More Apple "Usability"



  • iTunes Connect. Seriously. WTF?!?!

    iTunes Connect is the website I have to use to submit an app to the App Store for sale on iDevices. You're presented with one big long web form where you have to enter application name, pricing tier, copyright, EULA, availability by country, description, version number, bundle identifier (I still have no idea what this is except that we apparently have a bunch of duplicates with identical display values but only one is the "real" one and it's trial-and-error to find the correct one, and Apple refuses to allow you to delete ones you aren't using), keywords, support email, support website, company website, content descriptions for app rating (i.e. does the app contain violence or pornography), app category, review notes (notes to tell Apple things about the app so they don't reject it, and you have to be psychic and think of any issues they might encounter ahead of time and inform them here or else), app icons, and no less than 15 screenshots because of all the various resolutions and orientations and retina/non-retina versions of devices.

    There is no way to save and come back later. And the form times out in 5 minutes. When it times out, you have to log back in and completely start over. With everything. It doesn't help that the website is extremely slow and sometimes takes at least 5 minutes to load a page. On the last app we submitted, I finished the form in time, clicked "Submit", only to have it time out while processing the submission and require me to start over. And this is only the metadata stage, no app binaries are uploaded through this form.

    This morning, I got through most of the entry, then clicked on the Upload button for the first set of images and was greeted with a timeout error. So I started over. I pasted in most of the text fields (this time I was smart enough to get everything in a text document first), started uploading images, and was greeted with another timeout. Started over again, made it most of the way through, and this time I saw that now we need screenshots for the iPhone 5 since it's a different resolution than everything else. We don't have screenshots yet, nor does anyone in our office have an iPhone 5 so we either need mockups or attempt to screen-cap from the Xcode simulator. So I left to talk to our graphics/marketing guy and he'll get them together. Meanwhile I've been away from my desk long enough that it timed out and lost everything again.

    All I want is a "Save" button on this form. That will save me at least a few hours today given how trial-and-error the app submission process is, and may lower my blood pressure a few points as well.



  • You guys write software; make a front end that collects the data and posts to their web server.  It doesn't excuse Apple's behavior, but at least it minimizes the impact on you.



  •  @Jaime said:

    You guys write software; make a front end that collects the data and posts to their web server.  It doesn't excuse Apple's behavior, but at least it minimizes the impact on you.

     ...and then sell that front end as an iPhone app!

     



  • As long as apple is 'usable' to its customers it does not have to give a damn to its developers.  Apple has customers with money (and they like to spend it) and so if developers want to get in on it, they have to submit themselves to anything Apple wants to put them through.



  • Or they could, y'know, make the timeout longer than Community Server's pageload times.



  • @Anketam said:

    Apple has customers with money (and they like to spend it) and so if developers want to get in on it, they have to submit themselves to anything Apple wants to put them through.
     

    Microsoft while growing: "Developers, developers, developers!"

    Apple while growing: "Rich people,  rich people, rich people!"

    Well, it works for most things, but then, even in software, there are some things that money can't buy.



  • One word: curl

    I'm sure MacOS comes with it

    OTOH, it's not your fault having to learn curl just to fill up a form.



  • @Jaime said:

    You guys write software; make a front end that collects the data and posts to their web server.  It doesn't excuse Apple's behavior, but at least it minimizes the impact on you.

    Just hope that site doesn't use complicated session identifiers and XSRF-prevention shit. You'll probably be fine as long as it's not ASP.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    You'll probably be fine as long as it's not ASP.

    Hmmm....what sort of web technologies does Apple generally use? I'd be genuinely shocked if they used (or even let whomever they actually hired to build the site) ASP.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    You'll probably be fine as long as it's not ASP.

    Hmmm....what sort of web technologies does Apple generally use? I'd be genuinely shocked if they used (or even let whomever they actually hired to build the site) ASP.

    My boss used to work for Apple and thinks that some of the pages on their website are still the ones he wrote. And I'm not aware that he knows any web technologies other than ASP(.Net).

    Of course, the app store submission form wouldn't be one of his pages - it's too recent.



  • I have an awesome solution providing your javascript is okeydoke. I had a similar scenario though not as asinine. A colleague had to take the shipping info from orders on an e-commerce site and paste them into the form on ups.com for shipping. She was doing this multiple times a day and obviously a headache. I wrote a bookmarklet script to copy all the form fields from the order page, then paste them into the ups.com form. A 10 minute task reduced to 30 seconds for her. This will work as long as Apple doesn't change the name of the form fields on their page and if they do is easy enough to change.

    You can copy the source from the Apple form, create your own local page. Fill it out, go to the real Apple form and use your bookmarklet to paste everything in one shot. It won't help with images, but at least you won't have to fill out all the fields again.





  • Ah, I wanted to recommend Lazarus, but mol1111 already mentioned it. 

     

    Its an extension (for all important browsers) that saves your form, so you can quickly repopulate the form if something happens (like having to relog). Very useful if you often have this kind of problem.



  • I know - fundamentally - a browser is quite simply a viewpoint to a site, but modern browsers contain so many features associated with site workflow that somebody should have included this as a native browser feature, rather than an extension.

    Hell, even Firefox has a "tabs recovery" feature so you don't lose your current sites when it barfs.



  • @mol1111 said:

    http://getlazarus.com/download

    Wow. That would be incredibly useful.

    If it worked on iTunes Connect. For some reason the "remember form" button doesn't show.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    Just hope that site doesn't use complicated session identifiers and XSRF-prevention shit. You'll probably be fine as long as it's not ASP.

    It does. Every page has a bit in the URL like 1.1.32.42.34.23414.1243.134 for no apparent reason.

    It's running WebObjects.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I know - fundamentally - a browser is quite simply a viewpoint to a site, but modern browsers contain so many features associated with site workflow that somebody should have included this as a native browser feature, rather than an extension.

    Hell, even Firefox has a "tabs recovery" feature so you don't lose your current sites when it barfs.

     I'm sure I've seen Firefox recover form data that was filled in, but only when recovering from a crash.

     



  • @ASheridan said:

     I'm sure I've seen Firefox recover form data that was filled in, but only when recovering from a crash.
     

    I thought it did, but I'm possibly confusing it with history auto-complete.

    FF just did that now for me on an Orange PAYG top-up page.



  • @mott555 said:

    iTunes Connect. Seriously. WTF?!?!

    iTunes Connect is the website I have to use to submit an app to the App Store for sale on iDevices.

     

    Sounds like the Windows Store for submitting Win8 apps has a similar experience.

     


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