Apple Rejects Droid Promo App for the iPhone

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The Droid smartphone won't be seeing any publicity on the iPhone thanks to Apple's rejection of the iDroid app from its App Store. The iDroid app was designed to run on the iPhone and iPod touch, but did nothing more than advertise the Droid smartphone, according to TechCrunch.

iDroid displayed the red glowing eye used in Droid marketing along with marketing bullet points.

The rejection makes sense because direct marketing with an application is prohibited by Apple's terms of service for iPhone app developers, which makes it likely that the developers knew iDroid would be rejected and were hoping to spin that into publicity for themselves.

For now, it looks like iPhone developers wanting to directly promote products in their apps will have to find ways that are a little less blatant.

Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I am thankful every day that Steve and Phil are keeping me and my loved ones safe from unscrupulous marketers who would dare try to get their messages to me through apps on my Jesus Phone.

Droid made their point. Look for a hilarious ad poking fun at the Apple censors before Christmas.

Lee Dronick

Even if it was accepted I doubt that it would result in many apostates.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

So Sir Harry… That’s exactly why Apple should have accepted it. I swear that Apple is run by a bunch of f—-ing UCLA grads who have no concept about how to compete, how to take punches, and how to punch back harder when you can. If you watched the USC/UCLA game Saturday, you know what I’m talking about. Even if you are run by a cult of vegan pansies, pretend like you’ve eaten a steak before.

Here’s how an Apple with actual gonads would have handled this. They would create a new category in the App Store called “advertisements”. They would stick this in there. If ad apps flooded in, they would not get review priority. Apple might even charge for review priority. Apple doesn’t know how to handle this stuff, which is why it never should have put itself in the middle by making the App Store the only legitimate distribution channel.

geoduck

Do you see Target ads in Wallmart?
Ford ads in the Toyota showroom?
Post ads in a box of Kellog’s Corn Flakes?

Of course not. No company would ever let their competitors advertise competing products in their own house. This is no surprise. It’s what Apple obviously would and should do. It was stupid for Google to even bother making the App.

Bosco: Your ‘I like Apple but hate everything they do’ rants are getting a bit tiresome not to mention weak.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Apple welcomes you to install Windows on your Mac. They made special software to enable it. They ship drivers which make their innovative new products (like Super Mouse or whatever it’s called now) to work with that configuration. They sell virtual machine software in their stores. So arguing on the principal that stores don’t allow counter-advertisements is very weak in this case. Apple certainly isn’t consistent in applying that principle.

Now come on geoduck… If you are any flavor of libertarian with the slightest civil libertarian leaning, this App Store arrangement has to arouse a little bit of suspicion and unease. In my critiques, I point out repeatedly how Apple could be a better participant in the market conversation. Allow developers to distribute their own apps solves this problem. If my rants get tiresome, there is always the “Ignore” button. I use it quite often around here.

geoduck

I agree I do have some problem with the App approval process. I think it’s overly restrictive. But that’s completely irrelevant to the question at hand.

IMO it is totally unreasonable to vilify Apple for not allowing their competition to advertise a competing product on Apple’s own system. That’s just not going to happen. I don’t know any businessman that would have made a different decision. Apple does a fair number of things I disagree with. This is not one of them.

Jonesy

I disagree with Bosco when he states that selling Windows for a Mac is the same thing as allowing Google wanting to advertise on an iPhone or Touch.
Being able to install and run Windows on a Mac is a selling feature for consumers who may be leery of switching or need it for just that one program.  The iDroid app is trying to lure customers away from the iPhone.  How can that be considered the same?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

So Jonesy, you’re saying that iPhone users, if they downloaded this app, which of course they probably wouldn’t know about had Apple not rejected it, would use it and decide that their iPhones are crap and immediately go out and get Droids. Hmmm, Apple has some big problems!

@geoduck… So let’s say I have a digital signage product that is about to launch. In truth, any day now. Do you think it would be wise for me to make sure that the expensive competitor in the space, Carousel, never gets displayed on any digital sign that users of my product make? Maybe I should have a Sign Store, and make people send in their sign files for approval before they can use them.

zewazir

Apple welcomes you to install Windows on your Mac.

