Archive for the ‘Criticism’ Category

Strange sectioning of regions for app sales

moneyI love my job, it’s probably the best I’ve ever had: Designing and developing after my fancy, sending to Apple, receiving the money from Apple. It’s a comfortable way to bring the own work to customers worldwide.

The only thing  for what I don’t see the fun of it is the way Apple is arranging the regions for app sales. Possibly Apple, as an US corporate, has another view of the world as is. I would have divided the world into the sales regions: USA, Europe, Asia, South America and rest of the world (for all countries with lower sales).

How is Apple dividing the world to pay the developers? Ok, we have the US of course as the most important market and we have Europa as another huge and important region. But why there’s a single financial report for the UK? While I can understand to put asian countries into the financial report “Rest of world” I don’t see a reason for having a single report for Japan, a market which isn’t that important for applications made in English or European languages. And does Apple believe in a huge importance for sales for countries like Australia and Canada or because of what reason both have its own financial report?

You might wonder why I’m complaining about financial reports for Japan, Australia, Canada and (a little bit) UK? That’s just because Apple is paying not until 250 US-$ has been sold within a concrete region. My earnings for the month of August have been for Australia  25.04 AUD (21.73 US-$), for Canada 25.9 CAD (23.69 US-$) and for Japan 2,018 Yen (22.51 US-$). So as a developer you have to wait a lot of months until you’ll get money for that “tiny” (in a matter of app sales) regions.
That might be because of different currencies. But you have also a lot of different currencies in “Rest of World”. It wouldn’t be a problem to calculate all sales and therefore earnings in the currency US-$. The result would be that a developer would receiving the whole earnings per month and not only a part of it. So Apple, please reconsider that, thanks in advance!

iTunes Connect still a pain in the neck

itunesI’m a huge fan(atic) of everything Apple is publishing, I swear! I love my iMac, my MacBook, my iPod Touch, my other iPods and above all my iPhone. I also love the software products by Apple, iLife, iWork and all the other stuff … BUT:
I’ve never seen a piece of technology that bad like iTunes Connect (ITC)! This tool is still a pain in the neck, gosh!

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with ITC, because isn’t working as a developer and therefore isn’t in struggle with it, I’ll give a short description of what it is:
First it’s just a website, accessible  for registered iPhone developers. Within ITC a developer can look at his daily or monthly earnings and he can manage his application. Every app in the App Store has to be submitted with all informations and files within this special part of ITC.

And every time one has to submit an app or an update it has to bee via ITC. That means in practice the same as wasting precious time. Because ITC is either slow or not reacting at all! At the moment I’m trying to resubmit the rejected Super Trumps game with steam engines after it has been rejected because of a bug with an AdMob advertisement. No chance! One might think that at the moment it is a good time for using ITC, because at a time of 2-3 pm CET the US is still sleeping and there won’t be overmuch users in there. It’s also not a problem of a slow internet connection, I’m surfing at 32 MBit/sec! Simple changes are working, but when uploading a binary, a couple of screenshots or when adding a new language within localization the problems are big ones.

At times ITC is reacting, even if it’s slow. Then I am trying to resubmit the binary of our app again. Everything works slow, but fine. I then click on “Save changes” to finish the procedure … and then nothing happens for minutes until the browser is beefing about the impossibility to reach the web page. After that ITC isn’t reacting for minimum 30 minutes. I found out that it helps to change the browser! So I permanently  switch between Apple’s Safari and Firefox. Generally: I am struck that ITC is working a little bit faster within Firefox but that is just subjective.

So, listen beloved Apple: Please, I beg you, give us developers with constantly pressure of time a new tool to manage our apps for the App Store, I’m begging you on my knees! If it isn’t possible to do so with a simple website why you won’t develop a tool within Xcode? So a developer could manage his apps within the tool where he’s also developing the stuff: Make a distribution build, make screenshots, upload the binary, submit the necessary app description, keywords and all the other stuff. I can’t believe that this would be a huge problem for a creative company.
At the moment only praying will help …

Suffering from modus operandi of reviewer team

The last 48 hours we had a lot of “fun”, caused by the app reviewer team at Apple. The over-worked folk in the review team won’t harm us intentionally, of course not. But their actions have caused much stress:

  1. They published the version 1.4 of our Super Trumps to the App Store, *although* there is a major problem. The result: 142 customers, who downloaded the update, can now play only the lite version and are nerved by a dialog, stating that they are using a piracy copy … they are not!
    We have immediately  removed the app from store and distributed a new version. Now we’re hoping that the reviewer team will review this non-faulty version as soon as possible.
  2. The recent update of our Super Trumps Aircrafts has been rejected, because “it violates section 3.3.6 of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement”. When a game has ended the received points are automatically submitted to our online high score list. Apple wants that a user is informed before his data is collected and send elsewhere. Strange that Apple hasn’t moaned about that missing information before. We’ve done so since the first release of Super Trumps in April … we’ve been doing so with every Super Trumps app and with all versions. Why complaining only now?
    We have already send an update for all our Super Trumps apps to Apple reviewer team with an intermediate step: After the game has ended the user can decide whether to submit the received score to the online highscore or not.
  3. Because I’ve been always a great fan of Michael Jackson (I’ve seen him live at his “Bad” tour in Nuremberg in the late 80’s!) and I’ve been shocked by his early death we have developed a Super Trumps app with hit singles by The King of Pop. Already 5 days (!) after submission to reviewer team I got a message with the following content:

    “Your application, Supertrumpf Michael Jackson, is requiring unexpected additional time for review.   We apologize for the delay, and will update you with further status as soon as we are able.
    Thank you for your patience.”

    Yes, thanks! Hmmm, a “additional time for review” for what reason? Because hundreds of developers have submitted a Michael Jackson Remembrance app? Because Apple wants to avoid that developers make big bucks (and also Apple, 30%!) with his death, because that would be impious? Because Apple is frightened that these apps might contain proprietary material?
    I hope that it’s because of reason one!

Phew, a lot to accept within about 10 hours … but we won’t give up but going on with the struggle. Dear Apple, please professionalize your app reviewer team and extend the team as soon as possible! A lot of developers all over the world would be thankful for that professionalization.