21 Replies
      Latest reply: Oct 11, 2017 7:44 PM by DylanXing RSS
      andrefjesus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        Hello, I would like to make an appeal on behalf of small businesses around the world.

         

        My name is André, I'm a developer and an entrepreneur.

         

        When Apple was created its biggest mission was to bring technology to everyone. I'm in love with this ideology. Technology for all in an easy and usual way.

        Many development companies work hard to generate jobs, move their country's economy, realize dreams, and bring quality technology to users.

         

        Currently I received a call from Simone, from Apple's review team (case: 1769784) - she was very caring, polite and professional.

        Simone told me that my applications are outside of Apple's guidelines, my case is item 4.3 Design Spam. She suggested that I create a container application to solve the problem.

         

        As I accepted being an Apple developer I should suit the guidelines. However, it is a guideline that goes against information democracy. Brands do not want to share spaces with competitors. Example is Apple itself. Apple has concept stores around the world that only sell Apple products. Because Apple does not want to mingle with competitors. Our customers do not either. They want to have the same feature, the same template, but they want the app with the logo and the colors of it. Same as Apple. We could have a single mobile device and the user chooses which operating system to use. It would be much easier for all users. But you would never accept that. They would not accept because no one accepts. Because each company owns its brand to be able to work. This is called democracy.

         

        I have read in forums (https://forums.developer.apple.com/message/240376#240376) and websites (https://www.reddit.com/r/iosdev/comments/6g9jf2/changes_to_app_store_review_guidelines_leave_me/) that developers and companies Are upset with Apple and because of item 4.3, and I'm sorry, this item is nonsense. What is the problem of a development company creating an application with great features and selling to companies that have similar services and can not afford an exclusive application. The cost of development gets lower and everyone can have an application. The company is happy that it can release its application to its customers, the developer is happy because it is democratizing the technology and generating jobs and Apple wins even more users. Please do not be the new dictators.

         

        Our company develops applications for supermarkets and everyone loves them. You receive every day the offers from the market that you are a customer. Have health tips. Shopping list. You can share offers with friends. Get reminders about hot pie that just came out. Is not cool? The user relates to the brand you already know for years. Unlike a container application that the user does not yet know and needs to configure to choose which market he wants to receive information about. With the exclusive application and already installed and already has advantages. It is very cool.

        Let users choose what is good or not good for them. The fact that the User has the right to delete an application from his device, ie "information democracy". Let the users exercise this democracy.

         

        Let companies grow, an idea, create an exclusive plan for development companies that want to make similar applications available to the same industry and cover it. We only pay 99 dollars a year. For example: my company would pay $ 499 to have this account - "Apple Developer Business".

         

        "You may face a mistake as a ******** to be forgotten, or as a result that points a new direction."

        Steve Jobs

         

        Thank you.

         

        André

        • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
          Kailric Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

          Hello also, I would like to make an appeal on behalf of legitimate developers around the world. How long has item 4.3 be around? It seems like I’ve read that rule many months back. And after seeing all the spam apps on the market I wondered if this rule was even being inforced. It seems, perhaps, they are finally starting to do something about it.

           

          What is furstrating for legitmate developers is having to compete with all these thousands, if not millions, of spammed apps. Take Solitaire for example. Just do a search and you will find multiple developers all with the same exact solitaire game spammed 50+ times. Each of these apps are identitcal except for the background and the card back. And they all have 10 to 50—5 star reviews! Many of the reveiws are identical across multiple apps and developers. Do the math. And the worst thing is they utilize the keywords so that these apps appear in all sorts of searches.

           

          I trully love Apple’s quote in the Review Guidelines, “Come up with your own ideas. We know you have them, so make yours come to life. Don’t simply copy the latest popular app on the App Store, or make some minor changes to another app’s name or UI and pass it off as your own.”

           

          If this concept is beyond your capabilities as a developer then perhaps app development isn’t your cup of tea. But if Apple never does anything about it, it will only hurt all of us. When there are 5 million solitaire apps on the market we all lose.

