Apple Is Carphologic*
I am not a software developer myself, I am intrigued by the premise but never attempted. I have been involved in numerous software projects though, be it big or small. I do not often like to mumble about professional stories, setbacks and struggles in writing but here it is.
During my career, i have been assigned the duties of the Scrum Master, PM, PO, UX whatever you name it, from my point of view; I wasn`t doing much regardless of the title. I was a wildcard, I fitted in the team wherever they needed me, I just love to get things going. Problem is, people (especially holders of such titles) most often overlook the struggles and the genius of developers. Even seasoned professionals sometimes brush it off as if these folks just munch pizza and bash keys then something pops up. Regardless of size, every project that has ever seen the light at the end, is there because of the developers’ collective efforts. In a perfect world, they wouldn’t need us.
I have recently been involved in a micro project. Side note here: I had never been exposed to Apple’s App Store Review phase first-hand. My job often involved just keeping the thing going or improving upon other aspects of the software that is vaguely related to whatever that is on the App Store. I had known the guidelines and regulations, I just had never perceived it as a blocker. When we were all done, one of the developers would send the thing for review and it had always been approved or required just a little push here and there but that is it. I was not concerned. They were million-dollar projects involved tens of people and thousands of users. They were big, too big to fail perhaps hence my indifference towards the review process.
This small project taught me otherwise. I have witnessed firsthand, struggles of starting small. I have seen the hypocrisy of Hippie Capitalist Apple.
This is not a rant. I am not complaining about Apple rejecting our application numerous times on unreasonably subjective aspects or irrelevant design features.
No, i realized at the moment that this went way back.
The Smoking Gun
It all occurred to me that, back in August 2016. Apple had released the iOS 10 Beta. They had improved upon some stuff removed some stuff and polished etc. The one thing I immediately noticed was the gun emoji. You can rant about this all day long but the one thing this signifies is simply Apple starting to place itself as a supervisor above the customers. Parent so to speak. Let me rephrase the term here: Applesphere.
Do not judge, or you will be judged.
Back in 2015, Apple removed the feature that allowed users to report apps. Period. Why? I wonder. Exactly who came up with it?
You can request a refund or delete the app from your library and devices but that is about it. All mighty Apple, his/her/their highness did not bestow upon us poor peasants with such a feature.
Why? Though. Apparently because they know better. That is the whole structure of their business. We know better what the customer wants, needs or even hates. Customers can not be the judge of AppStore, what passes or what does not. Which is in itself a bad design.
They do not communicate the very fact that user can not report apps anywhere in the Apple environment because apparently, they are too scared to put it out loud. Instead, they block users’ communication methods and remove anything remotely related from UI. The user is left in the depths of the app store and apple forums to find it out on her/his own.
Erratic Review Process
It is understandable that Apple wishes to control what passes and what does not. They want some unity and harmony between the applications. Their Human Interface Guidelines relay that message loud.
But App Store does not have harmony, it is full of garbage software and sub-par applications. Let alone the bad design, bad ui or bad programming there are even straight out harmful software there, which you do not get to report by the way. At this point, I would love to remind you that I had been infected with adware from an app I had downloaded from Mac AppStore. I could not report it either. I just left a comment so people do not keep downloading the thing.
It is sad watching that, Apple has created this threshold, a mechanism of validation with hopes to keep AppStore clean and polished but it is immediately noticeable this just makes exploitation easier. Do not put thresholds. They are validation agents, they can not control what goes in. They just check the state of thing at the time of review. But i bet Apple is aware of this already. I think they designed it to use it as a validation method rather than a quality assurance method.
I have consulted a friend. Who had an app that made money actively and went against everything Apple stood for. I asked him how he managed?
He told me that he had repeatedly sent it for review with minor changes until it got approved. He had apparently tried 4 to 5 times until it had a green light. Really, Apple?
Guidelines regarding the App Store screenshots clearly dictate that these areas can not be used anything else but screenshots of the application in use. Now launch the app store and check on the first application your finger lands on. Do screenshots look like screenshots to you? They have become an outlet of advertisement. They are being used to market the app itself. They have iPad images, apple watch images scattered around in a panorama of so-called iPhone screenshots.
Apple, at the moment, rejects apps that display images of devices other than what the screenshot was intended for. You can not put an iPhone image in iPad screenshots no matter the reason. This gets you rejected apparently. Now go check on the Moleskine app that was listed among the best apps of 2019. Its screenshots clearly display an iPad among iPhone screenshots and vice versa.
We get it, Apple. You are a monopoly, you rock. You have even defeated Fortnite, please though; bless us with some sanity.
- * Carphologic is not a registered word, it does not entirely make sense either but it conveys my message.
the action of grasping at imaginary objects or plucking at one’s bed linen, a characteristic of people affected by delirium