Marco Arment writes about Apple’s approval process for iPhone applications. Worth reading.

There’s nothing wrong with an approval process for getting applications into Apple’s App Store. The problem here is an incredibly frustrating lack of transparency, and the utter absence of any kind of alternative. To developers, it feels like active hostility on Apple’s part. It’s difficult to invest large amounts of time into an application when you need Apple to publish it, but can’t trust them to ever do so, and can’t know what the rules for getting an application published actually are.

Here are some things Apple should do:

  1. Tell us what the specific rules are so we know exactly what will be published and what won’t. There has to be some kind of list of rules used by the people who approve apps; let us see this list.
  2. Let developers get pre-approval for application ideas so they know their investment won’t be for naught. Console manufacturers do this. This doesn’t have to be free; a lot of developers would pay a fair price for pre-approval. It would be cheaper than investing months of their time into an application that won’t be published.
  3. Let developers self-publish applications. Let all users manually install provisioning files so they can run a specific developer’s non-Apple-signed applications.

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