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iOS Development Discussion on developing apps for the iOS platform.

Experiencing the App Store: A Developer's Perspective and Rant


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vansmith

 
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I am, by no means, an expert developer. The code that I write is of the same quality seen from any novice in any trade or hobby: it'll do but it certainly isn't professional. The code that I write is passable, functional but lacking an elegance that you'd see with someone who has extensive formal training. Despite this, I can put together an application in a variety of languages that work, are relatively bug-free and efficient enough to preempt end-user cursing. Given that this is the reality of my skills, I find that I'm confident enough to put applications up in relevant markets for download... ... Return to article to continue reading.
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Well written article Van. I learned a great deal about how Apple interacts with developers and what constitutes an "acceptable" app for inclusion in their App Store.
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vansmith

 
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Thanks. Yeah, it was an interesting process that gave me some insight as to how Apple regulates apps for inclusion into the App Store. It's worked well for them (they have a tremendous ecosystem) but what an odd process and response.

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WOW. Great Article Van.
Damn you be English Professor, I had to look up a few words and their meaning All good now . . .

Mate I really do sympathise for you.
Im surprised that the specifically came back to you and said you can't reference another App that has a small audience in your counter claim. It feels as if they are trying to save them from double standards, and then having to explain themselves why 'x' App is allowed in, and your not.
What gets me, is there are Apps out there (knowing the Developer helps in this statement), that in 2 yrs on the App store, has only had 780 downloads, tells me, that, that isn't a App with a big audience, and not worthy of being on the App Store, and to top it off it was free as well.

Knowing this, and recalling our rejection notice, you have to ask yourself, what categorises it as a App not with a big Audience ? I dare say, because of what it was, you had it as a Free App ?? Yes ?? So why would they ban it at all. As you stated, Apple are big on the Education side of things, so why refrain people using it at all ??

I myself have had my first App rejected too. But their decision for me, was it was a copy cat of a App (namely Flappy Bird) and wasn't playable, and was too hard to advance in the game to make it a enjoyable game for people to play. (but in their by the book wording)
Granted, it was a Flappy Bird Re-Skinned, but still a lot of my own code, and it had different graphics, too. Instead of Flappy Bird, I had a Semi Trailer truck on a road, and the pipes where changed to Barriers, but because I had a trailer on it, it was difficult to get through the barriers unscathed.

I had a lot more work to do on it, as you could of been pixels off the barrier and it would mark it as a crash, and because I didn't have the barriers at a wider pre-defined distance, to get the truck through, and trailer, was very hard to do. You could get the Prime Mover through, but because of the trailing trailer, it cut corners, and I didn't know how to get that to follow the line of the Truck and not cut a corner when I turned the truck left or right.

I used Portrait mode as well, so in my eyes, it was far enough away from Flappy Birds (so I thought) to get past the Copy Cat, requirement. Heck, there are hundreds of Flappy Bird clones out there now, so you just have to wonder sometimes.

Was I disappointed ?? Yea. It would of been nice to have a App on the App Store to call my own, but I learnt a lot from the process. Will I try again with it ?? Probably not. I might wait until o know a little more and change the ways its played from touch, to movement, but then I will have to change it to play in Landscape, so maybe not. . . I am already working on "The Next Big Thing" but with iOS 8 and Swift, it like I need to relearn it all over again.

I see Swift easier than Obj-C, but I need to be more proficient with Obj-C first before trying to learn something new . . . .

Still nice write up, and its good to see it from someone that has experience in both markets, and platforms. Maybe I should rework it for the Google Play Store ?? I got no idea where to start though lol

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Outstanding article Van. I have learned a lot from it.

Now that I have my Samsung tablet, I am starting to get a taste of the Google Play Store also. So far all has gone well with both stores for me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
WOW. Great Article Van.
Damn you be English Professor, I had to look up a few words and their meaning All good now . . .
You should see some of my academic articles.

My apologies though - I tend to have difficulties separating the two types of writing sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
Im surprised that the specifically came back to you and said you can't reference another App that has a small audience in your counter claim. It feels as if they are trying to save them from double standards, and then having to explain themselves why 'x' App is allowed in, and your not.
It was frustrating for two reasons: Apple admitted that their definition of small audience was arbitrary and despite my argument that this was not only free but designed for educational purposes, they said that it couldn't be included. It's hard to tell a class that only one portion of the users can use the app while the others are left out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
Knowing this, and recalling our rejection notice, you have to ask yourself, what categorises it as a App not with a big Audience ?
"Big audience" is arbitrary but I'm guessing that it has to be in the hundreds at a minimum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
Still nice write up, and its good to see it from someone that has experience in both markets, and platforms. Maybe I should rework it for the Google Play Store ?? I got no idea where to start though lol
Cross-platform frameworks are the key. One codebase, multiple platforms.

I'm working on an app right now in Flex and all it takes to build for both iOS and Android is a checkbox:

flashbuilder_crossplatform.png

Sure, you don't get native controls but it doesn't mean that it has to look ugly:

ios_screenshot.png

android_iaacs.png

Not a single character of code is different between those builds and they're both ready to go for their respective stores.

All I need to figure out now is how to make icons (I have no aesthetic sensibilities or talents in any way, shape or form).

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Last edited by vansmith; 06-12-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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Flex aye, I'll have to delve into that at a later date.
As to the icon, I think you will find this very helpful then. Michael Flarup is a Icon guru and have ben using this Template in PS or Pixelmator since I found it.
It can do iOS as well as the Android Launcher Templates, as long as you have the idea of what you want in it, this is just brilliant IMHO . . . . If all else fails, I've also used QuickIcons once I have the Icon made, drop it into this App, and it shoots out Android, iOS, Window Phone, Blackberry, Mac OS X and Windows Icons, in the sizes and 2x@ as you need them.

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Their justification - that the market is too small - is completely bogus. I knew that they were draconian in their "quality" standards, but this is just absurd.

As much as I don't care for the Android experience, I must say that the more I hear of stories like this, the less I feel like supporting Apple with my dollars.

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The most frustrating part, of course, is that it costs Apple next to nothing to service a small market that they don't even need to do much for (since, after all, I'm the developer and thus responsible for fixing and working with the users).

The end result of all of this is that the app has effectively been discontinued. While I can continue to support Android users, I'm not a big believer in giving some students access to tools while others can't.

The upside to Apple's system is the promptness with their responses. I had to change my address (which, oddly, required me to send in proof that I had moved) and they were all over it - they responded quickly and made the change immediately.

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