Apple Wish List: Five Smart Moves for the Coming Year
On a related note, we're also hoping Apple lets the iPhone support Adobe Flash. Apple has said that Flash taxes the battery, which is why it won't support it. (We're not talking about a camera flash, either—although, come to think of it, that would be nice, too.)
Transparent App Approval? We Approve!
In a year and a half, the App Store has grown to more than 100,000 apps on its virtual shelves. No one could have predicted its success, including, it seems, Apple. There simply wasn't a very good process to approve apps.
This resulted in inconsistency and frustrating subjectivity, from why apps were approved or not to how long before an app appeared on the App Store. It's been rumored that there were only a handful of folks at Apple in charge of the process, and they quickly became overwhelmed.
Some apps that didn't seem to violate Apple's ethical policies weren't approved and, later, approved. Other apps like Baby Shaker were first approved and then removed. Then there's apps that Apple didn't want on its store apparently for competitive reasons, like Google Voice.
Apple, of course, has every right to decide what goes on its App Store or not. But the App Store has quickly become the great differentiator among smartphones, as iPhone rivals like the Motorola Droid hit the market.
Apple has been streamlining the app approval process, including giving app developers insight into timelines for app approvals, but we'd like to see more next year—namely, transparency. How are apps approved? Why are some apps given the hook?
Given Apple's penchant for secrecy, the idea of transparency amounts to wishful thinking. Yet Apple should shed at least some light on the app approval process to appease developers. After all, the App Store is no longer the only game in town. With the arrival of the Droid and others, developers now have platform choices.
Give IT Staffs a Little Help
When Apple came out with iPhone 3.1 a few months ago, people with older iPhones suddenly could no longer access Outlook email. Tech support would have to jump through hoops to allow them to get Outlook email again. Only those with iPhone 3GS were unaffected, although they were forced to created a password to unlock the iPhone and get Outlook email.
Technical reasons aside, iPhone 3.1 caused chaos in the corporate environment overnight. Executives were no doubt annoyed. IT staffs that were caught off guard—which is to say, all of them—had to scramble to fix the problem. And employees using the iPhone to access corporate email even though their companies didn't support the device were simply out of luck.
Apple notoriously doesn't give IT staffs a heads up on anything, from new OS versions to new machines. Yet Apple's products, most notably the iPhone, enter companies through the back door. CIOs and IT staffs often find themselves on the short end of Apple secrecy.
We're hoping Apple gives IT staffs a little more help with managing the iPhone next year. We're also hoping for world peace.