There are many examples of flaws in Apple’s App Store review process. We know Apple is quick to reject apps that mimic the core functionality of iOS, such as Voice Answer, Find My Facebook Friends, or Airfoil, but those developers all made tweaks to their apps and were later accepted into the App Store. Perhaps a bigger problem is apps sneaking their way into the store as offensive or stolen content. We came across an example of each with two apps recently accepted into the App Store: Bulimia Duck (pictured above), which is a Yelp-like restaurant finder with an obviously offensive name, and Dragon Ball Z Jump, which is a hybrid of stolen IPs including Dragon Ball Z and popular iOS title Doodle Jump. These are just two examples of the type of apps making their way into the App Store every week.
Today, we get a bit of insight into what goes on behind the scenes during Apple’s review process. A former senior engineer at Apple, Mike Lee, talked to Business Insider about the app review team:
“People have this idea that there are 100 people in India doing app reviews,” Lee tells Business Insider. “It’s just people in a building at Apple, and like every other part of Apple, they can’t get enough really good people. Apple will not compromise the quality of its teams to fill it in. I promise you its a lot smaller than you imagine.”
While noting that reviewers often have to looking through so many apps of poor quality hat they”may accidentally toss out the gem” Lee says highlighted a few of the issues with the app review process in the interview:
It’s a very serious problem, trying to filter out things that no one is there to see. Somebody has to sit there and filter out all those d*cks. You can’t let all those d*cks get through. You have to err way on the side of safety. You have to have people sitting there looking at things that may or may not be d*cks all day long. Apple refuses to farm stuff out to massive groups of people. They insist on having actual smart, educated, well-trained people doing the job. So that means they have to have some of their actual employees sifting through a pile of d*cks.
Apple clearly has a strong stance about not letting anything the least bit pornographic into the App Store, but the apps highlighted above, which are still available on the App Store, certainly make the case for a necessary overhaul to the review process.
- Previously jailbreak only, Apple allows iOS Display Recorder app into App Store (9to5mac.com)
- Apple let’s Airfoil back into the App Store, without its coolest feature (9to5mac.com)
- App Store to soon get new Food and Drink category, relevant developers contacted (9to5mac.com)