           

          Apple needs to implement a way for users to report spammed apps, as for some reason, these apps are getting passed the review process, hmmm, for some reason…

            • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
              servidoresbrasil Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              I believe that spam is something, but apps with similars sctructure is other. We make radio apps and all have similar structures, but each client is one indivudual client with your own content graphic and musical. This is not spam, and I belive that a lot of others cases is not spam too but are been afected by that generic ruller. Unbelievable Apple aply the ruller too all cases.

            • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
              EbertonMoraes Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              Hello,

              Found a solution for this?

              I have exatcly same issue! =(

              • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                pmills Level 2 Level 2 (45 points)

                You say, "The company is happy that it can release its application to its customers".

                 

                Is there a problem if the *company* releases the application?

                Isn't it only a problem if the developer is the one doing the releasing and has many of these apps?

                • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                  siappa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  Man, do u have any sugestion? Im br developer. Please, contact me, i am at the same boat.

                   

                   

                  Please, mail me afporcari@gmail.com

                  precisamos juntos achar uma solução.

                  • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                    nmbWM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                    Hi,

                     

                    I work in a portuguese company and am also facing this issue.

                    Besides suggesting to develop a centralized App to target all our different customers, Apple made the rediculous suggestion that we build a web app. They provide us with the technique to build apps but they want us to implement a website?

                    In every message they sent, they just copied and paste the 4.3 article and failed to give a viable suggestion. The last message from them was to contact them regarding this issue, but I've tried a couple of times (in their working hours) unsuccessfully.

                    As the other developers, we can't implement a centralized App for multiple customers. Each one want an individual App, an individual splash screen, an individual icon.

                    andrefjesus, when they called you, did they just stated and insisted on the 4.3 article or were they open to discussion?

                    Does creating multiple developer accounts solve this problem?

                      • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                        KMT Level 8 Level 8 (9,930 points)

                             >Does creating multiple developer accounts solve this problem?

                         

                        Two different things. One is apps that are made via a template or app generator(4.3 design), the other is a Developer Program account that belongs to the content owner.

                         

                        Simply moving to an owned account won't help if the app is still made using a template/generator (4.3 design), etc. When both are an issue w/review, both have to be dealt with separately, I think.

                         

                             > Each one want an individual App

                         

                        That's where owned accounts come in. You can still do your thing as a dev, regarless of who owns the account.

                          • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                            Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (355 points)

                            Someone suggested to me awhile ago (not a dev) to persue this (make a template and use it to generate an app for many companies in the same business). I never did it because I didn't think Apple would allow it. I don't know though how I feel about it (being for or against it).

                             

                            If you create a system, say as an example for pizza places to allow customers to order food from your app, and sell it to 10 different pizza places, it would be foolish for the developer to not create a program to spit out a template.  In other cases, like re-skinning the same game 110 times and resubmitting it to the App Store, I can understand Apple's argument. Not really sure how the rule is being applied. But in the case of the pizza plac ex, my first guess would be that Apple wants to collect a $100 dev fee from all the pizza places instead of having a single dev. account host all the apps? Should be pennies to them though.

                              • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                KMT Level 8 Level 8 (9,930 points)

                                     >Should be pennies to them though.

                                 

                                Yes and no, I think...

                                 

                                One owned account with, say 100 apps, vs. 100 owned accounts is $99 vs. $9,900...pennies, sure.

                                 

                                Now extend that out to 1000 devs... That's $99k vs. $9.9 mil.

                                 

                                Given the number of devs in the store these days, I'd expect at least 1000 are on the bubble right now over this.

                                 

                                Like most things, when the numbers were smaller, so was the attention. USD$10 mil is not something investors would be happy to hear being left on the table , but it's not that simple. I doubt Apple expects a 1-1 jump in accounts, but there are also gains to be made by cutting back on spam, from review workload to server and backbone capacity. More accounts in any number brings in more money...less junk being thrown at the store saves money. I have no doubt every penny in or out is a factor, and this latest purge is all about trimming the sails in today's winds of change - a very normal business practice.

                                  • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                    PBK Level 6 Level 6 (2,255 points)

                                    I actually think that Apple is solving one issue while creating another.  I think they are trying to make a device's Apps more compact.  For example, if I regularly attend the local stadium for events, I would want a single stadium app that has multiple events in it.  I don't want to download a new app for each event and have it sit in my iTunes Account for years and years, or worse, on my device.  Same thing with my local grocery stores - I'd like one app that lets me see the three local stores.  Therefore Apple invoked this rule.  But they did not differentiate, in the rule, different oganizations that would not spam my device - for example Barber Shops in a location 100's of miles away.

