The saga of Podcaster, the iPhone App Store, and Apple being maybe a little evil

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It's been bubbling along in the Apple rumorsphere lately, so I suppose it'd be worthwhile to briefly touch on the drama around Podcaster, the App Store application that Apple pulled because it duplicated functionality in iTunes. Quick takes:

  • Daring Fireball points out why the act isn't something that Apple can't do, in some abstract righteous sense of "can't"; rather, he argues that it will just drive away developers who won't find out that they're app won't fly until they've already invested time and resources into building it, which will make it much less likely that they'll invest said time and resources in the first place, and which is ultimately not something that Apple actually wants.
  • The New York Times Bits Blog busts out the term "capricious", and tries and fails to get some kind of official statement out of the head of the iPhone PR department. It's another instance of Apple's weird cult of secrecy just making them seem creepy and weird.
  • Niall Kennedy provides a look inside the App Store, and also a review of the Podcaster app itself, in which he comes to the heretical conclusion: maybe Podcaster was rejected because it was kind of crappy? And even if it wasn't, maybe Apple should have said that anyway, as that would have staved off a storm of bad publicity?
  • Finally, the Joy of Tech offers a fairly awesome cartoon explaining how these sorts of events might happen.
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