Apple published its App Store review guidelines on Thursday.
Contained in the document is an introduction that is blunt and honest. Written in a personal manner, the document outlines the approval process for applications and Apple's thinking.
- We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps, and parental controls don't work unless the parents set them up (many don't). So know that we're keeping an eye out for the kids.
- We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don't need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn't do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.
- If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you're trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour.
- We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it". And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
- If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.
- This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your app will trigger this.
The document is surprisingly honest in its introduction and confirms many developers fears. Apple attacks its amateur developers by reminding potential developers that other competitors "don't want their quality apps to be surrounded by amateur hour". The amateur hour phrase was also used by Steve Jobs to explain away questions regarding Apple TV content.
However, despite the strong tone of the document it's likely an attitude that will be well appreciated by most successful developers. Apple rounds off the document by saying: "If it sounds like we're control freaks, well, maybe it's because we're so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products."