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  • Apple Now Banning "Cookie Cutter" Apps?


    The banhammer marches on at the App Store, apparently, as Apple has reportedly begun removing apps built from templates that pull from websites and RSS feeds without adding much functionality. Coming as it does on the heels of the recent removal of thousands of "explicit" apps and the purge of WiFi stumblers, Apple seems to be in the midst of a significant "spring cleaning" ahead of the iPad launch.

    The boss of Mobile Roadie, one of the companies that provides apps made from templates as a service, had a blog post up earlier today telling about a call he had received from Apple. Michael Schneider had gotten a phone call from someone at Apple who told him that so-called ‘cookie cutter’ apps were no longer going to be acceptable on the App Store. Reportedly, the representative also said that further restrictions were going to be imposed on certain industries, and that there would be guidelines for what was acceptable and not. The blog post has since been removed, but Robert Strojan at Tap, Swipe, Pinch read it while it was online. Interestingly, he said that Schneider's post said he was "already working on the features requested,” which implies that Apple gave him the guidelines, though there are no specifics on what those are.

    Many observers feel that the cleanup push is Apple preparing to welcome a rush of new users when the iPad is released. PCWorld's Jeff Bertolucci points out that Apple had to make a move against racy apps if it was serious about positioning the iPad as an education tool. And an emphasis on quality may be advisable with Apple asking people to shell out $500 - $900 US for a new iPad. The purge has also included apps that have what Apple deems "minimal user functionality", such as one app from Atlantia Software that just made your iPhone quack like a duck. Nothing else. Just quacking.

    So on the one hand, this is good news from the point of view of quality development. If anyone can make an app that just uses WebKit to draw some pages on the screen of an iPhone, then anyone will make such an app, and many of those can certainly be of poor quality. And the App Store is certainly better off for having fewer farting, quacking apps. However, if the impression spreads that that Apple might change its standards at any point in time, seemingly on a whim, then it may cause devs to shy away from iPhone/iPad development.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Now Banning "Cookie Cutter" Apps? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      I tottally agree that Saurik's problem with these "So called" THEMES.... That include absolutely nothing but a picture are too much and too many to sift through. But I too agree that removing these apps.... I mean pictures would shoot himself in the foot. I mean you can't rebell against being a rebel, or you're back at square 1... In apples shoes.
    1. hacker555's Avatar
      hacker555 -
      See this is weird, I actually partially agree with this decision...

      These apps are Bull, they are made in about 90 seconds, and bring very little to the table, er, iphone. What i don't agree with is banning them completely. They should just be required to be free applications, and they should be put in a web app section of the app store.
    1. punkrockprince's Avatar
      punkrockprince -
      I usually don't post comments, but as a developer, this is something I feel strongly about.

      I firmly believe that this is something that should have been done a LONG time ago by Apple. Any marketplace or retail store does not stock every half-assed product they can. They carefully select which products are useful enough to make the grade and EARN the right to be on their shelf. If they did, then all of the good products that so much time, effort, and money went into creating would be cluttered in by all the useless crap that it wouldn't get the attention it deserved.

      Any body with half a brain and a mac can develop a worthless app in a day. That's great for them to learn a new "skill", but that doesn't mean it should be on a marketplace for distribution. Seriously, what if every c++ school or hobby project was taking up the same shelf space as real software every time you were shopping for legitimate windows software? It's ridiculous.

      If people creating worthless and not-at-all thought out apps want to complain about Apple "censoring" their App Store, then here's a thought...maybe they should try actually creating GOOD apps. It's their right to select which apps make it and which don't. While some of Apple's decisions in rejecting/accepting apps have been somewhat controversial (google, much?), that only accounts for about .001% of the App Store.

      If people want the novelty of seeing their "app" on someone else's iPhone, then use Cydia...but we'll see how long it takes until Saurik starts doing the same Spring Cleaning.
      Everybody wants to be a developer, but few of them care enough about their products to actually make them good, leaving the App Store saturated, and taking money away from those who actually deserve it.

      Quality control should start with the developer, but it should finish with Apple.

      And don't get me wrong, I love having my iPhone jailbroken, and there's too many cydia apps to number that I couldn't live without. It sucks that they're not approved by Apple so that everyone could use them...but the fact of the matter is that Apple has the right to protect their interests and liability with certain jailbroken apps, and they should exercise that same right with their reputation by purging their cluttered App Store. ESPECIALLY with apps that should just be websites instead.

      Apple's hit their 1 billion mark, and got the marketing benefits from it...now it's time to take control and make an App Store that benefits end-users and proper developers. You can't keep everybody happy all of the time, and now it's the time to make these leech developers either fall into oblivion or step up to make apps worthy of being on the iPhone.
    1. dwade2328's Avatar
      dwade2328 -
      great! now the appstore will actually work when the ipad comes out.
    1. Effenpig!'s Avatar
      Effenpig! -
      Meanwhile, back is the real world, I can still go to the AppStore and buy an app to cure my "erectile dysfunction". Well, I guess with 100,000 apps it takes awhile to find all the retarded ones.

      BTW, how the H E L L is that stupid handwarmer app still there.

      Another thing that really "chaps my ***" is apps with blatantly fake reviews, I think that not only should those apps be pulled immediately, but the devs , and I'm using that term loosely, should be banned.

      ER