So what?  Microsoft, despite all the media rhetoric and blog discussions, is not one of Apple’s competitors.  Apple is a hardware company while Microsoft is a software company.  Apple has long promoted MS Office for Mac (even rolled over and played dead in the early 90s to keep MS from dropping the MAc version).  They also promote a whole slew of other software for the Mac written by software companies all over the place.

OTOH, you don’t see Apple putting Dell adware on their computers, iPods nor iPhones. Dell, like Apple, is a hardware company, and they are therefore competitors. Nor do you see Dell (well known for their adware during initial setup of a new machine) advertising Macintosh. Droid is a piece of hardware directly in competition with iPhone. Anyone who expects ANY company to willingly advertise their competitors wares is living in some kind of anti-business, drug-induced dream land.

geoduck

Anyone who expects ANY company to willingly advertise their competitors wares is living in some kind of anti-business, drug-induced dream land.

Well put.
That’s one of the first things I learned in business: Always control the message. Only let your competitor’s name and products come up in the context of how your products were better.

Jonesy

Bosco - Wow, that’s exactly what I wrote.  I mean just the other day I bought a pizza from Dominos and inside the box it had a flyer from Pizza Hut, so I just tossed out the Dominos Pizza and ordered from Pizza Hut.  Isn’t it great that these competing companies could work so well together for my sake?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Would you care to answer my question about signage software geoduck? What does your business experience tell me I should do? Very curious.

I am really surprised by a lot of you guys. The iPhone that I carry around in my pocket is not “Apple’s iPhone”. It’s “Bosco’s iPhone”. And I suspect that if you guys have iPhones, you consider them to be “geoduck’s iPhone” and “Jonesy’s iPhone”, etc. Or perhaps you have iPod Touches… rename devices accordingly. Maybe you really feel better that Apple is protecting you from making the mistake of downloading the Droid app and seeing what the Droid people think is better about their phone. Bless your virgin ears!

If the App Store isn’t the only legitimate (as defined by Apple legal-ease) way to distribute apps to the general public, this rejection isn’t the slightest issue. Their store, they can stock what they want. But since they have set things up so as to control all app distribution over 100 pre-registered units, they deserve criticism. To defend this arrangement that gives them absolute power in this marketplace is moral cowardice, pure and simple.

geoduck

Would you care to answer my question about signage software geoduck?

o let?s say I have a digital signage product that is about to launch. In truth, any day now. Do you think it would be wise for me to make sure that the expensive competitor in the space, Carousel, never gets displayed on any digital sign that users of my product make? Maybe I should have a Sign Store, and make people send in their sign files for approval before they can use them.

I thought I had answered that.
However I do not know your product or business so I would not attempt to second guess what you do. Only you are in a position to decide what’s best for your business. The same is true of Apple.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

That’s a retreat from Always control the message. Only let your competitor?s name and products come up in the context of how your products were better.. But if Apple is following that line of thinking, maybe they should prevent Safari on iPhone and iPod Touch from viewing web pages and discussion forums that mention the iDroid App. Wouldn’t that be prudent?

zewazir

But since they have set things up so as to control all app distribution…

Now that is an issue - albeit quite separate from the issue of not allowing a Droid commercial to be distributed via their App Store. I cannot say I agree with Apple on locking down the iPhone so tightly.

Of course, even if Apple were to open the iPhone to 3rd party App sources, who is going to download an app that does nothing more than advertise a different smart phone? I think anyone complaining about Apple’s reaction to a Droid adware app being disallowed on Apple’s App Store is simply looking for something to b—-ch about.

geoduck

But if Apple is following that line of thinking, maybe they should prevent Safari on iPhone and iPod Touch from viewing web pages and discussion forums that mention the iDroid App. Wouldn?t that be prudent?

