I am growing tired of Apple’s ridiculous app approval process. There is not one day going by without Apple making the headlines of tech blogs for their absurd abuse of power over developers. At first, I covered these nonsensical rejections, but there’s been so many that I stopped reporting them.

The latest grotesque rejection from the App Store is GV Mobile, a Google Voice application that was approved last April by Phil Schiller himself, Apple’s senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing… Fast forward 3 months later and the app is rejected because it is “duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc)”. What a nonsense!

Last month, Apple rejected iLaugh Lite for no reason at all, saying that it reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject an application for any reason. If this doesn’t sound like a pure dictatorship, I don’t know what it is…

What really annoys me is that people don’t seem to care much and just deal with it. If it was Microsoft doing the same thing, people would be ranting all over the web. But it’s Apple, the great innovative, customer oriented company so that makes it ok… To me it doesn’t!

Apple is taking the risk of seeing the most innovative developers jump over to Android or the Palm Pre, but does it really care? It seems to me Apple cares more about money coming in through fart applications than it cares about really pushing the limits of innovation in the App Store.

If you were looking for yet another reason the jailbreak your iPhone, then here you go. This is an opportunity for developers to flip their third finger to Apple and make their apps available on jailbroken iPhones. That’s exactly what the developer of GV Mobile is going to do has done as GV Mobile is now available for free on Cydia. I just wish more developers would follow the jailbreak way. No one, including Apple, should dictate what I can and cannot do with my iPhone.

What do you think of the app approval process? Do you think it’s ok for Apple to reject whatever it wants, or do you feel that you, the end user, should decide what’s good or not for you?

As a side note, you can see that my Photoshop skills are very limited… If any of you guys want to make a better image for this article, feel free to get in touch with me.

  • billc124

    I think the app approval process is stupid. What is going to start to happen is less and less developers are going to want to spend the time to develop and app for fear that all their hard work will have been for nothing if it gets rejected. For the first time I am regretting getting an iPhone with them blocking Google Voice, I was looking forward to using that. Apple is turning into a bunch of scumbags. This isn’t AT&T doing this, this is Apple. If an app duplicates the functionality, who the fuck cares, the app will only run on an iPhone anyway, it isn’t like it is making another phone work like an iPhone, are you that fucking stupid Apple. I think Steve should change his first name to Screw or Blow!!!

  • Apple are taking this to ridiculous levels now, disapproving applications that can actually create a change in the way we look at portable communications.

    They should stop trying to control everything we use our iPhones for and start allowing real innovation to take place. After all, both us users and the developers are the paying customers.

  • Tom

    Totally agree Sebastien! GV Mobile was one of the few apps I bought before I jailbroke and it is still the most-used app on my phone. I love my iPhone but this is the banned app that made me REALLY hot under the collar. Glad to see Sean releasing his app on Cydia! Hope he keeps up the good work and updates. This call was definitely handed down by AT&T though I can’t believe Apple complied with the request – unless it’s mentioned in the exclusivity agreement. Apple doesn’t have to bend to anyone with the success they have now. They should just tell AT&T FU! Just as an aside, can you imagine the amount of Apps that Verizon would tell Apple to pull if it were running on their network? For crying out loud, Verizon just started letting “some” PDAs have unlocked wifi.

    • Irha

      I would be surprised if Apple solely takes these actions based on AT&T demanding it. With iPhones selling all over the world, Apple should really only care about the best interest of the customers. Granted, GV Mobile is meant for US customers and AT&T is the only carrier in US, but there are several examples for other applications as well (such as for tethering).

    • Irha

      I would be surprised if Apple solely takes these actions based on AT&T demanding them. With iPhones selling all over the world, Apple should really only care about the best interest of the customers. Granted, GV Mobile is meant for US customers and AT&T is the only carrier in US, but there are several examples for other applications as well (such as for tethering).

  • Zeeshan Sohail

    Was reading this article earlier http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2009/07/28/is-apple-the-new-big-brother.aspx Interesting stuff 🙂

  • Dave Whitehead

    Except in the case of the Google Voice app, it was AT&T not Apple (according to John Gruber) : http://daringfireball.net/2009/07/google_voice#update-13:40

    Probably the same issue in regards to the SlingPlayer App not being able to stream over the 3G network. The AT&T lock-in can’t end soon enough. The question will then be how much will open up after that agreement is over and how much will the app system will open up…

    And by using a Hitler-themed image, you Godwined your own argument. 😛

  • Morgan

    I really don’t get what the big deal is with the iphone. The idea of touch-screen undermines perfectly good keyboards. Has anyone considered how long an iphone will last, when they buy it?

    Also, it is a shame that the iPod doesn’t have a separate volume control for earphones. With the single volume control if you are using earphones, your ears could really suffer.

    I am not anti-apple on the contrary I am typing this on a Mac Book Pro. I know my introduction was kind of long, so I will get right to my arguments.

    Why would apple want the iphone to have an application which duplicates features that the iphone already has? Why would anyone except maybe Microsoft, and Linux, for that matter? The application with the duplicate features would jsut take up space.

    If you buy something that you think an application is going to be available on, and it turns out not to it is called a lost gamble. You took a risk, and lost. Risks are fine, in some cases necessary, but they must be carefully considered before been taken.

    Where is the app approval process, by the way? When I click on the link it just refreshes the page. I am using Firefox 3.5.3.

    I don’t know what unlocking means in this context, but it sounds a lot like hacking to me. I wouldn’t want anyone to hack my poetry programs.

    This is the traditional military vs political argument.

    Many bureaucrats, who want to keep the people happy, would argue we must give our people freedom, because it is right.

    Many military officers, who are interested in the safety of their country, argue that we must protect our people, because it is right.

    Colliding perspectives form arguments.

  • GregP507

    Apple is definitely displaying many of the traits of a dictatorship. Taking things away from the populace is definitely the hallmark of a dictator, as a display of power and control. Let’s not forget that most dictatorships fail, and sometimes end spectacularly with the captain crashing the ship on the rocks, just to prove he’s the captain.