Apple posts response to FCC Google Voice inquiry | iLounge News

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Apple posts response to FCC Google Voice inquiry

Apple has posted a comprehensive document discussing its answers to the FCC’s inquiry into why it supposedly rejected an official Google Voice application for the iPhone. Entitled “Apple Answers the FCC’s Questions,” the post touches on several broad App Store issues, including standards for considering and approving iPhone applications, the approval process itself, other applications that have been rejected, and AT&T’s role in the approval of iPhone applications, as well as specifics about the Google Voice rejection. Apple denies that it has rejected the applicaiton outright, saying that it “continues to study it,” while making comparisons to the functionality it provides and the iPhone’s built-in Phone and Messaging apps, and notes that “Google is of course free to provide Google Voice on the iPhone as a web application through Appleā€™s Safari browser, just as they do for desktop PCs, or to provide its ‘Google-branded’ user experience on other phones, including Android-based phones, and let consumers make their choices.”

The company also states that it is acting alone and had not consulted AT&T about the Google Voice application, and that only Apple’s agreement to block VoIP apps over AT&T’s network, AT&T’s Terms of Service, and occassional concerns from AT&T about network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications have affected its app review policy, noting that it “alone makes the final decisions to approve or not approve iPhone applications.” It goes on to list representative applications that have been rejected as originally submitted, and says that “[t]here are more than 40 full-time trained reviewers, and at least two different reviewers study each application so that the review process is applied uniformly.” Apple also says it has “established an App Store executive review board that determines procedures and sets policy for the review process, as well as reviews applications that are escalated to the board because they raise new or complex issues. The review board meets weekly and is comprised of senior management with responsibilities for the App Store.”

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Comments

1

That has to be the most bogus press release I’ve in a while, short of Microsoft’s about Windows 7 and Windows Mobile.

Now they are saying they don’t reject applications, just haven’t yet approved them.  They may or may not have given feedback to the developer, but nobody gets rejected.

Posted by dave on August 21, 2009 at 5:44 PM (CDT)

2

Dave - I did not read anywhere that they “don’t reject applications”. It states that they have not rejected THIS application outright. This has happened numerous times. Many applications have been temporarily “rejected” in their first iteration only to make some changes and be approved on subsequent attempts. This may be due to many circumstances dealing with the developers user agreement, poor performance or copyright issues. The dictionary app that just recently got so much press is a great example. It was actually rejected pre-OS 3.0. That was based on explicit content. Once 3.0 was released (with it’s parental controls) the dictionary was free to resubmit and would have been accepted and simply labeled “explicit content” so that it could be managed on minors devices.

It is really upsetting that so many people are up in arms about how Apple handles applications in it’s own store. Walmart is free to not sell explicit CD’s. Not much is said about this hypocritical practice. They will sell R or Unrated movies and M rated video games, but Heaven forbid they sell a piece of music that has a curse word in it. That is their choice as a retailer. Apple should have as much say so in what they offer (or don’t, as the case may be).

Posted by Mitch on August 21, 2009 at 10:18 PM (CDT)

3

@Mitch - I cannot agree with you. If I can’t buy a CD from Walmart, I can get it from other places like a record store. But this is not the case for iPhone apps.

App Store is the only official place to buy apps. If a piece of app is not available at App Store, there is no other place I can get it from. So basically Apple is limiting the choices we have, and therefore there should be an open mechanism to make sure apps are not being rejected because of unjustifiable reasons. (Of course you can always jailbreak the iPhone, but we are talking about the App Store.)

But do we exactly know what the mechanism is? What are the standards? Apple never says anything about them, and we all know that makes several app writers angry.

So now we just wait and see how FCC responds, but I doubt it will bring any change to Apple.

Posted by Chris on August 21, 2009 at 11:39 PM (CDT)

4

@ Dave, I agree with you
@ Chris, It makes sense what you say

Applestore is the only store out there so far, and I understand that apple would like to keep it that way. Apple products have a higher standart I would say compared to Microsoft (my personal opinion guys). APPLe wants to keep and preserve their image of their computer systems beeing less virus attacked compared to Microsoft. now witht he iPhone a new market opened up and APPLe wants to continue their level, and their standard which thei reflect in their apps approval process.

now, I understand that Apple wants to keep that standard, wants to protect the enduser and their privacy and so on… but I also would like to see apps like a video recorder or voice control from 3rd party apps. Where can apple draw the thin line now? ... no body really gonna be happy. Apple could open the apps store but what if end users privacy and the device performance drops 25% less.. that would be a big jump… what if a Pre user stands next to a iphone user and brag about his Pre being fast and both give it a test run and the iPhone crashes 25% more then usually, even preforms 25% slower… what would be the next step?

the iPhone user most likely showes interest in the Pre,... one users opinion jumps to the next and so on ,.. and the iPhone would find itslef next to motorola level…

So,.. it’s a thin line with the approval system but I’m sure if a developer/team has a apps and it had been rejected, that apple would state in the rejection paper why and what needed to be fixed. So, it’s on the developer/team now to get the issue fixed.

It’s almost the same with a Dodge truck,... if you dont like what accessories u get from the sotore,.. u can go and get u a ford truck,... might be a hastle but you have a choice… if you just dont wanna give up the dodge truck then u have to deal with it that certain accessorise are not available from that manufacturer.

Posted by dennis on August 22, 2009 at 7:56 AM (CDT)

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