Apple Needs to Learn to Communicate

Posted by Jeff Scott on August 8th, 2008

Things are getting crazy and are just going to get much worse before Apple opens up a little. Apple, a traditionally very closed company, communication wise, should have learned a little something from the Mobile Me fiasco. It should realize that with it's increased reach comes increased need for open communication. People need to know that Apple isn't being evil. That's getting harder and harder to defend by Apple zealots.

The App Store has been a constant source for thoughts on this since well before it opened. The questions have always existed on how applications will get approved. And now, as applications continue to disappear from the App Store for unknown reasons, unknown even to the developers, it's looking more and more like Apple has, once again, not thought through the process. First it was Mobile Me, now it's the App Store that's giving Apple issue.

Apple needs to open up. They need to explain, at least to the developers, why an application is removed from the store. They need to do this immediately when the app is removed. They need to do this explicitly -- they just can't say terms of use violation. They need to provide specifics. They also need to provide a contact, a real human, that the developer can work with to resolve the problem.

Then, they need to explain to users who have bought an application when it gets removed. We, as users need to know if an application was removed for a security reason. We need to know if we need to remove the application because it will send out our address book over a non-secured connection.

Apple also needs to explain to developers who have applications still sitting in the approval queue why they haven't been approved. There are some developers whose applications have been in queue for over a month. No communication as to why.

Apple, it's time to open a dialog with your users. Not just once a year at WWDC - though that seems more one sided. This needs to be ongoing, open, approachable. If not, the massively positive user opinion will take a huge nose-dive and Apple will be thought of in the same terms as Microsoft.

Posted in: News
Tagged With: App store, Communication, Evil
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