Waiting on Apple again (and one week of nail biting, here we go)

Its that time again. I submitted my app to Apple and now all I can do is wait. Every time I get a little less nervous about the pending approval or disapproval from their reviewers. I’ve gotten an equal amount of yay’s and nay’s but every app has eventually made it into the store with no more than a few minor tweaks. But of course its always a little nerve racking to spend weeks or months on something and then have to wait around.

If you happen to be thinking of an app idea or currently working on one, I wanted to point out that Apple recently updated their approval guidelines document.  Nothing jumps out to me as walled garden-ish, and I thought some of their broader themes were VERY good. Here’s some cut and paste of my favs…

  • We have over 350,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.
  • If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you’re trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don’t want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour.
  • We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it”. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
  • This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your app will trigger this.

Think about that first one. Useful OR providing lasting entertainment. I like the distinction because their are plenty of apps that do one or the other, but not both. A to-do list app isn’t really entertaining and an arcade game isn’t really useful.

Also I like that last bullet point about apps presenting new questions. That has an air of mystery to it, and I don’t think they are implying they will encounter some new app that challenges them in a crude or adult way,  because I’m sure those type apps have all come and gone. I read it like this: with ALL the technology in that little device,  there is the potential for an application that really questions whether the person using it, SHOULD use it.  Like the Spiderman theme, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

If there’s anyapp out there now that you feel skirts this line, feel free to drop a comment below. Or if you just want to toss out some ideas for apps you feel COULD present new questions, go for it.  For example, does anyone use FourSquare? I’ve always felt a “checking in” app like that could be used by a super villain for some dangerous purpose.  Or what if an app like FourSquare ALSO told you the mood of the people in that location. Would you avoid somewhere if say, 20% of the people felt angry or upset. Or if just 1 person felt violent, would you stay away.  Hmmm.

Love to hear some thoughts.

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