Angelo DiNardi’s MailWranger app for the iPhone has been denied entry to the App Store because it “duplicates the functionality” of the built-in Mail app. The reason is similar to why Podcaster was rejected and it makes even less sense.
MailWrangler lets users check multiple Gmail accounts without manually logging in and out. Unlike Apple’s application, DiNardi’s uses the web interface via an embedded browser. He says Gmail in Mail is missing some other features, too:
“Using just the Apple Mail application you aren’t able to see threaded views, your google contacts, archive (quickly), star, etc without going through the hassles that are present when using Gmail’s IMAP on the iPhone.”
Several comments on DiNardi’s post support the need for MailWrangler’s features on the iPhone. Yet Apple could not find room in the App Store for MailWrangler. That’s the same App Store that has over 20 tip calculators, each one duplicating the features of the built-in Calculator app.
I’ve said before that Apple should not reject apps unless the code is malicious. More important is to have criteria applied equally to all apps. Making up new reasons to reject an app only makes a closed platform appear even less open, especially when the app may appear to compete with Apple.
Apple should be treating its app developers like royalty. These people are going to keep the iPhone as the platform of the future. Right now the developers need Apple more than the company needs them, but that will not last forever. Apple needs to make peace now, before it loses some of its biggest supporters.
[Screenshot by Angelo DiNardi]