That is a Reductio ad absurdum type of argument that fails for that reason http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

No zewazir, that isn’t an issue. It is the issue. And as I said, if it weren’t the case that Apple controls distribution, nobody cares! How are you guys not seeing that? It’s as clear as the sky is blue.

Look, for those not astute enough to follow this. The iDroid App was not submitted so that all of us could enjoy an advertisement on our iPhones. It was submitted so that Apple would reject it. And then the Droid people can make a public issue out of having their app rejected by the only legitimate way to get apps on an iPhone. My ad would go something like… “Here are a list of apps rejected by the App Store: South Park app, Google Phone, ..., Droid app with a picture of Steve Jobs morphing into Mao (ah hell, Hitler) in the background. Play that “it’s magic” song to set the mood. The point being that in the Android universe, developers don’t have to ask permission to ship an app and users can transact directly with developers if they so choose.

And just to be clear. When I bitch about app rejections, the bitch is that Apple has given itself that power in the first place. Other than the rejected South Park app… that’s when I figured out how unfixably lame the situation was.

geoduck

he iDroid App was not submitted so that all of us could enjoy an advertisement on our iPhones. It was submitted so that Apple would reject it.

If that’s the case than it was a good move on Google’s part that would be a good campaign (though the Mao-Hitler histrionics would be over the top and likely would cost them support). It also implies that Google is treading seriously on the “Don’t Be Evil” mantra they were founded on. That would give Apple ammunition to fire back.

However I don’t see why you’ve been complaining about Apple rejecting it. Of course they had to reject it. That’s a given. that was a foregone conclusion.

A completely separate and unrelated question is whether the approval process is too tight. I agree with you that it is. IMO Apple should be testing for malware and little else, and letting the market decide. We’re on the same side of that. But even if Apple were to open the process up, it is ludicrous to expect them to allow a competitors ad on the Apple’s store.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Conclusion: ridiculous for Apple to allow iDroid in the App Store. Ridiculous for Apple to disallow iDroid from the iPhone (other than a cumbersome ad hoc release limited to 100 pre-registered users).

Now that we have agreement on that, there should be no debate that every one of Apple’s rejections that we know about is ridiculous. So why do I get anything but “amen” when I comment on this recurring thread?

ctopher

Because you’re an…

Of forget it, I’m tired of your trolling.

Nookster

Ironically, half the replies directed at Bosco contain pure Trollinium?.

Paul Dorman

Do you see Target ads in Wallmart?
Ford ads in the Toyota showroom?
Post ads in a box of Kellog?s Corn Flakes?

Ah, but on content services you see ads for competitors all the time.  E.g., advertisements for other websites will show up on websites.  On cable TV, advertisements for non-cable TV and internet will show up.  Etc.

gavnone

Maybe it’s just me, yet I think this was a brilliant marketing strategy that Apple had no choice but to be the target of. The iDroid application was submitted to the App Store with the submitters knowing full well that Apple would most certainly reject it due to their (Apple’s) Terms of Service agreement. Now, the iDroid app creators are completely able, and I’m sure they will, spin this story to their advantage. This was a marketing ploy that Apple had no choice but to lose - on the one hand, if the had accepted iDroid they would have given free advertising to the competition and, on the other hand, if they had rejected the iDroid app (which they did) they would have given the competition the ability to shame them (Apple) in the media outlets. Either way, Apple could not have emerged from this without being subjected to “media heckling”. Now, it is up to the iDroid creators to spin this story to their advantage.

zewazir

Now, it is up to the iDroid creators to spin this story to their advantage.

Frankly, I don’t see how they can.  IMO the base gut reaction of most people, when hearing Apple won’t let Droid be advertised via the App store is a big, fat, “Well, DUH!!”

If Droid tries to make a big deal out of it, their only consistent audience will be the anti-Apple crowd whose opinion is already set, but continually look for reasons to support it.

Play Ultimate

1) It would have been better for Apple to have kept the iDroid in approval limbo indefinitely. However, the makers could still have said, “they didn’t approve it.”

