UPDATE: Does the App Store approval process hinder innovation?

There are many stories surfacing around the Web that throw a glaringly poor light on Apple's App Store approval process. Although many of these applications are not life-changing, is it possible that a faulty process on the part of Apple could actually ke

Written by Joe Aimonetti

There are many stories surfacing around the Web that throw a glaringly poor light on Apple's App Store approval process. Although many of these applications are not life-changing, is it possible that a faulty process on the part of Apple could actually keep great apps from being approved?

08.03.09 - Update: Since we highlighted some of the struggles of the iPhone Developer community a couple weeks ago, it seems Apple has begun to heed the call. A recent report from Michael Rose at TUAW shows two new features of the development community. The first, a status graphic that allows developers to see how long Apps are taking to be approved in Apple's queue. The second, a new contact email address to prioritize urgent bug fixes.

Original Article:
This could very well be the case. Several companies have reported an incredible delay in getting their apps approved by Apple--companies that are looking to innovate their businesses through the use of the iPhone OS technology. So what is the hold up?

The best answer I can manage is that it is just as confusing for an App Store Approver to figure out if a submitted application is okay as it is for a developer to determine if their app meets Apple's guidelines. Check out this break down from TechCrunch on the subject.

During the quarterly financial conference call, it was hinted that the App Store was undergoing a reevaluation, hopefully to better organize and categorize the apps. This seems like a tremendously positive step for Apple and for consumers. However, this is just a small step in the grand scheme of the iPhone Apps world.

The true jump Apple needs to make is into the open platform for its App Store. Think of Apple less as a distributor and more of a location--like a flea market. Developers can buy a table in the App Store and sell their product, renting space in the iTunes bubble. This eliminates the need for Apple to have an approval process at all. I would imagine some legalese at the top of the page explaining that the content provided by developers is solely the responsibility of the developers, absolving Apple of any liability should someone be offended.

If the categorization and organization are efficient and the approval process severely (if not completely) reduced, companies will be much more likely to devote time and resources into developing top quality, even life-changing, applications for the iPhone OS platform.

Do you have experience developing apps for the iPhone? Let us know about it!

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