App Store Grifters

App cloning is a problem that impacts both large and small developers. In a nutshell, a cloner decrypts an app, then sucks out the binary. Once they have the binary, they modify it and resubmit it to the App Store as their own. A difficult problem for Apple to solve. They’d either need to apply significantly more resources to screening submitted apps, or take more time per app with existing resources, which would slow the review process to a crawl.

The app had only been out three months, and already the creators of A Beautiful Mess were scrambling to deal with a big problem: clones, copycats, and rip-offs, as many as seven of them, crowding the search results in the App Store. The clones appeared to be legitimate, affiliated versions, yet as all the developers knew, they were anything but. The CEO of the company that created the original A Beautiful Mess called them “infuriating.”

And getting rid of a clone is no easy task.

A Beautiful Mess developers tried to have the clones removed. “When we reported an IP infringement through Apple’s system, [Apple] would e-mail the company we were accusing and CC us on it,” said Trey George, the business development manager for A Beautiful Mess, in an e-mail to Ars. George believed that most of the clones originated with two operations, which he believed would feign innocence when confronted in a bid to buy time.

Clones and the like have been around the App Store almost since its inception. But this scourge has now become commonplace.

Android’s lack of strong oversight can lead to an even worse problem. Clymer highlighted the recent case of the game Gentlemen!, which was purchased legitimately 144 times and pirated more than 50,000 times.

Glad to see this problem getting the exposure it needs.

iOS development in India

There’s an interesting bit about halfway through talking about Apple’s increased presence in India of late. That’s a potentially huge market for Apple.

What makes a good QA person

Brent Simmons on his QA person Nick:

Nick does excellent work.

Which means that when I’m busy and have a lot to do, I curse his name, the air he breathes, and everybody who’s ever been nice to him. I suspect his heart is black and terrible and full of hatred toward me personally.

Which is just to say, again: Nick does excellent work.


All the apps have been written

I want to take a time machine back to when I was 20 and Gibbs-slap myself… hard.

A great story from Kevin Hoctor about writing software and a wonderful bit of advice for writing an app.

∞ National App Development Month

Ian Robinson:

I was thinking recently that it would be useful to have a month to focus on doing an app from start to finish. I’ve dabbled with development for ages, without knuckling down and getting something done. I’ve decided to do it in December. Take 31 days and use my spare time to do an iPhone app that I want for myself. I floated the idea on Twitter and a few people seemed interested in doing something themselves. Of course I’m doing an iPhone app, but there is no reason that any other sort of app couldn’t be done. A Macintosh app, a Windows Phone 7 app, an Android app, a web app, or an app for whatever platform you like.

Great idea.

∞ Objectify for Mac 1.0 Creates Objective-C Code from JSON

Tigerbears on Tuesday released a new application called Objectify that is targeted to Apple developers.

According to the company, Objectify saves Cocoa developers time and effort by automatically building customizable model classes from JSON content. These classes can be exported as Objective-C source code files, ready to be used in the developer’s development environment of choice.

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∞ Bare Bones releases BBEdit 9.5

Is there really a better application on the Mac than BBEdit? It’s an app that I’ve been using everyday for the better part of 15 years and on Tuesday it received a major update with the release of version 9.5.