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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. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Apple won't care
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I'm sure they will care - but whether they care enough to do anything about it is what matters. I somehow doubt it.
    1. iphoneguy.'s Avatar
      iphoneguy. -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      Apple won't care
      Agreed. But the man is right, they aren't looking for bugs.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      WTF? So no push for Facebook?

      Ef you Apple.
    1. mrwadup's Avatar
      mrwadup -
      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      WTF? So no push for Facebook?

      Ef you Apple.

      He has handed it to another developer. It may take a bit longer now but it will be available someday
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      i would quit too!!
    1. capttanhowdy's Avatar
      capttanhowdy -
      Good for you for standing up for what you believe!
    1. ericmac017's Avatar
      ericmac017 -
      GeoHot and now Hewitt?! i must say there are some incredible ppl out there with amazing integrity.. kudos to these guys
    1. SchmilK's Avatar
      SchmilK -
      Isn't this the exact reason for publishing on cydia?
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      WTF? So no push for Facebook?

      Ef you Apple.
      Until then, just use something like Boxcar.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      This guy is a hero in my book. Right on.
    1. aries_green_monkey's Avatar
      aries_green_monkey -
      Yeah, while i cant disagree with the guy, now that 2 (semi)comprable phones are running Android OS, its not like choices are unavailable. If he truly is AGAINST Apple, it seems like he would move to Android and create some kickass applications there.

      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      Apple won't care
      What about AppleCare?
    1. s4mb4's Avatar
      s4mb4 -
      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.
    1. iN2K's Avatar
      iN2K -
      Someone tell that guy about Cydia!
    1. csworrell's Avatar
      csworrell -
      If you quit this simple project then your a failure. God Hates You!. Every Society has rules and restrictions. Stiffen up your good boy ego and deliver what you promised.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Apple is chasing everybody away.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Hotz and Hewitt are standing up for what they believe and not caring about money but principles and ethics. Unfortunately, the bills still need to be paid. if he didn't like apple thing, he could have ranted and published on cydia programs etc he believed in.
    1. reveritt90's Avatar
      reveritt90 -
      seriously apple needs to get there "Stuff" together
    1. smirkis's Avatar
      smirkis -
      i could care less who does the work as long as it gets released and its in working order lol

      but the original dev has done a great job so far, hate to see him leave the project for some apple reasons, which seems to be an on going issue.

      facebook should just meet up with the jailbreakers and release a full blown unlimited version on cydia lol

      someone contact him?
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      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.