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  • Facebook for iPhone App Developer Quits, Blaming Apple


    Joe Hewitt, the programmer behind the most popular offering on the iTunes App Store, is moving back to being a web developer, and cites Apple's review process as the reason he wants to stop working on apps. Hewitt had tweeted that he is quitting development on the Facebook for iPhone app, and told TechCrunch that Apple's "gatekeeper" approach to the App Store was entirely responsible for his decision to quit.

    My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies. I respect their right to manage their platform however they want, however I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process. I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms, and soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software developer.

    The web is still unrestricted and free, and so I am returning to my roots as a web developer. In the long term, I would like to be able to say that I helped to make the web the best mobile platform available, rather than being part of the transition to a world where every developer must go through a middleman to get their software in the hands of users.
    Hewitt has been long an outspoken critic of App Store policies. In an August blog post titled “Innocent until proven guilty,” he had asserted that “the review process needs to be eliminated completely,” and that the review process was about "lawyers, not quality."
    Apple does not have the means to perform thorough quality assurance on any app. This is up to the developer. We have our own product managers and quality assurance testers, and we are liable to our users and the courts if we do anything evil or stupid. Apple may catch a few shallow bugs in the review process, but let's face it, the real things they are looking for are not bugs, but violations of the terms of service.
    Hewitt is well-known in the developer community for being on the team that created the Firefox browser and for his work on the Firebug development plugin. He remains at Facebook, but says he can't comment on his next project.

    While there has been much criticism of Apple's strict control of what apps can and cannot go on the App Store, it may be that this rebuke from such a prominent developer may spur action by Apple... or lead to the defection of more and more developers to other platforms.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Facebook for iPhone App Developer Quits, Blaming Apple started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 51 Comments
    1. lutz2041's Avatar
      lutz2041 -
      Yes, s4mb4, for now Apple is still successful. However, if they keep pushing good developers away, they soon won't be.
    1. Thatskanyon's Avatar
      Thatskanyon -
      Apple is so full of it. I love their products but they do abuse their power. There are a lot of great apps and stuff out there that Apple either takes forever to approve or they still take forever before they deny it.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Comparing the internet to actual software that a company is distributing is somewhat ridiculous in my eyes. The problem here is not with the appstore, but that Apple allows us with no alternative TO the appstore. They can be strict with whatever they want and however they want it if they are distributing it, but greed is what "forces" them to feel like they are the only ones who should/can distribute anything. This guy should develope for cydia store. We would see thousands of new jailbreakers overnight.
    1. MrNoSox's Avatar
      MrNoSox -
      I lost faith in Apple a long time ago. Woz, Oh Woz... where are you?
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      I like how the day he complains, the next update to Facebook is released in the AppStore.
    1. siphyn87's Avatar
      siphyn87 -
      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      I like how the day he complains, the next update to Facebook is released in the AppStore.
      Actually he made those statements earlier this week, none the less that was a quick update, but who knows how long that update has been in the approval process lol.
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      Apple's draconian and fascist policies are the source of criticism and scorn in the tech industry.

      I've never heard of such an allegation being leveled at the benevolent Apple Computer before.

      film at 11, I hope.
    1. rel1215's Avatar
      rel1215 -
      good riddance......maybe now we'll get some push notifications.
    1. iRockish's Avatar
      iRockish -
      Quote Originally Posted by iN2K View Post
      Someone tell that guy about Cydia!
      Haha forreal!

      I'm glad though he quit for something he believes in though. I pretty much agree with him but also it is Apple's App Store they have to have rules on what can be allowed and shouldn't but I also agree they need to release some shackles on the developers.

      Allow Good stuff in, keep the bad (viruses, dumb apps) out!
    1. aekhamsouk's Avatar
      aekhamsouk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      It's so funny that little kids are too ignorant to see what this man is doing could greatly improve the entire iPhone experiece by attempting to sway the public opinion against apple's tyranic policies.

      LOLOL ITS APPLZ APP STOR, THEY KEN DO WATEVR DEY WANT ~_~_~ idiots
      thanks for saying that!
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Bring back the Woz
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      It's so funny that little kids are too ignorant to see what this man is doing could greatly improve the entire iPhone experiece by attempting to sway the public opinion against apple's tyranic policies.

