Apple and its “des” charms

Talking about Apple is not a naturally easy task. For many a source of inspiration for quality and innovation, the company now has a legion of fans who defend the brand at all costs. We recently launched on the App Store an app called Smart.Guru, and about this experience that I will share with you in this article.

I have worked with Apple for over 15 years. During this period, I founded an authorized training center in Brazil and earned several certifications abroad as an instructor, making in 2010 one of the best trained technicians. In parallel, as a way of giving back and promoting the community, I wrote to two series of specialized articles: Appreendedor and Seguranca in the Apple world. This whole journey provided me with different types of experiences related to the company's products / services.

Alongside an incredible team, I currently have fully dedicated my time and knowledge to a project in the area of ​​Artificial Intelligence with a focus on the prediction of human behavior. Like a genuna startup, we follow all current models of efficient management, including the fragmentation of a larger project in the development of small parts in product format (known as MVP – Minimum Viable Product), which validate fundamental business hypotheses in shorter cycles of time.

In early September of this year, we sent our first application for Apple's approval and publication in your store. We had a fast process, however, only after eight days from the date of shipment that we had the company's first return. Supported by the rules that regulate the app store (App Store Review Guidelines) the company justified its denial in accordance with item 17.2 (“Apps that require users to share personal information”), claiming that we offer the user only a single login option via Facebook.

In relation to precedents, according to the methodology applied in Law, when allowing an application to use this same resource under the same conditions, other applications now enjoy the same prerogative. notorious the immense amount of apps that use the login via Facebook and that are published on the App Store. We justify our justification through the Problem Solving Center based on this argument, but without success.

Smart.Guru rejections

In total there were * four * denials over the course of two months of attempts, all related to user accounts of the application. We receive a response, make the necessary adjustments and send a new version for analysis quickly. Each new interaction process of the company took around a week containing only vague and diffuse information. An unpleasant experience is different from the other means of relationship between the company and its consumers. It seemed to me like a “Russian roulette”, supported by a set of ambiguous and outdated rules.

The team was already becoming demotivated, investors unhappy, all planning and deadlines had been affected due to the bureaucratic and time-consuming processes imposed by Apple. Situations that made me look for other ways to solve the problem. Talking to friends, I found out that Apple has a call center for its developers (the numbers can be viewed on this page including Portuguese support); through it, I was instructed to open a case study request, informing through this form details about the facts and questions (a kind of ombudsman). After a few days, we began to receive more accurate returns and differentiated monitoring, finally leading to the publication of the Smart.Guru app in the store.

After the facts, I decided to expose the case to one of Apple's directors (John Geleynse, evangelist director of technology and user experience), who coincidentally was one of the people I met at an event promoted by Apple to developers in Brazil, reported in my first article published in . That's where the magic happened (laughs) John gave us a quick feedback and shared the email with another professional, who suggested the use of technologies that would considerably facilitate the development time of our product and possibly avoid these inconveniences with the team. review and approval of Apple applications. We have already gone through the entire process and with the app published in the store, but a new window of opportunities has been opened, which until then was unknown to our team.

I hope this article can help developers who are experiencing similar problems and also as a way of alerting Apple to the process of reviewing and approving applications developed for their platform. For me, the developers are the main connoisseurs of their own business and it is up to Apple to analyze with more discretion and impartiality all the facts and not only classify them in a generalized or random way. Despite the consecutive denials we received and the delay in the returns, we were glad that everything was resolved in the end.