iPhone App Rejected for Duplicating iTunes Features

Podcaster allows users to download podcasts, just like iTunes

By on 15 Sep 2008, 08:56 GMT
Apple has (again) denied an app's presence on the iTunes App Store, this time because said app replicates iTunes functionality. However, the app's developer notes in a blog post that many apps replicate Apple's software and even iTunes, and those are a go nonetheless.

“Apple had nothing in the terms prohibiting developers from duplicating features currently available on desktop application,” says the developer of Podcaster, an app that manages and plays podcasts. “I followed all the guidelines and made sure everything is in the correct place. Yet Apple denies me because I allow users to download podcasts just like iTunes.”

The upset developer also posts a statement coming from an “Apple Rep” who told him that “since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.” The developer then says “[OK, so] there are numerous apps that duplicate the functionality of other apps. For example, any calculator app is duplicating the functionality of Apples calculator app. Any app that tells you the weather is duplicating the Yahoo weather app. Any app that lets you listen to music is duplicating the iPod portion of the iPhone. [...] There are also several apps that simply allow you to listen to a podcast (Diggnation and Mobility Today just to name a few) that are not denied from the app Store,” he explains, adding he still has to receive an answer from Apple regarding all these claims.

Podcaster even sports a feature iTunes doesn't, namely the ability to download podcasts directly to the device, according to its maker.

Whether or not Apple has good reason to deny this app's presence on the iTunes App Store remains to be seen. In the meanwhile, interested iPhone and iPod touch owners can visit this address and buy Podcaster. Why is it available for download if Apple denied it? Well, developers also have the option to distribute their apps via the “Ad Hoc Method.” The app has a pretty good rating so far, so it's probably worth checking out. There's also a demonstration video available, so you can see it in action on an iPhone.

Tell us what you think about Apple's denying Podcaster from the App Store.

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Podcaster title screen
   Podcaster title screen