Facebook iPhone Developer Dumps Apple Citing App Store Policies


Joe Hewitt has turned development over to someone else.
Joe Hewitt has turned development over to someone else.

Joe Hewitt, the developer behind the iPhone Facebook app, the most popular application on the App Store shelves, announced he’s had it with Apple’s review policy. Hewitt, also known for his work on the popular Firefox browser, told his Twitter audience he blamed the review policy required to approve apps.

“My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies,” Hewitt told TechCrunch. “I am philosophically opposed to the existence of the review process,” he said.

The developer, who designed the iPhone Facebook app back in 2008, said Apple was setting “a horrible precedent” for other software platforms. “Soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software developer,” he charged.

This isn’t the first time Hewitt has voiced his opposition to the App Store policies. In an August blog post titled “Innocent until proven guilty,” the developer said “the review process needs to be eliminated completely.”

In a step to possibly answer its critics, the Cupertino, Calif. company has added a bit more transparency to the review process, allowing developers to check online the progress of their apps.

By visiting Apple’s Dev Center Web site, developers receive more expansive explanations of the review status of applications submitted to the App Store. An app could be “Waiting for Review” or “In Review” or “Ready for Sale” using the new review progress viewer. Previously, more cryptic progress reports would simply note “Based on current app submissions, 96 percent of applications are being approved within 14 days.”

[Via iClarified, Gadget Lab, TechCrunch]