Apple’s App Store ( or NoStore, the way things are going)

Apple’s draconian App store approval process (more like rejection process, currently) needs a share up. Here are a few suggestions to stream line the process.

  1. Reviewers need to have accountability. We have heard of one reviewer accepting and app, but another reviewer rejecting it. Reviewers need to manage an account made up of a number of apps, ensuring that one reviewer handles an app throughout its lifecycle on the store.
  2. There should be two kinds of updates – bug fixes that need to be pushed out STAT and upgrades that add features. Splitting updates up like this is the equivalent of adding a car pool lane. Bug fixes go out immediately, but new features are still reviewed.
  3. This has been suggested before, but I’ll say it again: trusted developers should be given carte blanche.

Managing 100k apps on the store is NOT easy. Apple’s tenacious grip on every single app is unsustainable. It has to give up some of that top make the app store work.

To be clear, I love the app store. I trust Apple that the apps I install aren’t going to brick my phone. Or that hidden features are going to leave me embarrassed when others borrow the phone. That Apps will be well designed and though out.

Apple is trying to preserve the design aesthetic and vision that Steve Jobs had. That is why originally Apple pushed developers to build web apps. And indeed, there are still some web apps around that I use frequently. The Google Reader iPhone page, the Friendfeed iPhone page, etc. Apple never intended that this be the case. The App store mess marrs the otherwise pristine reputation of the iPhone. It is a perpetual thorn in Steve Jobs’ side.

I hope it gets sorted, soon.