It’s just company policy

Apple has not been straightforward about the reason it stopped Rogue Amoeba from offering iOS-to-iOS audio streaming in Airfoil Speakers Touch. Apple’s Phil Schiller explained to a customer that Rogue Amoeba had been doing something improper. Rogue Amoeba’s response to Mr. Schiller makes it clear that Mr. Schiller was being less than completely honest. Mr. Schiller attempts to justify Apple’s actions by knowingly conflating two different things:
  1. accessing AirPlay streams in general (a capability Apple allows), and
  2. accessing streams sent from iOS devices (a capability Apple—still without explanation—does not allow).
There’s an old saying:
Of course there’s no reason for it. It’s just company policy.
If Apple wishes to prohibit something just because, the company is entitled to do this. Apple should not, however, then attempt to rationalize its decision. Schiller’s argument—superficially plausible but factually inconsistent—makes the company seem petty and unreliable.

I believe Apple would do well to be more forthright; but of course sometimes the company has secret reasons for a given policy. In such cases, though, the company should at least not be dishonest with its partners and customers. Lack of clarity in AppStore guidelines and policies is an ongoing problem for iOS developers. Misleading and disingenuous communications from Apple do not help resolve this problem.

No comments: