Apple has finally given the final word on their app store guidelines.
Well, not final. They can still do whatever they want to do.
But for many in the iOS development realm, it's nice to receive some clarification on what they are looking for, as well as to understand why there are so many hiccups in the approval process.
As part of their public statement, Apple was quoted as saying "We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don't need any more Fart apps."
As the developer of the now world-famous iFart Mobile, I have some thoughts on this.
A columnist from the San Jose Mercury News today asked me if I was offended that Apple singled out the niche that my app fell into.
I laughed because I love the attention.
But it made me realize a few things.
First of all, iFart is the world's best-selling app of it's kind. But due to our success, there has been an avalanche of copycat apps attempting to capitalize on our name.
In fact, a number of competitor's apps have blatantly used the same name as ours!
We were without a doubt the first to use the name "iFart", but Apple is Switzerland when it comes to legal disputes.
So unless I want to chase down other app makers for damages, I have to let their copycat apps coexist with mine.
And check this out. One app has been so blatant as to rip off our FART names!
Here's an original screen shot of iFart Mobile...
... and here's a screen shot from Fart Machine for iPad from the creative minds at Hurryforward Ltd. I have circled every name that is lifted from iFart Mobile.
We report. You decide.
Here's the bottom line.
No other fart app has even come close to our success.
In fact, iFart is the only app that has consistently remained in the Top 100 of the Entertainment category since the app was released.
So what do I propose?
I agree that there is no need for more fart apps.
In fact, I think there are way too many.
Given the fact that the majority don't sell at all, and combined with the fact that other apps have copied our name AND our intellectual property, perhaps it would make sense for Apple to kick redundant apps out of the appstore.
I could see eliminating all but the top three to five apps in any novelty genre. It would probably clean up a good 25% or so of the appstore.
I'm not trying to stifle competition. Apple has said they don't want any more fart apps.
They also don't need any more iBeer apps... or fish pond apps.
But if a developer does something truly revolutionary in an already-crowded arena, I would encourage Apple to take a look and see if it is truly new and improved. If so, approve it regardless of whether or not there are similar apps.
I guess what we are looking for is a raised bar in the quality of apps.
Yes, I see the irony in my own comments.
But there is a huge difference in iFart which has a a clever interface with multiple original features and a plain old fart sound board with a generic interface.
I'm glad Apple has come out with their guidelines. You can read more about them at Engadget.com.