Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apple shows two faces on iPhone's API policy

Peeps is an app for iPhone/iPod Touch that organize your contacts and turns your address book into an animated photo album. The app also allows you to sync them with Microsoft Outlook, Mac OS X, Google or Yahoo contacts.

But if you visit Peeps website, or try to find it in App Store, you won't find it available yet. Because Apple has rejected entrance for Peeps into App Store, the reason is Apple believes Peeps is using their private Cover Flow implementation. Landon Fuller, the man behind Peeps has posted up Apple's email in his blog:

Upon review of your application, Peeps cannot be posted to the App Store due to the usage of a non-public API. Usage of non-public APIs, as outlined in the iPhone SDK Agreement section 3.3.1, is prohibited:
"3.3.1 Applications may only use Published APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any unpublished or private APIs. "
The non-public API that is included in your application comes from the CoverFlow API set.

APIs are tools that applications use to exploit parts of a computer's operating system. But apparently Google has already used such an API in its Google Mobile application, and Google even proudly admitted they've broken the rules set by Apple.

But that's not the real argument according to Fuller, he claims that Peeps is not using private API. "So when I needed a CoverFlow-like user interface I wrote my own -- from scratch. I suppose I should be flattered that Apple mistook it for their own implementation," Fuller said in his blog.

Fuller is still waiting for the next response from Apple for the misunderstanding, which he said it taken 33 days for them to tell him. Told ya not to believe in Apple... ;-p

Sources are from Landon Fuller blog, via CNet Apple blog.

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