2) Name one retail store that does not control what is sold in that store. Wal-Mart, Target etc does not allow every available item to be sold. They, like AAPL, control their content.

3) You can install any app you would like through purchasing the Developer Kit ($99). You just need to either write it yourself or have access to the code.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@zezawir… You obviously haven’t been watching or listening to the current ad war between Verizon and AT&T. They’re both completely over the top throwing sh*t at each other. This rejection is just more sh*t. It will be thrown. You seem to think there is a logical argument being built up. Wrong. It’s just a barrage of sh*t throwing. Or more accurately, it’s a lot of “you suck because”. The Verizon “you suck because” thrown at Apple is 100% spot on. And the AT&T “you suck because” thrown at Verizon is 100% spot on. I wish Apple would learn a little from Verizon’s assessment, because it would make my iPhone suck less. But I’m not holding my breath.

zewazir

I see flame ads all the time. Some are effective, some are not. I don’t see how this particular attempt at flaming will be effective, because MOST people (as opposed to “Apple Sucks!” trolls and Wintel dronebots) will not even get the implication the Droid is trying to push.  Apple owns the iPhone App store. They won’t sell an app that advertises Droid.  The most common reaction will be “DUH!” because MOST people (as opposed to “Apple Sucks!” trolls and Wintel dronebots) will, immediately on a gut level, recognize that NO store is going to advertise competing products within the store. If Droid tries to push the “Apple is being totalitarian” spin, it’s less likely to paint Apple as doing anything bad, and more likely to stain Droid as a pack of pathetic little whiners.

And speaking of pathetic little whiners, if your Apple products suck so badly, why do you have anything Apple at all? If I don’t like a company’s products, I don’t buy them. If I have a product that sucks, I replace it with a different brand. If Apple products are truly as bad as you continually imply, just get rid of all your “sucky” “failure prone” Apple products and get something else. And get a life while you’re at it.  Your constant “Apple = BAD” whining is assinine and tiring, among other things.

zewazir

3) You can install any app you would like through purchasing the Developer Kit ($99). You just need to either write it yourself or have access to the code.

If this is true, what is up with all the complaints about Apple’s iPhone app dictatorship?  Seems, with all the Apple App Store criticism being spewn about, this item would be (relatively) common knowledge by now.

Paul Dorman

If this is true, what is up with all the complaints about Apple?s iPhone app dictatorship?? Seems, with all the Apple App Store criticism being spewn about, this item would be (relatively) common knowledge by now.

It’s quite true, and well-known among anyone who has developed or considered developing iPhone apps.  How do you think developers test their products?

The catch is that end users now have to purchase a $99 developer license, install the developer tools, and mess with compiling code.

And the original developers lose the DRM of the app store.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Dude, let’s say I buy my Mom an iPhone and she lives 450 miles away. Now, my Mom wants to install the iDroid app or the South Park app. And lets say that despite being rejected by the App Store, the developers of these apps decide to give out the source so that everyone who wants to spend $99 can install them on their iPhones. What do you think the chances of my Mom installing them on her iPhone is?

And you know what? My friends, family, and people I work with all know me as the guy who knows his Apple stuff. And I will recommend Apple stuff often enough. But they also know that I won’t push expensive stuff on them when a lower priced alternative is adequate (or often better) for their needs. You would do very well professionally and personally to quit acting like an insufferable fanboi and actually listen to what people want. Here’s a hint… Most of the time, it’s not an Apple logo tattooed on their ass.

Play Ultimate

Bosco, The Apple App Store will never be a open source free-for-all. Apple has a process that every app must go through. I suspect you knew that before you bought your iWhatever device or if you signed up to be a developer. It is what it is and Apple is perfectly in their right to do so.  There are some brand of blue jeans I can’t buy at Wal-Mart and I can’t buy the Safeway brand groceries at a Kroger. No difference.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Play Ultimate. Right. Fully aware, and Apple can do as it wishes. You can walk up the caviar bar at a party like Christian Slater and eat all the caviar if you like. There’s no law against it. But there are informal rules that discourage you from doing that. In the software development world, there are informal rules about the amount of control platform vendors have over their platforms. The problem is not with the App Store, it’s with the App Store being the exclusive practical distribution channel. And you sir, are pretending that isn’t a practical problem, that anyone can pay $99 and install whatever they want on their iPhone. That is bullshit, and if you’ll just step back and admit that were spewing bullshit when you said it, we can resume a thoughtful discussion.

