"We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don't need any more Fart apps," announced Apple in its newly implemented App Store Review Guidelines for developers.
Apple's vague and mostly undocumented mobile application review process for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad apps has been a subject of much controversy since the company opened up the store to outside developers more than two years ago.
The new (and much-needed) guidelines - the first publicly published documentation on Apple's App Store approval process - clearly explains why some applications don't make the cut. The new guidelines will also help to appease the growing animosity felt by many iOS developers.
The guidelines became available to developers registered in Apple's iOS developer program on September 9 and detail many significant changes for iOS developers.
"[W]e are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps," said Apple in a September 9 statement.
"This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need."
"The existence of this document is a very welcome change," writes influential blogger John Gruber on his Daring Fireball blog, "and it goes a long way to answering much of the criticism regarding prior controversial App Store rejections, by putting in writing the rules that are actually used by the reviewers."
The changes are not just significant for app creators.
With a more open and defined app submission process, the developers who have previously scorned Apple's arbitrary app approval may return to the system, ultimately resulting in additional and (more importantly) higher quality apps for consumers.
Technology blogs Engadget and TechCrunch have put together a list of some of the interesting and "shockingly blunt" guidelines included in Apple's new rules.
Highlights include: "We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour," "If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps," and "If it sounds like we're control freaks, well, maybe it's because we're so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products."
The articles can be accessed here: http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/09/apples-app-store-review-guidelines-we-dont-need-any-more-far/ and here: http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/09/app-store-rules/.
You can read "what app developers are saying" about the changes here: http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2010/09/apples_new_app_store_approach_developers_weigh_the_impact.html
Daring Fireball: http://daringfireball.net/2010/09/app_store_guidelines