      LOLOL ITS APPLZ APP STOR, THEY KEN DO WATEVR DEY WANT ~_~_~ idiots
      What egos on some of these people. One developer is not going to sway a big company like Apple. Individual devs might revolt away from Apple but the big time money grabbing companies like EA, Gameloft, LucasArts and even Rockstar are jumping on the Apple App bandwagon. Even John Carmack who is huge in the game community has managed to make it work with the Apple review process as far as porting games over. All this proves Apple won't give a "f" if some individual developers don't believe in the process. Too many others are playing ball for Apple to care.

      Also the guy would have more integrity to me if he never went down the Apple App Store path and went to Cydia. Fact is he did try to make it work and now has decided it isn't worth it to him. Fine by me.

      What will change Apple? When Cydia starts to make millions for devs who start supporting the jailbreak community. Then Apple will notice and start to care.
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      Also the guy would have more integrity to me if he never went down the Apple App Store path and went to Cydia. Fact is he did try to make it work and now has decided it isn't worth it to him. Fine by me.

      What will change Apple? When Cydia starts to make millions for devs who start supporting the jailbreak community. Then Apple will notice and start to care.[/QUOTE]



      I agree the only way apple will care is if something like Cydia starts to take money away from their greedy little hands. Think about it, it's only been a few years since the app store and look at the millions that apple has made from it. It would be nice to see something else build up and within a few short years drive apple back to reality. Don't see that happening in reality with apple set on stopping jailbreaking. With the advent of the droid and others to come with a more open platform for development maybe we will see apple back off some of their ridiculous rules. I think the only thing that will change their views is if someone makes a phone that cuts into their profit margin.
    1. NakedFaerie's Avatar
      NakedFaerie -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      Apple won't care
      Apple are just like Micro$oft in this sense. They both don't care about their users. All they want is money.
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      Guys u can get push on fb. Download textfree on app store and get ur email address. Go to fb and change ur email to ur textfree and the turn push on. Then ull get push
    1. wife2tooslo's Avatar
      wife2tooslo -
      I absolutely love the fact that people are saying things such as this don't matter.

      If you slowly push developers away that are working on projects such as fb, you risk allowing the cult-like following to move to another platform.

      Liken this to video gaming platforms. If you have a firm grasp on a market, you have to nurture that relationship. Nintendo treated Square-Enix like ****, putting out platforms that just didn't allow S-E to build the games they wanted to. What happened? They went to Sony to publish the next several games in the series. I can count more friends than I have fingers that no longer bought Nintendo products, as they didn't provide the gateway to a series that people had fallen in love with.

      Mix that with teen angst and tens of millions of end users, and you have a recipe for the "next great fb app" to be published on another system. I'm personally hoping that it's an Android app, but I won't be holding my breath.

      I'm not spouting doom and gloom for Apple, but I believe that they are on a slippery slope. The developer community watches examples such as this and are often as fickle as the iphone users they are publishing apps for.
    1. mikeydooodie's Avatar
      mikeydooodie -
      Quote Originally Posted by wife2tooslo View Post
      I absolutely love the fact that people are saying things such as this don't matter.

      If you slowly push developers away that are working on projects such as fb, you risk allowing the cult-like following to move to another platform.

      Liken this to video gaming platforms. If you have a firm grasp on a market, you have to nurture that relationship. Nintendo treated Square-Enix like ****, putting out platforms that just didn't allow S-E to build the games they wanted to. What happened? They went to Sony to publish the next several games in the series. I can count more friends than I have fingers that no longer bought Nintendo products, as they didn't provide the gateway to a series that people had fallen in love with.

      Mix that with teen angst and tens of millions of end users, and you have a recipe for the "next great fb app" to be published on another system. I'm personally hoping that it's an Android app, but I won't be holding my breath.

      I'm not spouting doom and gloom for Apple, but I believe that they are on a slippery slope. The developer community watches examples such as this and are often as fickle as the iphone users they are publishing apps for.
      i have seen people on here actally compare apple to nintendo i hope they dont go down that pat bc nintendo is now an after thought to playstation and xbox who have been in the gaming industry a lot shorter than nintendo ... what did nintendo do anyway does anyone know??
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      I would have done the same thing. Their policies are pushing good developers away and limiting their freedom in mapplications.
    1. scottjl's Avatar
      scottjl -
      Quote Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post
      he seems like a bit of a cry baby imo.
      its apples app store, not his. he should take his app back home to play by himself if he does not like it.
      Apple is one the most succesful US companies around. there is a reason for that.
      he's not taking it back. he's taking his amazing talents elsewhere. it'll be a loss for the iphone and a gain for whatever platform he codes for.

      and you're saying facebook isn't successful? hmm.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      and another one bites the dust