Why HyperBowl Is Not On Apple TV

The kerfuffle between Epic and Apple and Apple's insistence that everything they do is for the safety, privacy, and user experience of their customers brings back memories. They trot out that boilerplate every time someone argues with their app rejections (just with most of us small fry, it doesn't make the headlines).

For some reason, most of the media and customers unquestioningly buy that line, apparently forgetting this is a corporation. Remember, they have an army of reviewers, probably not experts in anything in particular (one reviewer rejected my app for a trademark infringement, and I said, you mean copyright? and the response was, yeah, that, though it was neither), and agendas both obvious (that 30% cut of in-app purchases) and unstated.

Like when they rejected a bunch of my app updates around the time of their disastrous Maps launch, citing the conveniently widely interpretable app approval guidelines section on having enough functionality. But they gave me the option of resubmitting with additional native iOS functionality integrated, "such as Maps." And this, by the way, is why Talk Dim Sum has a map feature. I was just trying to play it safe.

This is a typical sequence in their "Resolution Center" (it's the App Store equivalent of getting called to the principal's office). It accomplishes the hat trick of condescension, vagueness, and bureacracy.

When it gets to that point, I know it's over. There will be a phone call from an Apple rep relaying a message so insubstantive or ridiculous it can't be put into writing, like "Sorry, we can't approve it," or "We don't know what to say except start over from scratch."

I guess if I'd invested a lot of time and money specifically in getting HyperBowl launched on Apple TV, I would have felt obligated to knuckle under and display obeisance. Because another aspect of corporations is they will never admit they were wrong, which is why whenever you see Apple publicly reverse a rejection, it's after the developer "made the necessary changes."

Well, granted, I've experienced a couple of exceptions. I had one rejection for not having an app description, and I said yes there is, and they said, oops, sorry. And another time I got the dreaded phone call, but after rejecting my assertion that my selling HyperBowl lanes individually was not charging customers to level up, they said "We'll let it go this time." So magnanimous.

I still like developing for mobile devices, but now I try to stick to cross-platform tools (e.g. flutter) so I'm not locked in. And if don't have access to the widest audience, well, marketing was never my strong suit, anyway, and I get the most satisfaction from making apps that I like. If I have to work differently, that's what paying jobs are for.

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