Apple Shuts Off Loophole For Podcaster App Developer; He Switches Over To Android

from the pissing-off-developers dept

We noted that Apple had recently started banning any kind of competitive app from the iPhone App Store, saying that various iPhone developers must be eagerly awaiting the launch of Google-powered Android phones. And, indeed, that seems to be the case for the developer of the Podcaster app, who has announced that he’ll now develop the app for Android phones instead. The final straw, apparently, was Apple closing the workaround he was using to get the Podcasting app to users — and doing so with no communication or explanation whatsoever. Apple may believe it can get away with treating developers this way when there’s no serious competition in the marketplace, but they may discover that pissing off your developer community has pretty long-term negative consequences when that competition actually arrives.

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Comments on “Apple Shuts Off Loophole For Podcaster App Developer; He Switches Over To Android”

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30 Comments
Advyon (user link) says:

Seen this before?

If my history is correct we’ve seen this before from Apple.

Lets Review: Apple comes out with a superior product steals the show, lets no one program for it and wants to make all the profit from the applications, competitor comes to market with similar product and allows anyone to program for it, competitor gains 75% market share because it has a collection of better and cheaper apps.

Wait for one year and let the Android Capable phones to come to market and give the programmers time to make some super cool apps for the Android phones, then sell your Apple stock.

Observer says:

Calm down

Before we see more spasm responses, does anyone know what legal agreements with content providers Apple is suhject to with respect to spps that could defeat DRM control and open the door to piracy.

Nothing in this post is intended to support DRM, but a contract is a contract as between Apple and commercial content suppiers to the iTunes store.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Calm down

Nothing in this post is intended to support DRM, but a contract is a contract as between Apple and commercial content suppiers to the iTunes store.

The app in question has nothing to do with DRM or “commercial content suppliers.” The app is a podcast downloading app, that allows freely offered up podcasts to be downloaded.

What does DRM have to do with any of that?

GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

Re: Calm down

Mike’s comments aside, I think you are ENTIRELY missing the point.

As a consumer, I couldn’t flippin’ care less about any computer manufacturer’s contracts for any of their side businesses. I buy COMPUTING HARDWARE and I DEMAND it run the software that I CHOOSE. You need to STOP THINKING that devices like the iPhone are somehow in some magical special class of product that does not have to play by the rules of the market place for general purpose, network attached computing devices. If Apple were to impose the same software functionality restrictions it has on the iPhone to their line of desktop or notebook products, their customer base would rightly revolt.

Smart handset makers…I AM YOUR CUSTOMER, not the mobile network operators. Design me in maximum capability and speed for my dollar with an open software architecture and the iPhone’s “Golden Formfactor” and you will be handsomely rewarded with my loyalty.

Mobile Networks Operators…Please try to understand this before one of us dies. YOU SUCK AT COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE DESIGN and UNDERSTANDING the NEEDS of your CUSTOMERS. You are quite simply no god-damned good at it and you foul up every product you take a hand in. Please, please have the wisdom to focus your energies on building standards based, higher and higher speed networks and providing access to them using the DEVICE OF MY CHOICE. Provide decent coverage at a reasonable price and you will prosper.

OK…I’ve calmed down now.

Observer says:

Calm down

Before we see more spasm responses, does anyone know what legal agreements with content providers Apple is suhject to with respect to spps that could defeat DRM control and open the door to piracy.

Nothing in this post is intended to support DRM, but a contract is a contract as between Apple and commercial content suppiers to the iTunes store.

eleete (user link) says:

Re: Calm down

“does anyone know what legal agreements with content providers Apple is suhject to with respect to spps that could defeat DRM control and open the door to piracy.”

The ‘legal’ issues are at the heart of it all, listen to the ‘spasm’ responses. Clearly the majority believe open is better because of the ‘legal agreements’.

IanK says:

Even Apple fanboys have a hard time defending Apple on this one. Apple is just wrong, plain and simple.

If an application does not breach Apple’s terms in the agreement, the application should be sold in the App store. These developers spend lots of time to create these products, and to make sure that they don’t breach the stated agreement. If Apple wants to make up rules as it goes along, it’s wrong. If the application was designed without breaching the rules, and gets rejected by Apple anyway, it’s wrong.

Imagine if the rules were the same on Apple computers. No Firefox……because Apple makes Safari. No photo applications like Adobe Lightroom because Apple makes iPhoto (and Aperture).

Anonymous Coward says:

Steve Jobs is a nazi when it comes to controlling his products, and while some see this as bad or unfair, the truth is it has lead to many great products and booming success. I wouldn’t get your hopes up on the success of android yet, iphone has been a worldwide phenomenon that is going to be very difficult to come close to by another product.

Griffon (profile) says:

history

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.One of the reasons apple lost the PC war back in round one was they treated developers like shit (especially game developers). I wish my iPhone was more open, I wish Ma Bell and papa Apple would stop the control freaking, but eventually market forces will prevail, probable long before they wise up and learn their lessons. I don’t know why they don’t get it. You don’t have to be transparent but not having reasonable communication flow with your 3rd party devs is just nuts.

Rubberman (profile) says:

Illegal restraint of trade?

It seems to me that for a virtual monopoly such as Apple has with the iPhone, to block “competing” applications such as this is an illegal restraint of trade, and should be vigorously investigated and, if appropriate, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. IMHO, Apple is doing nothing short of corporate suicide…

Erik (profile) says:

I’m hoping that Apple pays attention to these discussions across the internet and realizes that they are playing a losing hand by being so cavalier with developers. You can’t have a thriving community without all the parts involved and that means not pissing off developers by capricious censorship. I’m still pissed about NetShare being pulled. I love my iPhone but I am starting to get annoyed with Papa Apple telling me what I can do with it all the time. Apple, if you want to lock down my phone then give me a real compelling reason why this is in my best interests. Until then you just keep coming off like the wankers in Redmond.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Odd Choice of Android

Strikes me as odd that the developer in question packed up his code, and said he’s going to Android. Android has one phone model, and what, 10,000 phones in the market? That’s not exactly a wide addressable customer base!

It seems to me that a much better choice would be to code for WinMo, RIM, or Symbian at this point, and put Android at the back of the priority line.

Whether Android rocks or not is not the point. Addressable market is.

KenD says:

Re: Odd Choice of Android

you’re missing a couple key points:
1) Many of HTC’s current and future phone models can run Android – we’re just waiting for a public released ROM to flash onto our phones
2) Google has a pretty good rep with developers – many developers will code apps for Android simply because it isn’t MSFT and Apple won’t let ’em …

Kappen says:

Android will have the same basic issue as windows when competing against the Iphone. Since its a open spec with multiple hardware vendors software developers won’t be able to count on the fact that every phone out there will have the exact same feature complicating the development process and confusing the user base. Since a Iphone is an Iphone a developer can develop an application and for the most part be assured it will work with all Iphones and users buying the application will know that if its in the app store it will work on their phone.

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