This post from Markos Charatzas about the permanent rejection of his app, Windmill (which I linked to in Issue 351) has been generating quite a bit of discussion this week.

First and foremost, it's always heartbreaking to hear that someone has put their heart and soul into an app, only to have it rejected during review and my sympathy is definitely with Markos after reading his story.

The bigger issue he is raising is what I want to talk about today though. I wasn't surprised at all to when I read that Windmill was rejected. No matter whether the app bides by the letter of the App Store Guidelines or not, I think the deal breaker is as simple as it getting close to appearing to be an alternative method of distribution outside of TestFlight and the App Store.

From day one, the App Store being the only choice for app distribution has been a critical part of Apple's strategy. They have also never conceded any ground on this, unless you count acquiring and integrating TestFlight as a slight concession. Which I don't.

I don't think Apple have anything against Windmill specifically, and they are not trying to stop it from existing. They’re just saying they won’t distribute it through the App Stores. It's fine to disagree with that decision, but I think it's wrong to be surprised by it. I also hope Markos continues with development of it outside the App Store, as I like the idea.

I also wouldn't read much, if anything into the sub-issue here of Apple taking a stance that apps that use the Xcode Command Line Tools are only meant to be used by developers in-house. I think that's probably something an individual reviewer wrote, rather than any official policy. I'd separate that out from the wider issue until there's more evidence to back it up.

Dave Verwer  




Business and Marketing


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