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iLounge Developer of the Year Hewitt to quit working on iPhone

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, November 12, 2009
News Categories: Apps + Games

Joe Hewitt, the leading developer behind the official Facebook application for the iPhone and iPod touch, and iLounge’s Editors’ and Readers’ Choice for iPod/iPhone Application Developer of the Year, has announced that he will no longer be involved in iPhone development due to Apple’s review policies. Hewitt, who is quitting only iPhone development, and not Facebook, revealed his decision last night via Twitter, saying, “Time for me to try something new. I’ve handed the Facebook iPhone app off to another engineer, and I’m onto a new project.”

In a more lengthy interview with TechCrunch, Hewitt explained why he decided to abandon iPhone development. “My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies,” Hewitt said. “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.” Discussing his future, he added, “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.”

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Comments

1

Well, given that aple’s process has always been this way, what’s new? Seriously, the facebook app is so buggy I’ve given ip trying to use it.aune his attitude stems from handing in substandard updates….... I think we’ll be the better for this, hopefully whoever takes this over will be better at it.

Posted by Brrrt on November 12, 2009 at 6:45 AM (PDT)

2

Shhh Joe, that’s apple’s business model, they’re the consumate computer middlemen - use the same hardware as others, but charge more for it with overly restrictive software policies.

iPhone/touch - gatekeepers of the fart apps - don’t worry it’s only a game machine, as per Steve j.

Posted by Xing on November 12, 2009 at 10:42 AM (PDT)

3

I admire his decision.  If more top developers would follow, Apple would be forced to listen to users.  I love the iPhone, but I hate Apple’s policies.

Posted by Earldom in Los Angeles, CA on November 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM (PDT)

4

I am tired of people whining about apple’s policies. These are people who use the ideal of “developer freedom” to justify the fact that they want to produce substandard apps and still charge the same price for them. The reality is apple simply trying to provide the best experience for their customer who have come to expect high standards from the company. Buggy apps and security loop holes are simply unacceptable to the average apple user. Furthermore, apple provides developers with a great opportunity to enter their product in a already booming marketplace, without having to spend countless dollars on advertising in order to generate the same kind of revenue a market like the app store provides. And if you do a really good job, apple will even put your app on a commercial, to advertise the iPhone, further boosting downloads of your app. Apple’s app store is the best medium I have ever experienced for buying and selling software. It offers a quality control to keep developers honest and up to snuff and a customer service model that is rated number 1 in the computer industry and it offers a market that is so busy with users that 1 billions downloads occurred in less than a year. Who else can say that they’ve achieved such a feat. If you snivelling whining developers don’t want a piece of that, then good luck to you making it on your own, you have a long difficult road ahead of you.

Posted by drichards on November 12, 2009 at 2:58 PM (PDT)

5

Hi, I’m another iPhone developer. I heartily disagree with Hewitt as well. He’s ignoring the fact that Apple is providing the infrastructure and marketing that is invaluable to developers. You want creative freedom, go ahead and sell software on your own. If anything, Apple could be more stringent with the review process. Even with the current process, there are many unscrupulous individuals cloning others’ work, infringing on copyrights, etc. In a totally free system, good honest developers will have to compete with even more dishonest ones.

Posted by Zen Ho on November 12, 2009 at 11:51 PM (PDT)

6

drichards, I have some prime realestate to sell you and a few bridges.

Apple’s polices regarding software development for the iPhone OS has never been about providing the best experience, it’s been about generating revenue and stifling competition with either themselves or quasi-partners too lucrative to tick off.

This is why better chat programs get denied because their cloud bubbles allegedly violate Apple’s trademark, but meanwhile some shovel ware house will get 20 apps approved in the same time frame that are barely altered copies of other programs already on the app store.

Apple can make some decent, sometimes even great, products, but their policies are for nobody’s benefit but their own stock portfolio.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on November 13, 2009 at 7:26 AM (PDT)

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