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App devs blast extended Apple delays, “amateur” support

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, December 22, 2008
News Categories: Apps + Games

Facing “months” of unexplained delays and telephone support from “the people [who] can barely speak English,” iPhone application developer Perry Hart has blasted Apple for running “inadequate and down right amateur” systems “for reviewing iPhone applications and supporting developers.” In an e-mail to iLounge, Hart says that he and other developers hoping for timely publication of their apps have been placed in a holding pattern, with no ability to know when apps will or won’t be published by Apple. “One developer has been on the queue for three months,” said Hart, “and received absolutely no information about what was wrong. ... Developers can send all the emails they like to [Apple’s app developer] address, they just get ignored.”

Hart is the developer of AutoMangle, previously released on the App Store, as well as the upcoming first person shooter game ZombieMangle, which has been held up for unknown reasons. “I submitted ZombieMangle over a week ago now,” Hart explained, “which was what I thought would be a perfect time to release just before Christmas. However, a few days after submission Apple sends me an email stating that they require ‘Unexpected Additional Time For Review’ with no reason whatsoever for the delay. So I do a search for any other developers who have received this email, and it appears there’s ALOT of them.”

Concerned about reaching customers in time for the holidays, but unsure as to what was wrong with his application, Hart decided to be “proactive and change the game to remove the blood as it may be too extreme, change the effects to green instead of red, change the zombies into aliens, change all the interface graphics containing red blood to green etc. I even changed the sheep to robot sheep in case they had some issue with aliens attacking sheep.” According to Hart, these content changes resulted in another canned response. “Calling out for help on the official forums has yielded nothing more than moderators canned replies stating email addresses and phone numbers. I think it’s time that all developers and potential developers know that they are working with amateurs.”

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Comments

1

Sounds like Apple has reduced staff for reviews due to Christmas holidays and/or (perhaps) unpaid leave…

And given reports of Apple’s review process, I would plan for late October or beginning of November to send it in to Apple for review to try to get it in the store by beginning of December.

Posted by dave on December 22, 2008 at 1:19 PM (PDT)

2

The average time for review is 3 days,

most of the fartmachines were submitted in the last two weeks

Posted by phart on December 22, 2008 at 4:55 PM (PDT)

3

I’m glad iLounge is covering this. Regardless of the reasons for the delays their support is completely unprofessional and not something I would expect from this company. I hope Apple gets its act together and starts acting like Apple again.

Posted by John on December 22, 2008 at 5:03 PM (PDT)

4

I submitted my app just before Thanksgiving and it appeared on December 12th.

Given the horror stories, three weeks was better than I feared, especially since I had two holidays on the horizon.  I thought I’d show up after New Years.

Now, 100sounds (http://www.100sounds.com) is the 14th highest paid Entertainment app.  Not bad for 10 days on the market.  Yeah, it’s got a couple of fart noises (we call ‘em gas and gassy as I don’t like that term) but with 200 sounds, that’s just 1%.  Maybe it took them longer because they had to listen to all of those sounds?  I should’ve made a one-trick pony fart machine, for a 3 day review!

Posted by Todd Bernhard on December 22, 2008 at 10:29 PM (PDT)

5

Well, today apple decided to give me an early christmas present. They finally approved AlienMangle. Thankyou apple for listening to us. Apple even called me back yesterday to try resolve the issues we have been having with the lack of communication.

Hopefully this is a sign of how Apple-Developer communication will be in the future.

Thanks
Perry Hart
PHARTGAMES.

Posted by phart on December 23, 2008 at 10:35 PM (PDT)

6

The first sentence that mentions “people who can barely speak English” reminds me of the iPhone Tech Talk I attended some months back, here in Singapore. Besides the keynote speaker, the rest of the presenters were Asians who can barely speak English. I’m Asian myself and I’ve got nothing against those who can’t speak English well, but there is no reason why Apple should be getting people who stutter as they speak English to present. It was a pain attending the talks, as I spent all the time trying to decipher what was being said.

I’ve attended a Microsoft seminar before, and the presenters were in stark contrast to Apple’s. Even the local Chinese employees were polished presenters fluent in English. In light of the popular image of Apple vs Microsoft, I find this whole thing rather strange and unexpected.

Posted by tarZen on December 25, 2008 at 8:20 PM (PDT)

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