I submitted my iPhone App last week. The submission process is complicated and it took me a while to figure it out. Today I got a “dear John” email from the iTunes store.
We’ve reviewed your application Ed’s Blog and have determined that this application is not appropriate for the App Store because it is intended for a limited audience.
If you would like to share it with friends and family, we recommend you review the Ad Hoc method on the Distribution tab of the iPhone Developer Portal for details on distributing this application among a small group of people of your choosing.
I’m shocked I tell you. Shocked. Well not really. Ad Hoc Distribution is typically used for Beta Testing an App before it is released on the iTunes store. There is a limit of 100 users for Ad Hoc Distribution. It seems that the iTunes store doesn’t think I have 100 friends with iPhones that want my App.
An important concept in the Silicon Valley is “reach”. Everyone is trying to increase their reach. It is an important concept, but so is “local” and here is where I think Apple is making a mistake with their App policy. As more and more people learn how to create Apps for the iPhone there will be an increasing interest is Apps that address very local needs. This will enhance the usefulness of smart phones. Downloading and installing an App from the iTunes store is very easy. It is not as easy to install an App sent by Ad Hoc Distribution. Allowing for very local Aps will only enhance the iPhone’s appeal.
I have raised the question with the iTunes store. In the meantime if you would like to help me get onto the store ask your friends with an iPhone if they would like to learn how to be Beta Testers of an iPhnoe App. Maybe if I get 100 users they’ll let me onto iTunes!