It's OK to post an iPhone app that guides users to (legal) marijuana suppliers, but it's not OK to post a goofy little app that turns the iPhone into a simulated pot pipe. What's the difference? Beats me, but it's becoming clearer and clearer that Apple's App Store ayatollahs are way too heavy handed and need to lighten up. They are hurting consumers, developers, and ultimately, the company they're supposed to protect.
By itself, the fate of Bong is not a big deal, obviously. But Apple's heavy-handed management of the App Store is. Back in July, Apple pushed the reject button on a series of Google Voice-related apps for the iPhone. (Apple claims it didn't reject them, just that is has not accepted them as yet. I don't see a real difference.) And just as egregious is the failure of Apple to come up with a procedure that allows developer's to fix and replace buggy code in their apps in a timely manner.
[ There are many worthwhile productivity apps you won't find at the App Store. See "21 apps Apple doesn't want on your iPhone." ]
Bug fixes? We don't need no stinking bug fixes
In the last few weeks I've spoken to nearly a dozen developers who complained about the bug-fix problem. I'm going to withhold their names because they fear retaliation from the Apple ayatollahs.
The stories I heard are all pretty similar. You spend weeks sweating through Apple's initial approval process, which can take many weeks. Sure, developers would like to get approval faster, but most understand that Apple does need to screen apps, particularly for technical flaws that could freeze the iPhone or impair battery life. It's a matter of protecting the iPhone brand, which has become one of Apple's crown jewels. And to be fair, the App Store already has more than 65,000 apps, so the volume of work is staggering.