Appsfire dumps iPhone App store after 2 month wait for update

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Apple’s iPhone app store approval process is famed for its inconsistencies, but today the developer of a popular iPhone app has had enough.

Appsfire, an app for discovering popular iPhone apps, was approved in its version 1.0 form last August, but after two months its version 2.0 has not been approved, despite repeated calls by the startup to Apple, they claim.

In an excoriating blog post today, founder Ouriel Ohayon effectively accuses Apple of not approving its latest update because Apple wants to keep discoverability to itself:

“Your approval process is full of holes; you have approved Appsfire v1.0 last August and wished you hadn’t because almost no one had any real clue about discoverability issues back then – indeed, we were the very first to address this issue in an app. Now you know what’s at stake, so you’ve locked-down every aspect of the SDK ToS. Which is probably why you wouldn’t write anything to us for 56 days re: Appsfire v2.0, despite our numerous calls, emails, and high level contacts (period during which you had no problem approving similar apps). Was your intent to shut us down by playing the waiting game until the legal team had caught up? The problem remains, in fact we don’t even know what the problem might be since you are not talking to us.”

He says they are pulling out because v1.0 is outdated and not serving its users.

“Anyways, you know full well that an app that does not get updated has a half-life of two days, and that the App Store has too many (fart/cheat/book/udid) apps anyways. Let’s prune the apple tree (couldn’t resist, sorry). Steve, please update your slides. It’s now 225k − 1!”

They’ll now be considering out-of-store alternatives.

What do you think, are they right to pull out? Leave your views in the comments.

  • djtoon

    that what they do with flash apps in the store
    that are stuck in approval twilight zone :)

    sucks but thats why im an android fan boy :)

    • mel

      Just like all the apps before this, nothing is so sure with a draconian company like Apple.

      Perhaps, if you’ll plead with Apple, your App might got a shot like the iFart.

      • webhosting vergleich

        the iFart App rocks! haha

  • Hillel Fuld

    Yes, they are right. Ouriel made an AWESOME product and there is NO reason Apple should run such a tight show. The app should have been approved along with many other apps, such as Tawkon that tells you of your phone’s radiation. This Apple dictatorship has gotten out of hand. Good luck Ouriel.

    • Krugeri

      @Hillel – “This Apple dictatorship has gotten out of hand.”

      While I am generally loathed to support a perceived “dictatorship” of any kind… I am curious as to what about the Apple’s App Store led you to think it was a democracy?

    • Brian

      For the benefit of us who do not know what AppsFire is, could somebody please summarize what it does, and why it is better or different to the standard app store?

  • Ashutosh

    Apple making app developer unhappy… gain for Android??
    What your thought… :-)

  • Niv

    I surely hope AppsFire re-releases through Cydia and dare use undocumented API calls for better usability.
    It’s an amazing app, and being able to use it without the desktop-iTunes sync process would benefit all users.

    • Snitzelglobin in liederhozen

      Au revoir big O, your appsfire has been extinguished. No worries, nobody would have used it anyway. Next time just come up with a better idea.

  • Jeff Ballweg

    Ohayon is right to pull his app. The economics of losing quality apps like AppsFire from the store are the only real tool developers have to force Apple’s hand. Difficult as it may be, Apple takes a big cut from apps, and if Steve weren’t able to boast 225k apps he wouldn’t be selling so many phones.

  • Nader

    There are two other discovering apps that are still available in the AppStore. Apple haven’t rejected the updates of those, so i believe the Updated Appsfire rejection is not because what the developer claims.
    Which means Apple have no problem with approving descovering Apps

    • Ouriel Ohayon


      Appsfire v2.0 was NOT rejected. It is just not treated.

      Apple does not have a problem indeed with discovery. It has a problem communicating with us

      • Tom

        What does “not treated” mean?

      • Ouriel Ohayon

        answering emails and getting out app reviewed (we know it was tested, but for some reason we have no feedback)

      • Don

        Not processed, I guess

      • RattyUK

        “We know it was tested”

        If you know Apple tested it then perhaps you were using some kind of analytics to discover this – which we know Apple have banned hence the Google / Admob histrionics yesterday.

