After Daring Fireball took Apple to task for what appeared to be the censoring of a dictionary in the Ninjawords app, Jon Gruber got a response from none other than Phil Schiller himself. As someone concerned about the app approval process in general (and not just this latest issue), I took Mr. Schiller’s response as a very good sign.
Meanwhile, another prominent member of the Mac community, Steven Frank, had published his reasons for boycotting Apple’s iPhone that were triggered by the rejection of the Google Voice app. I disagreed with his decision to abandon the iPhone for this, but I did feel that Frank was sincere in his beliefs and just trying to follow them.
Perhaps Apple thought that way as well, Phil Schiller responded to him, too:
I haven’t sought Phil’s explicit permission to republish the letter, so I won’t do so here. But to summarize, he said: “we’re listening to your feedback”. Not all of my suggested solutions were viable, he said, but they were taking it all in as they continue to evolve the app store.
As with the response to Gruber, I take this as a very good sign. Frank believes so as well, but it leaves him in a bit of a quandary:
Technically, nothing specific has actually visibly changed in the last few days. I said I wouldn’t go back until I could see actual demonstrable progress being made…
So, what do I do now, dear readers? Stick pedantically to my guns? Or take this new information at face value?
As a “dear reader,” here’s my $.02:
- A long-time, key member of the Apple executive team personally responded to you, and is not likely to do so unless he knows changes are coming.
- That same executive has said as much in two different places within the last week.
- It’s not uncommon for Apple to recognize the issues that are heartfelt by their user base and act on them. Recent example are bringing FireWire back to the 13 inch MacBook, and they’ve brought the matte screen option back as well. Further, they’ve reconsidered and approved numerous previously rejected apps.
- I think Google Voice is coming to the iPhone anyway, likely as a web app, and not unexpectedly.
Obviously, I think Frank should end the boycott, although I understand it’s a personal decision. Whichever way he goes, what I see is Apple reaching out with communication which makes me think that, while they’ll need time, they’re listening and, more importantly, will be doing something about it.