Former Apple employee sheds light on app review process

Apple’s app review team takes a lot of heat from the iOS community. Their decisions on which apps are let into the App Store, and which ones get rejected, are often criticized for being either too strict or too lenient.

One reason why there’s so much grievance is that fact that people don’t quite understand the process or what it’s like to be an app reviewer. So a former Apple employee decided to clear things up…

Former software engineer Mike Lee recently spoke with Business Insider regarding what it’s like to be a part of Apple’s app review team. And apparently, it’s actually a pretty lousy gig.

“People have this idea that there are 100 people in India doing app reviews,” Lee tells Business Insider. “It’s just people in a building at Apple, and like every other part of Apple, they can’t get enough really good people. Apple will not compromise the quality of its teams to fill it in. I promise you it’s a lot smaller than you imagine.”

This is mind-boggling when you consider that Apple sees between 8,500 and 10,000 app submissions per week. And reviewers must scan each and every one for copyright and guideline infringement, as well as explicit content. In fact, Lee says the latter is particularly troublesome.

“It’s a very serious problem, trying to filter out things that no one is there to see. Somebody has to sit there and filter out all of those d*cks. You can’t let any of those get through. You have to err way on the side of safety. You have to have people sitting there looking at things that may or may not be d*cks all day long.”

It’s no surprise that filtering out these types of applications is of particular importance to Apple’s review team. Steve Jobs was extremely vocal about his company’s position on pornography, famously saying “If you want porn, get an Android.”

Nevertheless, while while we may wonder what they’re thinking sometimes, we have to admit that in general, Apple’s review team does a pretty good job of protecting the integrity of the App Store.

What do you think?