After nearly 3 months on the App Store, we received a very short phone call from Apple. Submit an update of Sketchshare without Game Centre functionality or the App will be removed from the store, you have 2 days to comply. So two days to attempt to implement a Game Center alternative complete with VoIP or remove the sharing functionality from existing Sketchshare users. Neither option was really viable and so 2 days later Apple removed it from Sale.
Sketchshare is the same app as it was in February. We have been working on an update to include Retina support amongst other features, but we have submitted no new code. So we’re wondering why was it allowed through the submission process in the first place. Submission seemed pretty thorough – we were asked to remove the background mode, they suggested that adding voice chat would help us retain this function. Explaining that Sketchshare already included voice chat seemed to add further confusion so we opted for losing the background mode.
It was released into the app store and we appeared in New and Noteworthy in many countries, in the UK we were Apple’s iPad App of the Week. We had very positive and enthusiastic support from our peers and from Sketchshare users, and some fantastic reviews. It’s been great watching people like Paul Kercal collaborate with others and share the results.
Other than Apple/the Banks and Oil companies, the rest of the us are facing a certain degree of uncertainty in our day to day lives. For the independent developer, decisions like this with no time to address the issue totally undermine confidence in the App store. Fortunately, in this case we are our own clients, but what can we really offer external clients? Without knowing the rules, how can we develop iOS solutions with any confidence?
Add to this confusion the alleged removal of apps that use Dropbox for storage. Apple seem to be pushing developers towards using iCloud over any third party solutions. Sketchshare on the other hand is being ejected from an Apple API towards implementing a third party solution. Are we going to be pushed back the other way next year? Who knows.
With the level of confusion and uncertainty surrounding the app store, coupled with competition from the large software companies that were noticeably absent during the early days, the App store no longer offers a realistic means of earning a reliable living anymore.
At least cocos2d-x means supporting multiple platforms isn’t quite the headache it was 2 years ago, just hoping we can get the app working across the other platforms before Apple release their own version 😉