      • Nick


        Apple tells you when your app is waiting for review vs. actively being tested

      • Kevin

        Ouriel –

        At the risk of starting a flame war. Come on over to Android. While there is already some competition from, I am sure you would quickly gain a significant portion of the market share. I have to imagine that much of your backend database structure could be reworked without too much effort to work with Android apps.

  • Appsfire Removes iPhone App After 2 Months Wait

    […] but still reading news like this is not good for the public image of the App Store.[via TechCrunch]Subscribe to our RSS feeds. You can also follow our official Twitter account @macstoriesnet.Share […]

  • jdmlouis

    I absolutely love how there are so very many nearly-fraudulent joke apps (the phone number/GPS trackers, the fingerprint readers, the weight scales; none of which actually work, nor could ever work) as well as a plethora of apps whose sole purpose is to make gunshot and fart sounds, yet Apple will suddenly stall or outright deny access to the App Store for any app that adds REAL VALUE to the platform.

    * When I say “love”, you know I’m being sarcastic, right?

    • Erin

      Have you seen the Android Market lately? It’s the dumping ground for useless apps that would never make it into the App Store.

  • Erik Giberti

    While I agree that Apple’s communication stinks here, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. This isn’t the first and won’t likely be the last developer left wanting. Apple controls the platform, like it or not. It has been clear from day 1 that Apple will do what’s best for Apple. Anyone who develops on a platform has to play by the owner of the platform’s rules. It’s true of Facebook as well.

  • Michael

    Remember when Steve Jobs said during D8 that developers would run to the media to get their couple minutes of fame when they have problems with the store? This sounds exactly like that, and like he said, Apple can’t just go and say stop or say what really happened.

    • Ouriel Ohayon

      This is the type of PR we would prefer to save to ourselves and instead spend our time making users happy about finding great apps they will download and use in the app store.

      • Nader

        Sorry for misunderstanding, but its this part of Mike’s post that led me to believe the new App update is rejected because Apple wanted to keep the discoverbility to its self
        “In an excoriating blog post today, founder Ouriel Ohayon effectively accuses Apple of not approving its latest update because Apple wants to keep discoverability to itself”

    • Derek Scruggs

      You say “run to the media” like that’s bad somehow.

      Steve Jobs said that at a *media event.*

  • Yan

    My suggestion to you is very simple “move on to Android”

    • ZJK

      & move to Cydia as well.

  • mj

    I think there’s an excellent opportunity for a ‘HTML5’ offering here. I have to wonder what required it to be a native app in the first place.

    • Charles de Galle

      What required it, is no more than some opportunistic schmucks trying to make money on Apple’s hard earned back, and Techcrunch at every turn willing to trash Steve Jobs for the sake of some twinkie ethnic buddies of his.

      Hey boys. Why don’t you sell your native app for the Crunchpad? Idiots.

      • SH

        Your ignorance precedes you. With out these so called “opportunistic schmucks” the iPhone would be another blip on the cell phone road map.

      • Charles de Galle

        Fuck off retard. This is not an app. It’s an attempt to hijack the store. What. McDonalds is supposed to let some asshole come into their store and sell Burgerking shit on a separate menu. Just go fuck youself and you infantile, Arrington-coddling logic.

      • Kwyjibo

        “opportunistic schmucks trying to make money on Apple’s hard earned back”

        No, it’s a developer providing a better solution than Apple. If Apple did work hard, then this would be unnecessary.

      • Derek Scruggs

        “McDonalds is supposed to let some asshole come into their store and sell Burgerking shit on a separate menu”

        Apple still gets all the revenue anyway. If Burger King were driving more revenue to McDonald’s in the process, McDonald’s would roll out the red carpet.

        The only asshole here is the one who calls people who disagree with him a retard.

