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Phil Schiller Gives A Real Reason Why Airfoil Speakers Touch Was Pulled From The App Store

Rogue Amoeba’s popular app Airfoil Speakers Touch was recently pulled from the App Store. There was  speculation circling the removal of their app and no one knew exactly why Apple decided to pull it. Apparently they were using unlicensed APIs, because the app returned yesterday missing some of its core functionality.

Phil Schiller explains…

Kevin Starbid recently took it upon himself to email Apple explaining his concerns with the whole situation. Since no “real” explanation was given to Rogue Amoeba as to why the app was really pulled, he decided to get to the bottom off things in an email to Tim Cook obtained by Cult of Mac. Though “Mr. Cook” didn’t respond himself, Phil Schiller did, and with a clarifying answer.

Dear Mr. Cook,

Apple recently pulled Rogue Amoeba’s app “Speakers” (an app that allowed an iOS device to receive AirPlay audio directly from iTunes or another iOS device) from the iOS app store on no grounds other than it contained “content or behavior [you] believe is over the line” — an opaque explanation if there ever was one, especially since Rogue Amoeba has yet to be told which line they crossed.

As a consumer and regular patron of Apple’s, this smells rotten to me. Specifically, it seems like you’re worried about a hit to the sale of Airplay-licensed speakers and the Airport Express. I suggest, however, that there would be greater benefit to us all if you allowed innovative and rule-abiding developers to provide value and utility in the form of brilliant paid apps like Speakers, thus enhancing the overall value of the entire iOS ecosystem.

What you’ve done instead is damage your ecosystem (not to mention your credibility) by telling developers everywhere that, even if they’ve spent thousands developing a paid app that follows all of your rules, you will never hesitate to pull the rug out from under them if you feel it might hurt the sale of iPod accessories.

I’m deeply disappointed, but I’m willing to hear Apple’s side of the story…

Very sincerely,

Kevin Starbird

Duarte, CA

Now that you’ve seen Kevin’s concern. Check out the email Phil Schiller sent in reply to clarify the whole situation.

Mr Starbird,

Thank you for your email and question about this application.

The story as I understand it is simple, and not accurately recounted on Rogue Amoeba’s website. Rogue Amoeba’s app added a feature that accessed encrypted AirPlay audio streams without using approved APIs or a proper license and in violation of Apple’s agreements. Apple asked Rogue Amoeba to update their app to remain in compliance with our terms and conditions.

Your assumptions as to Apple’s motives and actions are simply not correct. We have an Airplay licensing program explicitly to assist companies in creating AirPlay capable products. Apple never said that we would pull the rug out from anyone, we in fact worked with this developer to ensure they update their app and remain on the App Store.



Is this the end of the story? Will we see this functionality in iOS 6? There’s no way to tell, but at least Phil came out and delivered a response. Apple kinda did handle this the wrong way from the get-go.

What do you think?

Source: Cult of Mac

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