Monday, October 12, 2009

Apple rejections that wont improve the quality of iPhone apps in the AppStore

I think Apple does a great job reviewing iPhone apps for the AppStore BUT there are some inconsistencies that drive me mad.
How can it be that Apple approves an app and later when submitting an update (or even bugfix) they reject it for something that already existed in the app that was approved. This looks pretty inconsistent to me.
Pinpoint Lite and Pinpoint Pro are two apps we use to gage the "ease" of iPhone app submissions (or sometimes the pain related to iPhone submissions). These two apps are in the AppStore for month now and they have been approved without a problem.
12 days ago I submitted the Pinpoint apps with some new features.
  1. First, it took Apple 12 days to look at the update
  2. It was rejected for a reason that has nothing to do with the update.
The apps where always using the MapKit API and require Internet connection to function correctly. Actually, the apps are not checking whether Internet is available and they never have and Apple did not see that as a problem and accepted the apps several when first submitted. Now with the update Apple reviewers decided that it does not comply to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) and therefore thy rejected the update.
That's would have been great feedback when the first version was submitted. However, rejecting the update will not improve the user experience because the current app that is still available in the AppStore does not comply to the HIG either and people can still download the app. Even worst, if a developer has a bugfix that would actually improve some other aspect of the user experience it still could be rejected for the previously overlooked issue. Unfortunately, this inconsistent process does not improve the user experience at all. Buggy app versions stick around in the AppStore longer because any improvement that was rejected for the wrong reason will need to join the "review queue" again.
So why is Apple so inconsistent in their review process? Please leave a comment if you had similar experience.

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