Apple has begun rejecting apps that use the Dropbox SDK to provide integration with the cloud storage service, reports TheNextWeb. Apple’s reason for the rejections; Someone could find a way to get to Dropbox’s website and pay for additional storage without Apple getting their normal 30% cut of the action.
Dropbox has attempted to fix the problem by removing links that allow getting to the website and would allow the purchase of additional storage, but the rejections just keep coming. Dropbox now says they’re working on a more satisfactory solution to the problem, and will announce more information on the issue next week.
At first glance, this is a simple issue. Dropbox knew about the App Store rule requiring all subscriptions or purchases for an app to go thru that app so Apple can wet its beak with its required 30% off the top. They broke the rule, and now Dropbox and all the developers that use the Dropbox SDK for their app have to deal with the fallout.
Yet, the rejections highlight a problem with Apple’s App Store approval process that have long been a thorn in the side of developers. It has been 5 years since the introduction of the App Store, and the review and approval process is still, for some, confusing and unfair. There are numerous apps available in the App Store that have Dropbox integration, and we can assume they probably use the same Dropbox SDK as the apps that are currently being rejected.
It’s that last sentence that causes consternation for many developers. There doesn’t seem to be consistent standards for apps across the numerous reviewers Apple employs to verify an app’s readiness for the App Store. What might be rejected by one reviewer could be termed perfectly acceptable by another.
While Apple cracks down on “problems” like the Dropbox issue, it seems to let other problem child apps go directly to the App Store. Apps that seem like they’d be obvious candidates for rejection, (obvious intellectual property rights violations, and those that are designed to cheat users out of money,) slip through and make it on to the Store.
Developers and users mostly just wanted to be treated fairly. It’s the Goose and the Gander theory. If it’s good enough for you, then it’s good enough for me. Human review will always be needed for situations such as the App Store. Developers just need to know the rules and guidelines are being applied fairly and across the board.
While the Dropbox situation is a bad one for Dropbox and the developers using their SDK, it does bring the App Store review process to light once more. Hopefully the spotlight will remind Apple they are beholden to their developers to apply a fair and reasonable review process to all apps submitted for the App Store.