only thanked the audience before leaving the stage. Apple engineers left the room, and lights came on without the company's usual musical outro. The session was a "giant middle finger to iPhone developers," says Arment. "Clearly, they had absolutely no interest in fielding even a single question from the topic that we have the most questions about," he adds.
Arment comments that the App Store is needlessly muddled for developers, with unpredictable approval times and rejection criteria. Developers are also unable to provide their own refunds or installation support, or collect any extra revenue for major upgrades. Arment blames "problematic policies and attitudes" enforced by Apple management, rather than the approach of any individual worker. App reviewers are also noted to be full-time Apple employees, rather than questionable outsourced labor.