                                      • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                        KMT Level 8 Level 8 (9,930 points)

                                              >while creating another

                                         

                                        I suspect Apple considers it 'creative disruption', frequently used where the goal is to tear down/clear away the existing, so that a new foundation can be built

                                         

                                        Good points - I tend to agree, thanks.

                                         

                                        Ken

                              • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                wagnerps Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                Same here.

                                 

                                I have some apps that have some similar functions, but the final user are different for every app. In the last days, i have made updates (bug fixes) to some of those apps. And 3 of 4 updates got rejected. This is frustrating.

                                • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                  imperatus Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                                  We also have the same issue. We strongly believe that Apple enforces this rule in good intention but in the wrong direction. Appstore is full of clones of low value and this seem to cause extreme burden to App Review Team and the whole ecosystem. The templated/white label industry though has a lot of great examples where it would not work otherwise:

                                   

                                  Example:

                                   

                                  Smart City Apps: Applications that are contracted to several municipalities throughout the world to offer e-services to citizens like complaints, parking payment, notifications for deadlines etc. These apps rely on robust backends with a lot of functionality and communication with the app. They cannot get consolidated (every city needs it's own identity, would be funny to combine cities in USA and Thailand and Ukraine for example in one app), and they will eventually share mostly the same code. Some functions may be available to some apps some to others, but essentiatlly they will have a lot of common ground. But each app will target extremely different people (each city's citizens), will not have any other app that actually copies it (is the only municipality app out there) and the developer that builds it will need to be able to massively push updates in order to keep all users (citizens - large number) satisfied. This app, would easily fall in 4.3 rules or even 4.2.6 just because it has 5-10 modules that do the same thing for different people.

                                   

                                  Restaurant Apps: For years now, there are 2 solutions regarding online food ordering: Marketplaces with large commissions and Stand Alone Apps for big companies that can afford them. Templating has given the ability to small restaurants to market their own business without the fear of losing clients due to competition. Their apps usually offer online ordering, history, offers, payment etc. Again, it would be silly to consider these apps "spam" just because they have the same architecture. They offer their services to completely different clientele, they market their app by themselves, they don't do keyword spam and most importantly they are used evey day by their users to order food. What better proof of value would anyone need? We don't speak for event apps that mey be launched only pre and on event dates and then get forgotten (while worthy events may get a lot of use even after that) but for a live system that constantly gets updated and provides a real service to users.

                                   

                                  I strongly believe that Apple did a mistake here. They want to have the best in quality, maybe the proposals that their consultants offered to their BoD were not good enough, maybe they did their math and feel that they will get much more by enforcing that than by going to a softer resolution, but causing so serious problems to a large number of businesses is not the way a partnership works. And it is a partnership. We give money to Apple in order to be able to provide our apps to users. We consider Apple a partner and so we need Apple to respect our business.

                                   

                                  Best

                                   

                                  Theodore B.

                                  Imperatus Ltd

                                    • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                      Mobifitness Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                      I completely agree with you. We at Mobifitness make  apps for fitness clubs and gyms. There are some companies that do the same and suffer from 4.2.6 and 4.3 as we do. Mindbody, Migymapp, Perfect Gym, Technogym (My Wellness Cloud), Yclients, etc. You can't make a consolidated app while your business model is b2b solutions but not lead generation. We have 200 apps now. Please Apple, take from us $20.000 annually and allow to stay within one account and publish the apps that help customers of gyms to communicate with their managers. Best regards. 

                                      • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                        servidoresbrasil Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                        Yes, they did a mistake here, but they are hard to see it and adjust. Is a kind of decision that they have taken and they think they can force everyone to accept it in the end, however the end result will not be what the developer wants to do and it is not what companies that hire developers want.

                                      • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                        brianm@MCLEOD Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                        Thank you.  We're in the same boat--dinged on 4.2.6 and 4.3.