  • Alten

    Come on Michael, SJobs is first and foremost a marketing genius. His statement on running to the media was an obvious calculated comment/excuse for what Apple is really doing, pointing the finger at everyone else but themselves. He’s the new Jim Jones of the tech industry with his zombie fan boys drinking the apple flavored cool aid. Sad thing is I like the stuff they are making, but jobs and Apples business practices are turning me off from buying. If SJobs was not so successful in his current gig, he’d obviously be in politics, being they game apple is playing is not different in how big gov’t plays these days. Say what folks want to hear enough times and eventually they will believe it, the truth doesn’t matter anymore, only perception does.

    • Intosh

      I agree 100% .

      Apple products are good. But I don’t agree with its business practices and all that BSing from its emperor. I really don’t wanna see a company practicing Big Brother-like control dominate a market.

  • Alok Saboo @ TruVoIPBuzz

    This is not an isolated incidence, several developers have been on the receiving end of Apple’s policies. The problem (up until recently) was that there was no credible alternative to the iPhone platform. Developers could easily hope to become “millionaires” selling fart apps on iTunes.

    With the growth of Android, developers have a good alternative and I am hoping that they make the switch to Android to send a strong message to Apple. Apple is a control freak and something that should not be tolerated in current times.

    That, by the way, is one reason for me to not buy the iPad from Apple.

  • Nader

    Sorry for misunderstanding, but its this part of Mike’s post that led me to believe the new App update is rejected because Apple wanted to keep the discoverbility to its self
    “In an excoriating blog post today, founder Ouriel Ohayon effectively accuses Apple of not approving its latest update because Apple wants to keep discoverability to itself”

  • whoindatgarden

    Unfortunately you are dealing with one of the Oligarchs so this is par for the course.
    If you and the rest of the folks who are so angry with Apple etc then show it by boycotting their products, that aint happening cuz most consumers have no ability nor desire to resist, most operate as an automaton. Good luck to these folks getting their app working in another mode…

  • Charles de Galle

    Too bad. Go make your own app store if you don’t like it. Apple doesn’t owe you jack shit.

    • Tom

      Seriously, go fuck yourself.

      • Charles de Galle

        In the meantime buddy, I’ll just seriously just fuck you up. Where do you want to meet, shitface?

      • Kwyjibo

        You won’t fuck anyone up, because you’re too busy taking Steve’s cock up front, and Gruber’s from behind. We all know you’re loving it though, and we’re cool with that.

        Yeah, it’s Apple’s system, and they can do what they want. And what they want to do, is ignore an app which does something that Apple are too lazy to do themselves.

      • Kwyjibo

        lol Charles, you don’t even have a consistency about you. I wanted to see what else you’d been posted, it you’ve only just turned up, or switched to this identity.

        Can’t wait to see what identity you use tomorrow! Excelsior!

      • Derek Scruggs

        Let’s meet at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA. Bring your iTampon.

    • RetardBoys should be shot

      its just a shame how easily you dismiss efforts made by others

  • J

    It is getting harder and harder to support Jobs and his Apple Gestapo.

  • Juan Bernabó

    Isn’t this the case of the whole iphone apps development community and end users join to consider developing an open alternative for the iTunes Store?

    They are completely screwing up the asset they had on developer confidence, now they themselves are creating very bad feelings in that community that will be transformed into less support and probably an anti-apple appeal.

  • Ron H

    you think Jobs would have learned his lesson when he essentially destroyed his chances for the Mac of the early days to succeed. Instead, Microsoft opened it up and look where their Windows OS is today–still well over 90% of desktops.

    • Krugeri

      …and Apple is a bigger and equally profitable company. Your point?

      When will you folks realize the Apple is playing for profit not market share? Sure they want marketshare insomuch as it impacts profitability.

      People looking for correlation with the Mac/PC wars to validate their current disdain for Apple are missing Apple’s larger strategic approach.

      This is not to say that what they are doing is right, it just annoys me when people drag the Mac/PC analogy out to warn of Apple’s doom.

      • Intosh

        Equally profitable?

        MS 2009 net income was ~$14B. Apple 2009 net income was ~$6B.