On a side note about informal rules… I read this article on Engadget with interest this morning. It seems that a French court used precedent from a Spanish court to say that Nintendo DS owners should be allowed to extend their devices as they wish. This is just bubbling up, but if Europe ends up going the public policy route of saying device manufacturers aren’t entitled to legal protection from extension of their platforms, I bet some European developer will challenge Apple on the same point. Apple’s control freak attitude over iPhone is not sustainable. They should do the decent, honorable thing and recognize that fact. My bet is they won’t, and the next couple years will be like 1994 and 1995 all over again with a more open standard gobbling up market share and marginalizing Apple’s “more innovative” offering.

zewazir

Now, my Mom wants to install the iDroid app or the South Park app. And lets say that despite being rejected by the App Store, the developers of these apps decide to give out the source so that everyone who wants to spend $99 can install them on their iPhones. What do you think the chances of my Mom installing them on her iPhone is?

I have no idea, not knowing your mother. But the end reply to such is “so what?” I deal on a daily basis with people who cannot even use a flash drive correctly. No technology is going to ever be able to address the needs of all levels of ability.  It is, quite simply, impractical to assume it it the duty of the corporation to lead everyone by the hand through all possible uses of their devices.  If people want 3rd party apps on their iPhones without going through the App store, it turns out there is a way, without the need to hack the device.  Therefore any and all complaints about the App store being the only method and only avenue are, shall we say, not quite accurate.

My friends, family, and people I work with all know me as the guy who knows his Apple stuff.

So you are reasonably technically competent.  That does not make your “I want it all at MY price” whines and complaints any more valid. You keep talking about how Apple needs to “actually listen to what people want.” Well, considering they are still a highly successful company, and indeed one of the very few who continue to show growth in these hard economic times, the FACTS show that Aplle is, indeed, “listening” to people and giving them what they want.

Now just because there are a bunch of cheap charlie whiners who want Apple’s products, but do not like their price structure in no way indicates Apple is not listening to what people want.  There are simply some wants that are not worth addressing.  And that goes for every company in the world. Some companies focus on quality and uniqueness of product.  Some focus on cheap.  Sorry to bust your drug induced illusions, but combining the former with the latter just will not happen.  Not with Apple, not with Mercedes, not with anyone. “YOu get what you pay for” is a reality, whether you want to ignore it or not.

Play Ultimate

The problem is not with the App Store, it?s with the App Store being the exclusive practical distribution channel. And you sir, are pretending that isn?t a practical problem, that anyone can pay $99 and install whatever they want on their iPhone.

1) It is true. Perhaps not efficient but true.
2) You are asking for two separate things: practical distribution and open distribution. Jailbreaking, despite Apple Inc.‘s cries against it, is a way to install almost anything you want on your iPhone/Touch. However, the distribution model is not perfect. iTunes is a great distribution mode, considering it is the #1 retailer of music in the US. However it comes with restrictions.  Unfortunately, too many in this country are happy about being spoon-fed information/content under the pretext that it is easy and safe. Hell, most of America lives in look-a-like homes with CCRs that forces one to keep it that way. 

. . .and the next couple years will be like 1994 and 1995 all over again with a more open standard gobbling up market share and marginalizing Apple?s ?more innovative? offering.

I’m not sure what 1994/95 open standard you are referring to? If it is MSFT’s dominance in the PC marketplace, that started in the mid - 80s when IBM gave credibility to DOS and allowed MSFT to market it to whom ever it wanted.  It just took until the 90s for the idea of owning a PC to take off. But DOS/Windows is no more open than Mac OS.  It just got a bigger market share.

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