Developers aren’t the biggest fans of Apple’s App Store policies, a sentiment that apparently left Apple “surprised” that developers have “legitimate concerns” with its infamous app review process.
The tidbit comes from Apple last presentation to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Last year, the watchdog released a research on digital platform services, including the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. In September 2020, the ACCC offered a poll so that consumers, developers, and vendors could detail their experiences with various app stores, including the review process. the interim report Including those sentiments will be released on March 31. So basically what Apple is doing here is putting one last word on the watchdog.
In its presentation, Apple reiterates that its review process is “human-led” and emphasizes that it has spent a lot of time and a lot of time “engaging[e] directly with developers. “The company also cites the familiar line that their review process exists to protect iOS users from malware, apps that don’t work, or “objectionable content.” Regarding effectiveness, it says that 73% of applications are approved or rejected within 24 hours, and that developers can contact the Apple reviewer who rejected the application, as well as submit a formal appeal to the Board of App Store review. It also promotes its worldwide developer phone support line, as well as local Developer Relations teams.
This appears to be an indirect response to various statements from various groups that have raised issues with Apple’s (and Google) app stores. Specifically, Developers Alliance, which represents more than 70,000 application developers and publishers, wrote that “if there is a single, unified message from our developer members,” it is that the entire experience is frustrating despite Apple’s (and Google’s) investment in the review process. Some of the complaints listed included opaque or vague reasons for rejection and anecdotal evidence that popular apps and developers seem to have an easier time receiving feedback. Reputable developers like Epic games Y Microsoft He also chimed in, detailing his own frustrations with Apple’s App Store. Is the everything Fortnite debacle, of course, and allegations that Apple uses the review process to exclude competitors in favor of its own services, particularly when comes to cloud gaming.
For Apple to say it is “shocked” is a bit hard to believe. There is no shortage of lawsuits and public fights with Apple at this time over these exact practices, both from companies big Y little. The company is also being subjected to multiple antitrust investigations from various regulators at the other side of the world. In the case of Apple vs. Epic, several Apple executives with knowledge of how the App Store works have been called to testify—Including CEO Tim Cook and Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief software officer. In fact, Bloomberg reports that a list of witnesses to the case provided on Friday reveals that Ron Okamoto, the former head of his App Store developer relations team, had quietly retired. (Retirement, however, does not stop Okamoto from testifying.) It’s unclear what the nature of Okamoto’s retirement was, or if the rejection from developers over the past year had anything to do with it.
Apple has made at least a small concession. In November, the company Announced would cut 30% of the apple tax“Or the cut it takes for developers for app sales and in-app purchases, for developers making less than $ 1 million at 15%. Of course, no one expects Apple to tear down its own walled garden without being forced by regulators. Still, Apple knows what developers have been complaining about for years, and Apple’s tax is only part of it. You know that your App Store, its policies, and the review process are all due to a reckoning. Pretending otherwise is only deliberately obtuse.