                                         

                                        We make software for trucking companies.  Large trucking companies have their own app developers, accounts and marketing teams.  Small to mid-size companies don't, but want to be as competitive as the big guys or else they're toast.

                                         

                                        Our apps help those companies provide a level of service that their customers only expect from larger companies.  The last thing they want is to be forced into some container app that screams "we're not as good as the big guys!"

                                          • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                            imperatus Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                                            While still struggle to find a solution for 4.3, knowing that some Apple employees might look into these forums, we have some thoughts which I believe holds true to many of the businesses affected by 4.3 to share:

                                             

                                            1. Many of white label businesses are not only not-spamming the App Store but are serious enough to always keep their apps up-to-date, follow all the Human Interface Guidelines and make sure they always fix bugs
                                            2. Many of our businesses are not extremely interested for the App Store presence; We could still live with hosting our links directly to the App Store for our clients to download, we are not particularily interested for search, therefore we don't really care to spam.

                                            3. Each of our so-called "similar" apps may share a common flow (fleet management through a map with route details for brianm@MCLEOD, food ordering for our business etc) but the real service we offer is completely unique for each of our client and their end-customers. Unique products, unique offers, prices, stores, features (yes, features since not all stores allow e-payments, not all offer tracking through managed services etc, so features may vary from app to app) and they ony share a perfected flow which each of us has spent years in developing in order to make sure we offer each tiny detail in a way our clients want.

                                            4. If our business is to offer say online ordering apps to e-shops, in our business lifetime we may have 30 to 50 to 100 clients. This number is not big  enough to build a marketplace (a container app one would say) and also IS big enough to reach a point where you cannot offer 100 different apps from scratch (noone can do that).

                                            5. We are not doing damage to the App Store. A common game that has been copied, is targeting the same users as tha original trying to steal the developers' idea in order to profit. We don't. Our clients are unique and their apps are the only ones for them in the App Store. We also cannot keyword-spam the App Store since we are mostly using the names of our clients in different capitalizations to make sure they are going to be found.

                                            6. We are willing to suffer a big penalty (removal of our apps / account) if we are found to spam keywords.
                                            7. We now offer our services amputated. We release apps for Android, Web and other platforms (native) and when our clients ask about iOS we have to say what is happening and how our service has been crippled because of an App Store Review Guideline.

                                            8. We understand that App Review is a serious process for Apple and needs resources, but there are many white label apps that offer ordering in their functionalities and many of them also offer Apple Pay as a payment option. This can compensate a lot for the loss of revenue of free apps.

                                            9. Low quality apps, are actually rejected from the users themselves. They may get some downloads but will remain for a very limited amount of time in the end users' devices.

                                            10. There are many categories of apps where consolidation will work. Most of them are the ones that a developer tries to profit from them and create numerous copies to accumulate downloads, or apps that are useful only for a limited amount of time. Why isn't Apple focusing in these cases for consolidation?

                                            11. A Service Provider Program, much like the Enterprise Program would be a good idea for Apple after strict screening of businesses who want to join. Most of us are willing to pay a generous annual fee for such an account in order to keep our businesses running as we designed them to run.

                                            12. Why isn't Apple providing enough guide in order to help us comply? Serious businesses are willing to go to sensible depth and spend resources in order to be able to provide their services to our clients.

                                            13. Progressive Web Apps (which is one of the "options" provided by Apple) is not yet an option for iOS and mobile Safari.

                                             

                                            Working with Apple is a blessing and a curse, one great developer said to me a few days ago.

                                             

                                            Just my two (more) cents in that 4.3 thing.

                                              • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                                KMT Level 8 Level 8 (9,930 points)

                                                Interesting feedback, thanks, but until someone comes up with a supporting element that involves helping Apple to sell more hardware (what devs can do for apple, vs., what Apple can do for devs), those points only serve to outline why so many devs harbor misplaced expections, I think.

                                            • Re: 4.3 Design Spam (Suggestion for Apple)
                                              DylanXing Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                              We have the same experience, a large number of app in China because 4.3 was shelved or rejected, some developers commissioned a lawyer to appeal to the China State Administration for Industry and Commerce. I think Apple's abuse of the hands of the right to deprive developers and users of the right.