        You’re one clueless Apple fanboy.

      • Krugeri


        According to financial reporters, as of the last reporting quarter Apple revenue is $1 billion behind Microsoft, while net income trails by a little less, about $940 million. Many analysts think Apple will soon past MS in revenue.

        It has been well documented that Apple’s market cap is now larger than MS’s cap.

        Additionally, MS and Apple lead in cash reserves for public companies at about $39-40B USD each. Apple is behind MS by half a billion.

        You are one clueless Apple hater.

      • ZJK
  • fahad

    this conceded attitude of apple and their self-praise for being the flag bearers of the future is total bull crap.

    .. i hope google doesnt get their foot in their ass like apple anytime soon so android is the alternative (for now)

  • Appmarket

    GO APPLE GO! Bury yourself!

    Apple Building Walled Garden Around iPhone and iPad Applications for Ad Market

    Apple has set out new developer terms that look to prohibit application developers from using advertising services from Google and its recently acquired subsidiary AdMob.

    • Krugeri

      And consumers should care, why?

      Not trying to be belligerent, but I am trying to see how this impacts their average consumer so much so that they run, disgusted, from Apple’s products.

      Sorry, I see a lot of sturm und drang from geeks like us on these boards but Apple is still printing their own money with iPhone and iPad… and my guess is that iPhone 4 sells more faster than before.

      • Intosh

        It’s an ecosystem, it needs apps/developers and users/consumers. If a significant number of developers find that better business can be done elsewhere (Android, Nokia, etc.) then ultimately, the consumers lose.

        You gotta be extremely shortsighted or a blind fanboy not to see this.

      • Krugeri


        Apple is gaining more developers than losing them. Check out the WWDC and the numbers of developers signing up with Apple. Their ecosystem is fine. Mostly because it is massive… and growing. Remember that iOS is on phone, music players, and tablets. At last count 100 million devices.

        Smart developers will pay attention to those numbers.

        You seem to think that once Android becomes substantially bigger than iOS that developers will leave in mass. You’re an idiot and a horrible business man.

        When I can make $5M a year with Andoid, and only $2 million a year on iOS … let me tell you that make bank will see me depositing $7m. You’re blinded by an irrational hatred of Apple not to see that. Money made is money made.

        Only odd little fanboys like you think this is either or and not both. Wow.

      • Derek Scruggs

        What Intosh said. Apple may be making lots of money now, but the phone market is much, much more volatile than PCs because the switching costs are not nearly as high.

        Remember the Razr? It sold more than twice as many units as the iPhone.

      • Krugeri

        So you want to compare a single product like Razr, built by poorly run company with one product, to one of the most financially sound and managed companies on Earth… one with a diverse portfolio of products?

        Do I have that right?

        And they say Apple fanboys are ridiculous.

  • Simon

    I guess AppsFire is unhappy because of their own failure to design a good business. There apps brings close to zero value, is based on somebody else plateform enteriely and clearly from day one breaks Apple ToS. No wonder they are angry. But why blame it on Apple ?

    • Kwyjibo

      Their app was well received and provided value.

      If it broke Apple’s ToS, then it would never have been approved. And this latest one would be insta-rejected instead of being left in Limbo.

      And yes, building your business around the Appstore is a failure. But that’s not exactly good for Apple either.

    • Derek Scruggs

      So let the business fail on the merits. Apple is giving them the runaround and not even letting them test it in the marketplace.

  • Brandon Kirkland

    I’m wondering when the Apple-Tards will wake up and get it.

    Big Brother Steve owns you, so apple fans quit whining, you knew the score when you bathed in the sun of the walled garden.

    Apple OWNS you. How does it feel to be locked in, owned and to never be free while under the -my way or the highway- attitude of your owner?

    • Krugeri

      You not only failed to add anything of value to the conversation… you actually took value away from it. That’s striking.

      Try forming an original critique.

  • Simon

    @brandon : exactly ! Build and create your own platform or do not complain anytime you can’t force the platform owner to agree with you.

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