Apple kills iPhone developer's App Store end-around

Blocks Podcaster author from selling rejected app using iPhone beta-test delivery channel

Apple has closed a loophole that had let a rejected iPhone developer sell his application using a distribution channel meant for beta testing and enterprises.

Alex Sokirynsky, creator of an iPhone and iPod touch application called Podcaster, confirmed that he has been blocked from selling any additional copies of his program. "Basically, Apple denied me from provisioning new devices," Sokirynsky acknowledged in an e-mail.

Apple had said it rejected the tool two weeks ago because it duplicated features in the company's own iTunes software. "Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes," Apple told Sokirynsky.

After Apple rejected Podcaster, Sokirynsky had sold the software using the "Ad Hoc" mechanism, Apple's name for the distribution channel it set up earlier this year to help developers beta-test their iPhone applications. The mechanism is also used by enterprise developers to offer custom iPhone apps to corporate users for business use.

Ad Hoc allows up to 100 iPhones or iPod Touch devices to download and install a specific build of an application. To enable downloads, a developer must obtain each iPhone's UDID (unique device identifier) code. Sokirynsky created a Web site to sell Podcaster directly to customers for US$9.99; during the process, buyers had to submit their iPhone's UDID, then download and install the application to their computer.

Apple has effectively shuttered that sales channel by shutting down Sokirynsky's account.

On Monday, he posted an entry to his blog blasting Apple's move. "All I wanted was for someone from Apple to contact me and tell me how we can work it out so that I get into the App Store," Sokirynsky said on the blog. "Instead, Apple took the coward's way out by simply disabling features in my developers portal. This seems like a childish move for a company that has been proving [sic] such high quality service and products in the past."

Sokirynsky deleted the post shortly after it went live. On Tuesday, in response to questions, he said he regretted writing the blog. "That was written very late at night. I really didn't mean to write and so I took it down. I should have waited a few days to cool off before writing the post."

Others, however, have linked Sokirynsky's move to reports that Apple has told iPhone developers that the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that they signed covers all correspondence between the company and its developers, including rejection notices.

Sokirynsky did not immediately reply on Thursday to further questions about a link between pulling his post and Apple's NDA.

"Apple just closed a loophole in their system and you can't blame them for that," he said on Tuesday via e-mail.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iphone apps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?