No, you can't link to your company website! Bad developers!



  • Short WTF, there's actually fair bit of WTF here but I doubt I could sufficiently anonymize it. So I'll just mention the biggest WTF part.

    We recently submitted an app for a certain brand of tablet to the marketplace of a certain large tech company once described to me by someone here as a clever marketing scheme designed to separate hipster douchebags' parents' money from them. Our app got rejected. And as I was reading the list of reasons, one reason just made all processing in my brain stop. This is the kind of hard-stop that might be expected if one dropped a few sticks of dynamite into the crankcase of your car engine. You're cruising along nicely and then suddenly BLAM it's six weeks later and you're in the hospital waking up from a coma.

    Our app includes a button that links to our company website. They even included a helpful screenshot so we would know where this button is and remove it.



  • They obviously want to prevent even the slightest chance of somebody not going through the app market for any kind of service not sanctioned by the-company-that-shall-not-be-named.



  • @mott555 said:

    Our app includes a button that links to our company website. They even included a helpful screenshot so we would know where this button is and remove it.

    So I suppose online help for any app is out of the question? This sort of thing makes you start to wonder if everybody and their mom in Cu... uh, I mean the town where the company's based, got hired to check the apps.



  • This is why I think the fruit is only good to make pies with and not electronics, I wish it would simply die. If they were a bit more open they could probably beat out MS in a few short months.

    As for your car analogy, do you by chance know my brother?



  •  My coworkerjust showed me that yahoo stocks application has a link to yahoo website. Are you sure they don't say that you link to a "non mobile" website?



  • @tchize said:

     My coworkerjust showed me that yahoo stocks application has a link to yahoo website. Are you sure they don't say that you link to a "non mobile" website?

    What migth be the difference between a mobile and a nonmobile website?



  • @mott555 said:

    Our app includes a button that links to our company website. They even included a helpful screenshot so we would know where this button is and remove it.
     

    Been there. Done that. Removed the link again.

    Normally they only complain if you sell mobile optimized things on the website. But the accept process undeterministic. 

     



  • @toon said:

    @tchize said:

     My coworkerjust showed me that yahoo stocks application has a link to yahoo website. Are you sure they don't say that you link to a "non mobile" website?

    What migth be the difference between a mobile and a nonmobile website?

     

     

    "non mobile" = "not designed to reduce page width and cruft when viewed on a smartphone", presumably

     

     



  •  not iphone compliant, i suppose :)



  • @mott555 said:

    a certain brand of tablet to the marketplace of a certain large tech company once described to me by someone here as a clever marketing scheme designed to separate hipster douchebags' parents' money from them.
     

    Yeah, fuck Micro$oft and their shitty Android OS.



  • Our designer has spent a fair amount of time making sure our websites look good on phones and tablets. I doubt that has much to do with it.



  • @mott555 said:

    Our app includes a button that links to our company website. They even included a helpful screenshot so we would know where this button is and remove it.

    Did they give you a reason, or just the screenshot? Was it because it was a button and not underlined text? I could see that.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @mott555 said:
    Our app includes a button that links to our company website. They even included a helpful screenshot so we would know where this button is and remove it.
    Did they give you a reason, or just the screenshot? Was it because it was a button and not underlined text? I could see that.
    I've heard of a few "horror" stories where the app would be rejected for [Generic Reason], and you are then left trying to contact their support staff (it's probably easier to get hold of Gmail tech support), or guess what the problem is, "fix" it, and resubmit.



  • I agree everyone. Google is a fucking awful market place. You don't need to beat around the bush.



  • I don't want to presume your situation, but I have followed this kind of news about rejections from the-company-that-shall-not-be-named (I don't think there's any harm in naming it mind you, but I'll play along), and I have never heard of them rejecting because of a link to the company (that developed the app) website just because it was a link to the company (that developed the app) website.

    So either it really is the case and you should submit the case with all relevant details* to [[companyName substringWithRange:NSMakeRange(0, 3)] stringByAppendingString:@"review.tumblr.com"]; or the most likely reason is that your company sells digital content to be used with the app at the company site linked to. Indeed, as an (ill-conceived) incentive for developers to provide digital content purchases as a-purchase-done-in-the-app-where-they-take-30%-but-is-admittedly-more-user-friendly, it is forbidden for there to be a link from the app to any web store selling content for the app. Yes, say, Amazon had to remove the store link from the Kindle client when this rule came in effect (rendering it inscrutable for people getting it not knowing what the client is about). Sad, but true.

    There is always the possibility of the reviewer being overzealous and this rule should not apply to you (say, your company sells software as a service, not really content), in this case submit an appeal to the app review board, the issue will be more seriously looked at.

    Whatever it is, I wish you luck in this endeavor, a rejection like this is not an easy situation to deal with.

    *Submit anyway if even after reading this you still see something unusual with your rejection — we never know, there may be a precedent here.



  • @ZPedro said:

    ...

    There is always the possibility of the reviewer being overzealous and this rule should not apply to you (say, your company sells software as a service, not really content), in this case submit an appeal to the app review board, the issue will be more seriously looked at.

    ...

    You mean once they eventually look at and assume that they take your side on the appeal.  Delaying the release of a ready product hurts the company since they are not earning any revenue from said product, and  the-company-that-shall-not-be-named is making it worse.



  • @Anketam said:

    You mean once they eventually look at and assume that they take your side on the appeal.  Delaying the release of a ready product hurts the company since they are not earning any revenue from said product, and  the-company-that-shall-not-be-named is making it worse.

    I said it would be more seriously looked at, never said they would take the developer's side. And they are making it worse, no doubt about it. There always is the possibility of not working with them if they are being too obnoxious and the developer decides his time would be better spent targeting other platforms.



  • @mt@ilovefactory.com said:

    But the accept process undeterministic.
    And I'd also go as far as to say capricious. I had an app rejected for violating some aspect (something general like not correctly reporting devices data - which when you google it no-one actually knows what it means). When I queried them on that and wanted to know what explicitly they disapproved of, and pointed out that I was only using public APIs the reviewer (or next person who did the review - I have no idea if you get the same reviewer) totally ignored my comments and then started off on some track that required me to justify the existence of the App.



  • I should add that TRWTF is the incredibly poor way the rejection reason was (according to your retelling) communicated to you. This wouldn't be the first time, unfortunately.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Yeah, fuck Micro$oft and their shitty Android OS.

    If you're gonna complain about something, at least keep track of who makes what. Google makes Android, M$ makes Windows.



  • @diablo said:

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Yeah, fuck Micro$oft and their shitty Android OS.

    If you're gonna complain about something, at least keep track of who makes what. Google makes Android, M$ makes Windows.

    I give you a 0/5 on the trolling (giving you the benefit of the doubt that you aren't that dumb).



  • @diablo said:

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Yeah, fuck Micro$oft and their shitty Android OS.

    If you're gonna complain about something, at least keep track of who makes what. Google makes Android, M$ makes Windows.

     

    WHOOOOSH!!!!

     



  • Perhaps the button was not hip enough and it needs redesigned?



  • @diablo said:

    Whoosh
     

    You just signed up to post that?

     



  • I don't know which is worse, the market place that seems to enjoy rejecting apps (your app seems to include an interpreter for certain files in the package, someone could alter those and potentially cause harm to the device, please remove them.. Errm, I doubt it, but meh) and the "How many trojans would you like to download from the market today?". Only yesterday I click on an advertised game, only for it to tell me it wanted to "Read sensitive log data", "Full Internet access" and "Send and receive text messages". Err, I don't think so.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @mt@ilovefactory.com said:
    But the accept process undeterministic.
    And I'd also go as far as to say capricious.

    And staffed by Vogons.



  • @flabdablet said:

    @OzPeter said:
    @mt@ilovefactory.com said:
    But the accept process undeterministic.
    And I'd also go as far as to say capricious.

    And staffed by Vogons.

    Now that's an unfair comparison. I mean, the litterature does abound with examples of abuse at their hands, and their awful reputation is deserved and they do need to get their act together, but you crossed the line by comparing them with bureaucrats in a whole other class altogether. Please apologize immediately to the poor Vogons you just insulted when you compared them to these much worse bureaucrats.



  • @topspin said:

    @diablo said:

    Whoosh
     

    You just signed up to post that?

     

    That is a misquoute, also have you read the average post here? You should commend him!

    @ZPedro said:

    Please apologize immediately to the poor Vogons you just insulted when you compared them to these much worse bureaucrats.
    Hey! Bureaucrats have hearts too (top drawer, third file cabinet to the right, same place where we store our morality)



  • @topspin said:

    @diablo said:

    Whoosh
     

    You just signed up to post that?

     

     

    what if...

     

    he was double-wooshing us.

     

    what if...

     



  • @OzPeter said:

    @mt@ilovefactory.com said:
    But the accept process undeterministic.
    And I'd also go as far as to say capricious.

    Our company makes an application that is sold under several different brands depending on the data set that goes with it (the application is portable and runs on several mobile platforms, so I have the luck of not being one of those two poor souls who deal with company-that-should-not-be-named). The branded variants all have the same user interface except logos, colours and bundling different data set. But half of the times we upload another brand, they reject it for some reason. After having accepted 20 variants that behave exactly the same.

    @ZPedro said:

    @flabdablet said:

    And staffed by Vogons.

    Now that's an unfair comparison. I mean, the litterature does abound with examples of abuse at their hands, and their awful reputation is deserved and they do need to get their act together, but you crossed the line by comparing them with bureaucrats in a whole other class altogether. Please apologize immediately to the poor Vogons you just insulted when you compared them to these much worse bureaucrats.

    :-D



  • @diablo said:

    If you're gonna complain about something, at least keep track of who makes what. Google makes Android, M$ makes Windows.
     

    And yet Android is [url=http://www.infoworld.com/t/android/microsoft-makes-more-android-windows-smartphones-707]Microsoft's most profitable phone operating system[/url].


     



  • Set up a 'configuration web service' on your company's server that returns a different response depending on whether the request comes from a certain 'Class A' network block.

    Call the web service from your app.  Use the response to determine whether to display a link to the company site in-app or not.

     



  • We just resubmitted after fixing a couple issues and, apparently most important of all, removing the link to our company website. I just can't wait for the influx of tech support calls from clients (assuming they accept it sans website link) who can't figure out how to use the app because we were forced to remove the link that, among other things, provides online help and documentation.

    Sadly, I'm not allowed to point out that virtually every other app in existence does this. Their review process explicitly forbids you from referring to other apps and basically says "Just because someone (or everyone) else is naughty doesn't mean you can too." There's no consistency in the review process. Stuff that's acceptable for some apps is reason for rejection in others. I know I'm fuming at the rejection of a relatively unimportant feature, but what if this was something that was a major feature or requirement and they didn't like it? Or, even worse, a feature we are contractually obligated to provide to a paying client? You spend months of developing, possibly under contract to a specific client, only to get rejected because some arrogant underpaid idiot moron jerkhead let the power get to his head. Your client is out a bunch of money (assuming the contract was paid up-front, otherwise your company is out a bunch of money because of all the costs of getting set up to even develop for this environment plus developer salaries), the developers are frustrated at being shut down by outside forces, and chances are the client will never work with you again. Too much risk in my opinion.

    I hate being at the mercy of other companies. BTW thanks for not mentioning their name. I'd hate for someone at said (or rather, unsaid) company to find this on Google and blacklist us from their marketplace because it hurts their feelings. But maybe I'm just paranoid.

    In other news, it's Friday. I'm going home and completely shutting my brain down.



  • @mott555 said:

    In other news, it's Friday. I'm going home and completely shutting my brain down.

    I still have a feeling that they object to the link's destination because there is something to it more than just being your company's site per se (however badly this reason was communicated to you). Please try come Monday to put up at say [[companyName substringWithRange:NSRangeMake(0, 3)] stringByAppendingString:@"review.tumblr.com"]; inquiring minds want to know.

    (also, do you really think no one there reads TDWTF?)



  • After re-reading all our correspondence, I think the issue was that our website includes lots of information, not necessarily related to this app, about the services we provide. As far as I can tell, the office phone number, email addresses, and contact form are considered "external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions". Also, they stated "it would be
    appropriate to remove the access to these mechanisms - including fully
    qualified links to your site that could indirectly provide access to
    these mechanisms, such as links to web pages for support, FAQ, product
    or program details, etc." I suppose we'd need an isolated website just for this specific app, with absolutely no links to our main company website or other contact information, to comply with that.

    Also, the app is for specific clients and requires us to work with them to prepare their specific data for the app. So it's totally useless for non-clients.



  • @mott555 said:

    After re-reading all our correspondence, I think the issue was that our website includes lots of information, not necessarily related to this app, about the services we provide. As far as I can tell, the office phone number, email addresses, and contact form are considered "external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions". Also, they stated "it would be
    appropriate to remove the access to these mechanisms - including fully
    qualified links to your site that could indirectly provide access to
    these mechanisms, such as links to web pages for support, FAQ, product
    or program details, etc." I suppose we'd need an isolated website just for this specific app, with absolutely no links to our main company website or other contact information, to comply with that.

    Also, the app is for specific clients and requires us to work with them to prepare their specific data for the app. So it's totally useless for non-clients.

    All they want you to do is delete half your website and stop providing services. That can't be hard, can it?



  • See, I don't want to go all Richard Stallman here, but stuff like this makes me really appreciate having an open platform where I can install any application (and OS) without it having to be pre-approved.



  • @spamcourt said:

    See, I don't want to go all Richard Stallman here, but stuff like this makes me really appreciate having an open platform where I can install any application (and OS) without it having to be pre-approved.


    Yeah, except OpenPandora is expensive, and you still need a separate phone. ;)



  • Thats because the OpenPandora is made by a 2-bit company thats known by about 0.1% of the world as they have 0.1% of advertising, so are desperate for any applications they can get, whether crap or not. Crap name anyway, who decided on that? Surely they knew about the Pandora music service?

    Just imagine the trojans that would exist on that device, should it had been capable of being a phone.

    Then again, look at the amount of crap and trojans available on the Android market, as they don't give a stuff about what people release, they just try desperately to say "Look at all the applications we've got".

    At least there's less chance of an app destroying your phone should you download it from iTunes.



  • That's what I was afraid of— err, no, I was afraid of much worse; what should I say…

    That's what I expected— darn, this makes me sound insensitive and a lesson-giver, lessee…

    Just as I thought— Ack, now I sound even more like brainy smurf…

    Anyway, it's just sad on their part, really. They have let success, and worry about their platform being exploited in ways they don't approve (attempts to do so are likely happening all the time, don't get me wrong), go to their head so much that they issued and are enforcing rules such that the whole world has to be made to fit around those rules, as if they were the center of the Universe and everything else existed in relation to them. This extreme enforcement is kind of new, to me at least, but I'm not really surprised (and it's kinda sad that I'm not surprised), this is unfortunately par for the course in general for them.

    And the worst thing is, if they hear about it they will comment on your thread title as being "inexact" or hyperbole (as they have done in the past about other such cases), even though I have never heard of a company website without such “«‘external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions’»” (add air quotes in there for good measure), and so "you can't link to your company website" is quite literally the consequence of rules they are enforcing, if they are enforcing them that way.

    So thanks for clarifying. At least we know they haven't gone completely crazy batshit insane (i.e. it's possible to still have links to your stuff by setting up a wholly isolated site for the app, painful as it may be), but that does not mean their megalomania has abated.



  • All these stories of insane beraucracy at the hands of the-fruit-of-sin (in popular culture)®'s approval process makes me think there's a business model here. Like setting up a startup that can provide consulting and decipherment to developers submitting apps and guide them through the serpentine process. Especially if you manage to get some guys on the inside to be more lenient with their approvals.

    There is precedent with e.g. services that help you fill your tax return.

    Sadly I'm too lazy and not American enough to do this.


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