Wednesday, December 3, 2008

iPhone Devs: Plough Your Own Furrow!

Several days ago, I came across this post about a third-party iPhone app called mazo being rejected by Amazon.

It contained -- perhaps justifiably -- some boasting:
Mazo was rejected by Amazon.* They didn't even took a look at it. It's a shame but it's their right. The application goes in the drawer until Amazon realizes their mobile web site is crappy and allows the API to be used in mobile platforms.

Today, I find out via Twitter from mconnick about: Amazon Mobile for iPhone/Touch
Amazon Mobile is a new application for the iPhone/Touch. In addition to providing just about all the functionality available through their normal Web interface, it offers a very interesting new feature: Amazon Remembers. This feature allows you to use the iPhone camera to snap a picture of a product in which you are interested. The photos are stored in the application and on Amazon’s server. Amazon will try and find a product that matches your photo and will send you an email alert about it. Amazing!

This is at least the second time something like this has happened.

The first was Apple rejecting an app called Podcaster.
Today I finally got a reply from Apple about the status of Podcaster.

Apple Rep says: Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.

That's right folks, it duplicates the functionality of the desktop version of iTunes.

Therefore, it was denied from sale in the app store. Although my app does allow you to listen to podcasts (like iTunes), it also allows you to download them directly to device and that is something Apple does not offer.

Two such examples should provide the following lesson: Do not waste time adding value to someone else's service.

The odds are high they've already thought of it and are probably working on it.

The odds are low that they'll look at your uninvited and unsolicited effort with smiles.

Your software won't be acquired -- it'll be crushed.

Create something new that doesn't depend on someone else.

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