1. 37
  1.  

  2. 15

    I’m guessing this is just a temporary glitch, but it again shows the danger of being beholden to a single distribution channel (one with opaque processes). Why can big corporations not make things more transparent - is letting people know why their account has been suspended/deleted really that much of an issue?

    PS: Dash is an incredibly useful piece of software, well worth the money.

    1. 11

      Why can big corporations not make things more transparent

      The same reason I don’t explain to the ant crawling on my arm why I am about to crush it nor do I apologise.

      1. 2

        Comparing any human to an ant is kind of nonsensical and absurd. Your metaphor does not fit well with the situation.

        Besides, an ant has no function for your arm. Developers and their apps clearly provide a benefit for Apple.

        1. 9

          Nitpicking a metaphor is like plucking eyebrow hairs on a cat: you can do it all day long, but you won’t really accomplish anything.

          Apple doesn’t care because it doesn’t think it has to (and by all indications, it’s right). It has tens of thousands of dependent developers, and they have shown zero indications of disloyalty even when it pulls egregious stunts like this.

          1. 1

            Nitpicking a metaphor is like plucking eyebrow hairs on a cat: you can do it all day long, but you won’t really accomplish anything.

            Using nonsensical metaphors is like plucking eyebrow hairs on a cat: you can do it all day long, but you won’t really accomplish anything.

      2. 3

        Why can big corporations not make things more transparent - is letting people know why their account has been suspended/deleted really that much of an issue?

        Because, given a “big corporation”, the path from the person you are talking to to the person that knows might be long. Not even the same corporation.

        Also, the account was closed “due to fraudulent conduct”. I don’t want to defend Apple here, but someone calling, trying to get a fraudulent account reinstated, would make me go tight-lipped very fast, too, as a security measure. The person calling might be a person trying move the account somewhere else with fraudulent intent.

        This is bad for everyone when the person calling has a valid request, but consider the headline “Apple support allowed takeover of corporate account”.

        1. 2

          Glitch or not, this is precisely the kind of thing that pisses off loyal developers and users. Talk about biting the hand that feeds them. Apple might consider where it would be without its developers.

        2. 7

          If you’ve not planned for this contingency, you’ve not built a business, you’ve built a product. Every business owner selling at retail considers “what if my reseller goes away”. Physical goods are harder to reroute!

          Plan for failure modes, no matter how unlikely they are. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of your MVP, but it should come before 2.0.

          1. 7

            You cannot distribute iOS apps any other way than the app store (which he points out in the post). As for macOS, Dash is already available for standalone standalone install / licensing. He even provides a link to migrating the license.

            So I’m extremely curious what exactly you would suggest he do.

            1. 2

              Dash’s developer has this pretty well covered for now for macOS, but I’m sure there are other developers who don’t have an alternative storefront for their software.

              What if the App Store was the developer’s sole source of revenue? What liability does Apple have for messing up, if the removal was an error on their part? Should a developer have insurance for when an oversight effectively pulls their product from the shelves, even if temporarily? I think we’d like to think that the developer is always in the right in these, but generally, they’ve not been, often because they’ve misunderstood some ambiguous rule.

              1. 4

                If you’re in business for yourself, and you cannot afford to be without your sole source of income, then you probably should get some insurance. In general, you should only insure against a loss you cannot afford; if you can’t survive without your income, that’s probably a good target for insurance of some kind.

              2. 2

                You could give the users the source code, and let them compile and deploy it to the phones instead, but this requires Xcode on a Mac.

                1. 4

                  This is what Flux did and Apple sent them a cease and desist.

                  1. 3

                    Isn’t it $99 / yr to have the ability to sideload apps from source code, if you want to keep it all on the up-and-up? Never used an iPhone here.

                    1. 2

                      No, sideloading is free now.

                2. 4

                  Easier said than done. A lot of people really do depend on Apple for distribution and can’t do it themselves. Sure, they’re ‘makers of a product’ rather than ‘business owners’, but that’s a detail. The bigger point here is that Apple itself is unreliable. Its selling point is that it decreases the need to worry, and yet many developers are afraid of their apps being pulled and many consumers are afraid that their phones will crap out on them. This says more about Apple than about the dev.

                  1. 7

                    I think you’re right in part and wrong in part.

                    As a person whose mortgage used to be paid - at least partially - through iOS development, yes. There was a constant worry that we’d break some small rule and Apple would pull all of our apps and we’d all be boned.

                    But as a consumer, I’ve never worried about using an Apple device. The hardware was reliable and quickly replaced when problems arose, and the App Store model meant I never built a relationship with software providers (and I’m sure Apple wants this to be the case ;)) so I never felt the risks the developers took.

                    Apple could win a lot of goodwill by improving their business practices but I’m not sure they actually care - I think iOS developers needs Apple more than Apple needs them.

                    1. 2

                      But as a consumer, I’ve never worried about using an Apple device. The hardware was reliable and quickly replaced when problems arose, and the App Store model meant I never built a relationship with software providers (and I’m sure Apple wants this to be the case ;)) so I never felt the risks the developers took

                      Yes, but as with many online app stores these days you’re really just “renting” yours apps for the duration that the app is on good standing with the app store owner, as soon Apple doesn’t like something then at best you don’t get support or updates, at worst they delete it from your phone, maybe with good reason, maybe not, in some cases this can be good for a consumer, I’m sure they’ve found lots of malware for example that slipped through but Apple could remotely delete it, but in many of the headlining cases they seem to be just enforcing their arbitrary rules somewhat haphazardly and may be in the wrong.

                      1. 1

                        But as a consumer, I’ve never worried about using an Apple device.

                        Maybe I’ve had a particularly bad experience, but I recently lost all my messages and photos (which were backed up by my computer and Google, respectively—thank god) due to updating to iOS 10. I was under the impression that anyone who had used Apple’s products for a while was aware that they worked fairly well but also that Apple was not nearly as close as they claimed to being the technological messiah.

                  2. 2

                    “Update: Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I’ve never done.”

                    So much for the “Glitch” theory.

                    1. 2

                      Indeed. There has been some discussion that someone else could’ve manipulated reviews in an effort to get the Dash author’s account closed (the Dash author claims he hasn’t manipulated reviews - see his Twitter account). It’s all rather strange - Dash is a good application, with no real OS X/iOS competitors, so why would the author try and manipulate reviews?

                    2. 2

                      As a long time Apple fan, their handling of the IOS and OSX app stores has been an enormous disappointment to me through the years. It all started to go downhill for me when they banned iKamasutra, which BTW is back now that the company that makes it won in court.

                      They need one consistent set of rules that the app store approval process lives by, UTTERLY consistent. Until they have that, it’s going to be a giant steaming pantload for anyone who tries to ply their wares there.

                      1. 2

                        Here’s a bit more information -

                        Update: Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I’ve never done.

                        Apple’s decision is final and can’t be appealed.