I’m combining my commentary from these three recent stoies into one post, because they are all about Apple’s latest shenanigans and I don’t want to post three in a row.
The first two are about yet more arbitrary iPhone app rejections. ZDNet’s The Apple Core blog reports on Apple taking out certain wi-fi discovery applications, on the grounds they use an undocumented interface (i.e. something Apple decided was too good to let just any old programmer use). Another one is more troubling; TechCrunch reports on the phone radiation monitoring application Tawkon and its denial.
Both of these examples have something in common: they highlight the arbitrary nature by which iPhone applcation developers can be put out of business. As it stands now, the iPhone developers are at the mercy of Apple.
With regard to wi-fi discovery, the responsible thing to do would be to open up the API (interface), properly document it, and ensure that every programmer who wishes to use it may. I’m not sure of the gory details, but this certainly smacks of something Apple would just do on a whim. At least one of the applications in question is releasing a version for jailbroken iPhones, though again I will note that jailbreaking shouldn’t even be necessary to begin with.
Tawkon actually performs a very useful function, something that really should be built into most mobile phone handsets. It’s sad, but unfortunately no big surprise, that Apple’s own interest (covering up exactly how much radio frequency emissions come from its product) trumps those of the people who wish to make money by selling such an application. Does Apple really have something to hide here? I would not be surprised if the final, Apple-approved version of Tawkon is crippled beyond usefulness.
The last article is about the iPad and Associated Press, courtesy of TechJackal. Apparently the good old AP is planning to offer a paid service to read its news articles on the iPad. Yes, the same ones available for free via the web.
The closed model of the iPad breeds greedy schemes like this of dubious merit. It’s a great deal for the AP and Apple, and a lousy deal for the people out there who have placed their trust in Apple by buying their wares. I know, it’s nothing really new. It’s sad that we have so many Apple lemmings out there willing to jump on the company’s latest offering, none of whom even care about the implications behind Apple’s unfortunate use of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) where it is clearly not needed and works to the detriment of its customers.
Shame on you, Apple. Your customers and developers deserve better than this.