By Chaoticpattern 21 Comments
I have been trawling around the web reading news on iPad, games and the iTunes store. I've hit upon a particular article on Kotaku that I think it's worth mentioning:
Before I get on with my rant, I want to first say that I don't approve of everything that Apple does. Furthermore, I think Brian Crecente, the author of the article is on the money with his concern. What I do have a problem with however, are some of the comments. "It's Apple! What do you expect?" To that I say, "educate yourself, fool."
People seem to be dissatisfied with Apple's control over Apps. Either that there's not enough control over the store; to the sentiments of, "Apple need to weed out shovelware crap", or Apple need to stop enforcing so much rules on the App approval process. It seems Apple is in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.
This is where I think commenters need to educate themselves before yelling out absurdities.
Apple enforces strict rules for stability (bug), objectionability (content) and iniquity (malware) but does not enforce the worthiness of a software.
Consider the following hypothetical sentiments from Apple:
1. "Your application will be removed if it continues to have bad reviews."
2. "Your application will be removed because only 50 people bought your application."
3. "Your application is rejected because it is not fun."
4. "Your application is rejected because we think it's 'shovelware'."
Consider applying the same sentiments to the internet. Imagine if Google would apply this to their search engine. I shudder to think of the consequences if Google decides to rank sites based on their own subjective view of what's worthy.
Apple simply lets the market decide. Apple does provide mechanisms to encourage better quality apps to 'bubble' up, much like search rankings; criteria being "best in genre", "top 25" (most popular, highest rated, etc.) What Brian has pointed out in his article is that while he sees the reason behind Apple's decision to change how Apple showcases apps, the issue is that Apple has taken too much control (making it overtly simple) which sacrifices the ability to perform advanced/precision searches to find content. This is a legitimate concern an I hope Apple figures out a way to satisfy the need for a "at a glance" view of app showcases, yet provide the advance mechanisms for precision searching.
It's easy to criticise Apple for how they've handled the iTunes store so far, but we also need to consider that there is little precedence to what Apple is doing in terms of sheer magnitude. Game companies are still trying to figure out how to turn the iTunes app store into a profitable business. It certainly is possible right now, as there are a few runaway indie game success case studies (in to the millions); over time, the market will stabilise. The iTunes gold rush will settle and we should start seeing a par in app quality with a standardised pricing structure dictated by market forces. Until then, I would give a bit of slack (but still remain critical) to Apple and applaud them for ensuring my iPhone/iPad/Pod Touch is not filled with unstable, objectionable and malicious software.