Image Source: outrageousagents.com
Having said that, I have only one major complaint with the App Store, and I can state it quite simply: the review process needs to be eliminated completely.
That ‘s an excerpt from a blog post this week by Joe Hewitt, the developer of the Facebook for iPhone app “ in which he argues that both users and developers would be better off if Apple just scrapped their App Store reviews process.
Hewitt raises some very good points in the post. For instance, this one about Apple ‘s inability to thoroughly assess apps:
The fact is this: Apple does not have the means to perform thorough quality assurance on any app. This is up to the developer. We have our own product managers and quality assurance testers, and we are liable to our users and the courts if we do anything evil or stupid. Apple may catch a few shallow bugs in the review process, but let’s face it, the real things they are looking for are not bugs, but violations of the terms of service. This is all about lawyers, not quality, and it shows that the model of Apple’s justice system is guilty until proven innocent. They don’t trust us, and I resent that, because the vast majority of us are trustworthy.
I think we saw just how true this is when Apple revealed recently that they employ only 40 full-time reviewers for the App Store, who are expected to cope with a ridiculous amount of reviews per day.
This point about fixing bugs quickly also seems a very valid one to me:
I shouldn’t have to argue for why it is better to assume people are innocent until proven guilty. There are plenty of successful platforms out there which free developers to publish anything, but punish them if they do something harmful. This allows developers to move fast, fix bugs immediately, get feedback from users at a very low cost. Any bug that Apple finds after their two week delay would have been found by users on day one, and fixed on day two. I’d rather have a bug in the wild for one day than have an app in the review queue for two weeks.
Although I can ‘t quite get on board with totally scrapping the reviews process “ and I don ‘t believe there ‘s any chance of that happening anyway “ I do think Apple could, and should, do handle updates and fixes much better. Surely there should be a good argument for letting urgent updates from reputable developers go through automatically, or with high priority or similar.
What do you all think? Would you vote for scrapping the reviews process if Steve called you to ask your view? If not, how would you improve it?