Microsoft’s $8.5 billion proposed acquisition of Skype is one step closer to being a done deal today, with regulators officially giving the Redmond based software giant the green light to proceed with its merger plans. The deal has been stuck in regulatory limbo since it was announced in May, however analysts almost universally agreed that it was unlikely to raise many red flags given how competitive the VOIP space is these days.
It’s no secret that the approval process for iPhone apps is a little ridiculous at times. Apple is totally aware of that, though. So they’ve decided to make the whole process just a tiny bit more transparent. When app developers log into the Dev Center site, they will see a new area for status updates. Apps will be listed as “waiting for review”, “in review”, or “ready for sale”.
You don’t have to look far on the web to find a developer with a heartbreaking story of how they poured their savings into making an app, only to have it held in limbo for weeks or months. While the new policy doesn’t necessarily do anything about the actual delays, devs will at least know where in the process it’s held up.
For its part, Apple claims that 96% of iPhone apps are approved in less than two weeks. Now that we know that a lot of those apps are just repackaged eBooks, that figure seems less impressive. The closed nature of the App Store hasn’t hurt its growth so far. Should Apple even be worried about the process?
Sure, Apple’s app store has been known to make its fair share of senseless moves, but this one just about nears the top of the list. Recently they rejected Maza Digital’s Drivetrain, an app that would allow users to control the Transmission Bittorrent client from anywhere. Why? Because those that use it are infringing upon rights, of course!
Apple’s reason for denying the app was because “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights.” So, while there are millions of legal torrents available and it’s quickly become one of the most popular ways to download files, those that use it are (and I’m paraphrasing here) criminal.
Well, at least you can still get Ze Frank’s free iPhone app. I wonder if they’ll try to deny it too?