AppsFire: Dear Apple, your App Store approval process sucks

Discovery app claims Apple is letting personal issues mar marketplace

AppsFire: Dear Apple, your App Store approval process sucks
It can be no coincidence that one of Microsoft's big promises pre Windows Phone 7 launch is a straightforward, concise app approval process.

If there's one area even some of the most successful iPhone developers are happy to beat down on Apple for it's the length of time it take for new apps, or even updates, to make their way onto the App Store.

However, the reaction of one developer suggests such delays might be down to more than pure administration issues.

Dousing the flames

In an open letter posted on the studio's blog, AppsFire has revealed it has removed its apps disovery app from sale on the App Store, claiming Apple is letting its desire to expand its business get in the way of moderating the marketplace efficiently.

The firm claims it submitted AppsFire version 2.0 for review to Apple more than two months ago, yet despite consistent calls for clarification, the app is yet to make its appearance on the App Store – leaving consumers with what AppsFire itself admits is an inadequate 1.0 release, launched last August.

"Your app-roval process is full of holes," founder Ouriel Ohayon states in its letter.

"You have approved AppsFire v1.0 last August and wished you hadn't because almost no one had any real clue about discoverability issues back then - indeed, we were the very first to address this issue in an app.

"Now you know what's at stake, so you've locked-down every aspect of the SDK ToS. Which is probably why you wouldn't write anything to us for 56 days re: AppsFire v2.0, despite our numerous calls, emails, and high level contacts - period during which you had no problem approving similar apps."

Game playing

Ohayon alleges Apple is using legal concerns regarding AppsFire as a reason to delay the roll-out of version 2.0.

However, he suggests the whole thing is nothing but a smokescreen, with Apple looking to block third-party efforts as it attempts to corner the app discovery market itself.

"So now, we're doing you a favour," the letter concludes.

"We're pulling AppsFire v1.0 so that you don't have to. Besides, we have so much content now that this old v1.0 is choking on it; but you won't let us update it to optimise the user experience."

AppsFire says its users shouldn't be too dismayed, however - the developer suggests it will re-submit version 2.0 when the situation changes 'sooner or later'.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.