updated 03:40 pm EST, Fri November 13, 2009
Store is 'broken,' says company
Software developer Rogue Amoeba has claimed plans to quit iPhone development, citing what it calls the "broken" nature of the App Store approval process. In July the company submitted a bugfix for Airfoil Speakers Touch (AST), an app streaming audio from computers running the Airfoil desktop client. Amoeba complains that the corrected version has only just become available, as a result of three rejections which ultimate forced it to remove existing functionality.
All of the rejections were as a result of Apple opposition to "Apple-owned Graphic Symbols," which the first version of the software was already using to represent both originating hardware and software; for instance, an iMac streaming music via Safari. The images are said to have been taken from Mac OS X itself, in particular from libraries geared with third-party software use in mind. After the initial rejection, it took four weeks for an unaltered update to be rejected again.
Amoeba then attempted to contact Apple directly, and despite tentative hope from one employee, it took until mid-October for a third, final rejection to be received. The developer says it had no choice but to remove all images of Apple products, substituting images of software with a link to a message explaining the situation. Until the update's approval, the buggy and allegedly infringing version was left accessible to the public.
The company suggests Apple should ultimately eliminate the approval process entirely, in keeping with Mac OS development, or at least improve the process to be faster and "more intelligent." Although no new iPhone apps are planned, Amoeba does say it will make "rare" updates to existing ones.
Critics charge that the company knowingly sourced forbidden images in its code, and that it may simply have been lucky to pass approval with AST's first edition.