Apple's App Store Policy Continues To Enrage

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple has raised more controversy among iPhone users after refusing to 'stock' a podcast utility in the iTunes Apps store. Apple says the feature simply duplicates iTunes itself, but critics say the firm is embarrassed that an outside programmer has produced a better service.

Alex Sokirynsky developed 'Podcaster' as a feature to help people download and listen to podcasts on their iPhones. He submitted it for distribution through the iTunes store in mid-August but Apple has now rejected the product. According to Sokirynsky, Apple told him "Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes." (Source:

Those who've used the software say this isn't the case as it offers several new features including the ability to wirelessly download new episodes of a podcast directly to your phone; with Apple's own software you have to download to your computer first, which isn't much use if you are on the move. Podcaster also lets you stream content from your computer to the phone without needing a wired connection.

Sorinsky is now selling his application to users privately using a system originally designed for developers to send planned applications to testers. The problem is that Apple has the ability to remotely disable any application. In theory this is only for security reasons (to stop rogue applications which carry viruses), but it's possible Apple could disable Podcaster for licensing reasons. (Source:

The situation highlights the ongoing confusion over Apple's policies as to what is and isn't acceptable in its Apps store, a system by which independent developers can sell applications through iTunes and get 70% of the proceeds. As we reported last month, some seemingly useful applications have been pulled from the store for no apparent reason, while a $999 screensaver somehow made it through the supposedly rigorous vetting process.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet