I’m not great at painting people but sometimes I get an idea for a painting and I just can’t resist doing it … this is another one of those situations and I finally finished it last night. I’ll post more details later – just archiving for now.
A few weeks ago, after quite a bit of back and forth, Apple finally reconsidered their position on my app and officially approved it to return to the App Store! I’m not sure if I just annoyed them to death or if they truly saw the error of their initial review but either way … the app is finally free to stay on the App Store and get updates in the future.
Anyhow with the red tape out of the way I spent my free time the past couple weeks making a few changes to the app – the most notable things being:
- iPhone Support (Finally!)
- New fancy icon
- Vimeo Support removed (never used it)
I hope to add cross-device sync in future but will see how bad I want/need that before attempting it (TBD).
As always, I’m very aware I may be the only guy who wants/uses an app like this but if anyone else tries it out let me know what you think.
Months ago after I had recovered from making Super POTUS Trump I was toying around with the idea of a new pro-President Trump project – something along the lines of a Candyland-mashup-with Super POTUS Trump characters. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the idea simple enough to make sense (or fit into my little free time schedule) so I just created some artwork around the idea anyway … just out of curiosity of what the related artwork and potential “game board” might look like. Shortly after this my iPad broke so I couldn’t access the artwork so this project just collected dust –
but after finally getting my iPad fixed a few weeks ago I figured I should get this released soon or else it might never see the light of day.
So … the video below is what this ended up becoming – an “audio-graphical” rendition of President Trump’s legendary run for the presidency! I’m guessing most people who happen to see this will be a bit confused on what the heck it is/etc – but hopefully the above explains the origins sufficiently. If you watch it make sure to go full screen and pick highest resolution you can to see the artwork at the highest quality. And my apologies for the black bars on the side – once again I made a 4:3 illustration in a widescreen world … when will I learn? Anyhow enjoy … and God bless President Trump!
Vimeo/backup link to come if YouTube kills the video for whatever reason.
If anyone wants to see the full illustration behind the video you can view it here.
So a week or two ago I dusted off ResumeTube for my own use and figured I’d push a fresh build through the iTunes App Store review process (no new features just some house cleaning/maintenance stuff). Anyhow … to my surprise I got back a quite unexpected “app rejected” message from Apple! Eesh!… Check it out:
Guideline 4.2.2 – Design – Minimum Functionality
We noticed that your app only includes links, images, or content aggregated from the Internet with limited or no native iOS functionality. We understand that this content may be curated from the web specifically for your users, but since it does not sufficiently differ from a mobile web browsing experience, it is not appropriate for the App Store.
As a result of violating this guideline, your app’s review has been delayed. Future submissions of this app, and other apps associated with your Apple Developer account, will also experience a delayed review. Deliberate disregard of the App Store Review Guidelines and attempts to deceive users or undermine the review process are unacceptable and is a direct violation Section 3.2(f) of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Continuing to violate the Terms & Conditions of the Apple Developer Program will result in the termination of your account, as well as any related or linked accounts, and the removal of all your associated apps from the App Store.
We want to provide a safe experience for users to get apps and a fair environment for for all developers to be successful. If you believe we have misunderstood or misinterpreted the intent of your app, you may submit an appeal for consideration or provide additional clarification by responding directly to this message in Resolution Center in iTunes Connect.
Weird aye? I realize that some (maybe most) fancy-pants – for whom being an Apple Developer is a full-time job and not a hobby like me – may know the above rule/logic already and wouldn’t be surprised by Apple’s bringing it up … but personally I find it a bit surprising since A) I took quite a bit of time making the app UI/experience very clean and responsive and B) … I give the jerks $100 bucks every year just to keep my Apple Developer license active!!
I of course wrote them back trying to explain that while I realize it’s not some world-saving feature-packed app, the core usefulness of the app is based on a feature/need that 99% people who are “mobile web browsing” (or desktop/laptop web browsing!) don’t have a solution for (i.e. “resuming video!”) … but no idea if they’ll reconsider.
So at this point I have no idea what will happen. The app may or may not make it through review /or (worst case) may be pulled from the App Store! Sad too because while Apple may think the app isn’t “native iOS” fancy enough for them I personally still use this app a lot! Here’s hoping they reconsider. 🙁
Well … things look pretty grim. Just got this back from Apple after my initial replies to them:
Thank you for your prompt response. Due to recent policy changes apps which primarily interact with content aggregated from the internet are no longer appropriate for the App Store. As the main features of your app revolve around watching, saving, and resuming aggregated videos we have found the app to not be in compliance with guideline 4.2.2.
Once the app has been modified in order to address this rejection we would be happy to resume our review.
App Store Review
Seems like there’s no chance of survival here but I guess I’ll write them one more please. Still seems very odd to me that a “utility” app like this that is (at least IMHO) very helpful/time-saving would be considered unwelcome to the app store. If we can’t have apps and utilities that we want and actually use on our expensive tablets why in the world do we buy them!?? Ugh … to be continued .. or not. =/
Update 2 (2017072x)
Well I submitted a formal written “appeal” to the App Review Board. I actually was starting to think my case was pretty solid … but sadly, they still don’t see things as I do. My appeal and their response below for the record. I have to say it seems beyond INSANELY SILLY to have to write all these words about an app that’s all about keeping you efficient and saving time! Lordy the irony is killing me.
I’m not sure if Apple will take down the existing version of the app from the App Store or not (still there as of today). I’m too scared to ask them directly fearing they may take it down after I ask … so for now I’ll be quiet and hope they leave it there for now (?).
As for what’s next I don’t know. Maybe I’ll think of a way to make it do more stuff so the App Review board approves it – though the notion of forcing functionality like that seems like a dumb idea (even though they basically are suggesting that). Or maybe I’ll just port it to a web app. Who knows … too busy with my Super POTUS Trump game right now to deal w/it.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit an appeal for my app ResumeTube to remain on the App Store.
Firstly, I agree with the general notion posed by the App Review team that my app ResumeTube is a web content aggregator of sorts in that it’s primary content is a user-curated list of videos from YouTube and Vimeo. I disagree, however, that this means the app fails to pass Design Guideline 4.2.2 and/or doesn’t deserves to remain on the App Store (as it has for 1-2 years now).
This app’s value is akin to other, fairly famous and popular, apps like Instapaper or Pocket that center around user convenience when it comes to saved articles on the web. Just as it is far more efficient for users to read articles in those apps vs. where the articles originated, it is more efficient for users to watch (certain kinds of) videos in ResumeTube than it is to watch them on YouTube or Vimeo. Here is why:
* Neither YouTube nor Vimeo currently allow users to “resume” where they left off in a video.
* For example, if a user was watching a 1 hour video tutorial class on learning Swift or Objective C (or maybe a 2-3 hour Apple Keynote video) and they had to stop watching and finish it later, when they came back another day they would they have to scrub around the video trying to remember and find where they left off.
* This act of scrubbing around a video trying to find your place is inefficient, frustrating and often leads to people giving up and not bothering to finish watching the video in the first place.
* Additionally, this video scrubbing can sometimes even strain a WiFi/router to the point of having to be restarted due to the bandwidth choking/throttling caused by excessive scrubbing. Multiply this times X number of people in an office or household (like me) with often kids and parents both competing for bandwidth, this situation/scenario is even worse.
ResumeTube was created to solve the above problem(s). Yes it’s content consists 100% of YouTube or Vimeo videos ** just as Instapaper’s content consists 100% of web articles ** … however it serves as a small but powerful solution to giving the user a more efficient, and less-frustrating experience. Simply stated – ResumeTube saves users’ time and frustration and encourages the consumption of more video content vs. less.
If YouTube or Vimeo one day (finally) introduce the ability for users to “resume” where they left off in a video then I would admit ResumeTube’s wouldn’t/shouldn’t need to exist – or at the least the need for its existence would be fair to reassessed. However as of today if ResumeTube is taken off the App Store I, my colleagues and however many other people have purchased the app, will have to return to the world of scrubbing around videos trying to remember where we left off – and sadly giving up a lot of the time.
There are other aspects of ResumeTube that I believe make it worthy of remaining in the App Store but the above points sum up the most important things – which again really boil down to: if ResumeTube is taken off the App Store, myself and other users will A) become less efficient, B) lose value we previously had in our iPads and C) watch fewer web videos.
Here is a video of the app in action in case you are allowed to include material like this in your consideration:
Please do consider my points above and do approve ResumeTube to remain on the App Store! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
* Apple Developer and Customer since 2011 *
From: appreview | Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:30 PM
Subject: App Review Board Submission Results
We are writing to let you know the results of your appeal for your app, ResumeTube.
The App Review Board evaluated your app and determined that the original rejection feedback is valid. Your app does not comply with App Store Review Guideline 4.2.2.To resolve this issue, please ensure your app includes features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond being primarily a repackaged website or marketing materials.We hope you will consider making the necessary changes to be in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines and will resubmit your revised binary.For questions regarding your app’s review, please respond in Resolution Center in iTunes Connect, where a reviewer who is familiar with your app can assist you.
App Review Board