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Facebook app developer calls for Apple to remove the iPhone submissions process

Joe Hewitt: 'The review process needs to be eliminated completely'
Facebook app developer calls for Apple to remove the iPhone submissions process

Facebook, along with a massive number of social networking users, is waiting patiently for Apple to approve the new version of its native iPhone application. Well, perhaps not all that patiently.

Code guru and developer of the iPhone Facebook application Joe Hewitt has added his voice to the increasingly long list of software people who feel stifled by Apple's opaque App Store submissions system.

"I never forget how deeply Apple cares about making their users happy," says Hewitt in a recent blog post. "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."

He goes on to pre-empt Apple's counter argument that the process is there to protect users and their devices.

"Oh, but you say that iPhone apps are different, because they run native code and can do scary things that web pages can't? Again, you're wrong, because iPhone apps are sandboxed and have scarcely any more privileges than a web app.

"About the only scary thing they can do outside the sandbox is access your address book, but Apple can easily fix that by requiring they ask permission first, just like they must do to track your location."

The core of his complaint is one we're hearing more and more - that Apple doesn't have the means or resources to perform the kind of quality assurance it proclaims, which is leading to delays and approval anomalies serious enough to gain the attention of upper management such as Phil Schiller.

It is highly unlikely that Apple is going to abandon its approval procedures, though it seems a significant revamp is very much in order.