Another Popular Developer Lays The Smack Down On Apple's App Store

3709438002_021cb145181Another day, another story of Apple’s ridiculous App Store approval policies gone awry. Joe Stump, the former lead architect for Digg who is well known in the developer community, has posted an entirely NSFW rant to his blog that condemns Apple for preventing a key update to his application from going live for over six weeks. Stump’s language is quite colorful so I’m not going to quote it extensively, but be sure to read his full blog post.

In the post, Stump outlines a problem that he had with Chess Wars, the Facebook Connect-enabled chess game that came out in July. After catching a show-stopping bug soon after the initial release, his company Blunder Move promptly issued an update. Soon thereafter they noticed another bug, which they quickly released a fix for. Unfortunately, this second update has sat in App Store purgatory for many weeks now, and Apple has gone silent on when it will be approved.

Stump also describes his efforts to get his friends inside Apple to help his cause, going on to say that they’ve been able to do basically nothing other than tell him to contact Apple’s unhelpful team of app reviewers. Even once the update is approved, the app will have to endure the 1-star reviews it has received without any way to reverse them. Here’s how Stump closes out the blog post:

To our users affected by this, I’m truly sorry. There’s absolutely nothing I can do about your horrible user experience and, as a developer who loves his users, nothing pains me more.

To Apple, please kindly extend the world class customer service I’m so accustomed to as an Apple fanboy to your developers.

Update: Stump tells us that an Apple representative called him this morning (no doubt prompted by his blog post) to say that Chess Wars features a chat interface that looks too much like the native iPhone SMS client. This, of course, is totally ridiculous, as a number of other apps feature chat interfaces that look nearly identical (below I’ve embedded screenshots of Chess Wars and Facebook’s app, which was approved last week).

Other notable developers to have criticized the App Store’s policies include Panic co-founder Steven Frank, and Joe Hewitt, who is charged with building the enormously popular Facebook iPhone app.