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Devs voice concerns over Mac App Store terms

updated 11:10 pm EDT, Wed October 20, 2010

Restrictions seen as vague

Following Apple's Mac App Store announcement, developers have already begun voicing concerns over the terms of the program. The company appears to have drafted language similar to that of the iOS App Store, which has been criticized for being too vague regarding certain types of restricted content.

Like the iOS App Store, the Mac portal prohibits apps that are "not very useful" and do not provide "lasting entertainment value." Enemies within haves cannot solely target any real entity, while any apps that include "games of Russian roulette" will be rejected.

Apple also suggests that any apps that present "excessively" objectionable or crude content will be rejected, although the definition for excessive will likely remain unclear until the company begins rejecting submissions.

""From a developer's perspective, it would be nice if the rules were relaxed some from the iOS App Store and were more in-line with the policies Apple currently has for music and movies in the iTunes Store," MartianCraft CTO and Mac programmer Jeff LaMarche told InformationWeek in an interview. "But I really just don't know what they'll do."

Rogue Amoeba CEO Paul Kafasis suggests the restrictions and guidelines are "onerous at best," while Ambrosia president Andrew Welch claims the terms may make it impossible for his company to submit a number of its applications.

Unlike the iOS App Store, Mac developers will still be free to distribute their software through other channels if they choose not to participate in Apple's program. If the Mac App Store gains momentum, however, some developers fear they may quickly lose ground to competitors that choose to offer similar products through Apple's app portal. [via Gizmodo]

by MacNN Staff



  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    you can buy crappy music or video with no lasting value that contains all sorts of imagery, words, etc, from the iTMS, but the same thing will be rejected from the AppStore?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Some developers just don't get it. Don't they realize if they don't get on Apple's bandwagon, they're just going to be left behind.

    If Rogue Amoeba doesn't want to sell on the app store, fine. See how well they sell their stuff on their own web sites. It's been proven by apple that a single-source store is the only way for developers to get their apps noticed and sold to the public. Otherwise you're just wasting your money.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh boy. Not again.

    Then start learning how to write good program to be accepted. Simple. Just don't do anything stupid like going backdoor and steal user's info.

  1. graxspoo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Users will suffer in the end

    Many apps that are very useful on the Mac do not play by these rules. Our app, for example, installs a number of plug-ins in the system for its own use. They're not system extensions, they are custom format plug-ins, placed in a well-known location. We're not allowed to do this according to these rules. Rogue Amoeba writes very cool apps, but they burrow inside of the system, allowing you, for example, to record audio from any application on your system. This violates the rules for the app store. So, if Rogue Amoeba is forced out of business, who wins? Apple is going to seriously s**** up the software ecosystem for the Mac. Apple is pushing the Mac in a very consumer friendly direction. Moms and non-techies will win. Geeks and creative types will lose. Hmmm.... Linux and Windows are looking more appealing all the time.

  1. facebook_Thomas

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010


    I'm not following the logic?

    Rogue is worried that apps on the App store will hurt their business because they cannot participate due to the way their software hooks into the OS they fear it won't be accepted. But if that's true then no competing software will be on the App store because they too would have to violate the terms in order to have the same functionality as Rogues software so it's not possible for competing software to be available unless they know how to code according to the rules and still have the same functionality.

    I call Rogues argument BS or they must not be able to code as well as their competition.

    I think this is the best thing to happen to shareware authors as it gives then visibility to customers and little to no advertising on their end

  1. TomMcIn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Problem???

    How are you selling your products now? Apple is just giving you another way to sell products if you follow their standards. If you don't want to follow their standards, you can still sell thru other means such as CNet, web sites, etc.

    If some other developer can implement the functionality of your application using Apple's standards, he or she could sell thru the store.

    The OS X apps store is a nearly new approach. Hopefully Apple will be able to more clearly identify their requirements after practicing on the iApps store.

  1. graxspoo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah but..

    There will be massive market pressure to get into the app store. Apps like Audio Hijack Pro never will make it. As users start to think of the App store as the "one stop shop" for apps, they won't search the web for stuff. Apps like Audio Hijack Pro will die.
    At some point, you probably won't even be able to install apps from the web, or see the file system. Make no mistake, Apple is trying to lock down the Mac. This is the first salvo.

    Also, I don't see the visibility as being so great in the app store. Sure, you're there, but its difficult to differentiate your app from the other apps because there isn't much in the way of customizing your page. Its difficult to build a relationship with your users through the app-store.

    I've also seen how inconsiderate users who don't take the time to educate themselves on how a product works can really hurt a small app in the ratings. If you have a low volume app, its a bit unfair to not give the developer a way of talking-back to users that are confused, or simply in a bad mood. Do you think Apple would allow random users to post negative comments to they're own Mac, iPod and iPhone pages on No, they would not. They go so far as to delete negative threads from their support pages.

    I actually very much dislike the experience of buying apps from the app store. Its hard to tell which ones are good and which ones are garbage, and they're all lumped together, and you can't really trust the ratings. Its like a rummage sale.

  1. facebook_Kris

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Max App Store = epic

    I have been waiting for this sort of thing for awhile. It will be nice to get the lions share (pun not intended) of apps in a single trustworthy place. If developers don't get approved, they can go put it on their own server, so there is nothing to stop developers from doing whatever they want.

  1. Saint_Stryfe

    Joined: Dec 1969



    THat slippery slope looks mighty fun, mind if I take a try?

    Well Jobs released a

  1. Saint_Stryfe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    graxspoo (retry, got less-then-bit)

    THat slippery slope looks mighty fun, mind if I take a try?

    Well Jobs released a less than 12 inch laptop... this is obviously a devilish plot by Apple to destory our eyesight! First 11.3, then 10.7, then 8.3, eventually, they'll be so small that we'll need reading glasses just to live our normal lives... then some Apple iGoggles..... APPLE WILL BLIND US ALL!!!!

    Whooo... fun. fun.

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