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What’s wrong with the iPhone

Normally, I beat around the bush for a minute, but I’m going to get to the point.  Right now, there are well over 30,000 apps for the iPhone.  Now, there are a lot of good features built into the app store to aid in finding something worth while, something you’re looking for, but it just doesn’t work for the number of applications that have been made available in a short time.

Now, there’s a few reasons why this came about, and why it’s bad.  The first, and possibly most important, is the tools.  I and everyone else thought that being able to develop an application for such a revolutionary, and well done, piece of hardware, easily, for free, was a fantastic idea.  I don’t think so anymore.  The reason why is because now anyone can make an application for the iPhone, and that’s what’s happened: everyone has made one.  What to do about this?  Well, I don’t know that they can fix this part.  You can’t take back what you’ve already given the masses without a large backlash.  But, maybe Apple can institute a, say, $250 processing fee for entry into the app store or something like that, but I don’t like that either.  One of the things that is so good about the app store, is you as a developer could have absolutely no money, but make thousands of dollars off of your awesome app.

This brings me to the second problem.  The approval process.  This has been publicized greatly, but I’ll go through it anyway for those who may not know.  There are two problems with the approval process, one that I know, and one that many people might not (but might also not be real, I’m just assuming it’s a problem).  The first, is that there are not clear guidelines for what your app must do in order to be placed in the app store.  This is relatively easy to resolve.  The second, is that I doubt that the approval process is very bureaucratic.   What I mean by this is that it is probably the case that the app just goes to one or two people to review for its qualifications.  What would be a better policy, is to have it go to two separate people, an then go through an adjudication process afterwards.   This has two purposes.  The first is that it makes sure there are checks in place to make sure that the reviewers are doing their job properly, and the other is that it could do a good job of facilitating changes in policy to better the process.

The third item is possibly the most effective, which is tags.  Currently, the app store simply lists applications by categories.  Again, this is good for a small number of applications, but when you reach tens (and soon probably hundreds) of thousands of applications, there needs to be an additional layer of categorization.

What do you all in cyberspace think?  Any other ideas?

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