A Final Note on AirFloat

AirFloat – the application that allowed you to stream audio from iTunes to your iDevice using AirPlay – was removed from the App Store a couple of months ago, and since then the wave has been going back and forth between Apple and I.

My appeal to the Apple Review Board was denied. And the Apple Technical Support was almost a month before they got back to me. Finally they called me last week.

We had a good talk. I spoke to a Steve (not the Jobs – obviously) at Apple. For once it was a friendly conversation. The previous conversations with Apple had been with sort of a tad dismiss on their part, and I found it difficult to get a good discussion going.

Anyhow, Steve was a cool guy, and he was friendly and understanding. As it turned out he agreed, that the initial reason for their rejection – “usage of undocumented API” – was incorrect. But then he pointed me to the “iOS Developer Program License Agreement”.

You probably thought that once you obeyed the “App Store Review Guidelines” you where in safe habour. That’s not the case. Here is a 49 page document, that contains noumerous paragraphs and sections, of things Apple will not allow you to do as an iOS developer. And that includes on the App Store.

I am aware of this document, but I have never in my life read it. Who reads these things? Well, I probably accepted it once during my initial inauguration into the Apple iOS Developer Program. And first rule of business: You read what you sign!

Steve pointed me to the following sections of §3.2:

(d) To the best of Your knowledge and belief, Your Application, Licensed Application Information, Pass and Pass Information do not and will not violate, misappropriate, or infringe any Apple or third party copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy and publicity, trade secrets, patents, or other proprietary or legal rights (e.g. musical composition or performance rights, video rights, photography or image rights, logo rights, third party data rights, etc. for content and materials that may be included in Your Application);

(e) You will not, through use of the Apple Software, Apple-issued certificates, services or otherwise, create any Application, Pass or other code or program that would disable, hack or otherwise interfere with the Security Solution, or any security, digital signing, digital rights management, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iOS, this Apple Software, any services or other Apple software or technology, or enable others to do so;

The first one is simple and AirFloat breaks it in more than one way. I use the AirPlay technology – which is an Apple Trademark. I break the digital rights management software. iTunes decodes encrypted music before sending it – encrypted though – to AirFloat. AirFloat decrypts it for playback. This is probably by Apple regarded as “infringe any Apple or third party [...] proprietary [...] rights“.

The second one – section e – is where I think Apple feels the most viloated. It’s about the AirPort Express Private RSA Key – which Steve also mentioned in our conversation. Even though I personally did not hack the AirPort Express in order to obtain the private key – Apple probably regards this as patato patato – I did download it off the Internet and included it in my App.

So maybe technically I didn’t break this part of the agreement, but I do not think – in the end – that I will ever be able to defend this beyond reasonable doubt. Apple has a point. I included it in my App, and that’s sufficient.

So this all boils down to reading the documents you sign before taking actions upon it. If I had just read it, I probably never would have started AirFloat in the first place. But if I should slightly try to justify myself just a bit, then Apple already had approved similar Apps – AirSpeakers Touch – which also used the AirPort Express Private API key. And when I submitted AirFloat, it had been there for at least a year.

So I didn’t read the document, because I believe acted in “good faith” – and possibly also in ignorance. You should think Apple reviews all apps that go into the App Store with regards to the “iOS Developer Program License Agreement”. But obviously they don’t always do.

So end lesson is you cannot expect an app to be accepted just because Apple have previously reviewed and accepted a similar app. Read the documents!

As a final note I would like to express my regrets. Not that I made AirFloat nor that it was pulled from the App Store. But regrets on the part of the Apple community. It’s kind of sad that Apple don’t want these apps on the store. Some of us – the independent developers – go through great lengths in order to create great products for a platform we love.

In my view Apple could have chosen to remove it or embrace it. After all it was created out of the sheer will to enrich the Apple ecosystem. And that’s what I think Apple should embrace.

Thanks for listening, and thanks to those who managed to download an embrace AirFloat. After all it has been an adventure creating it. And adventures are always hard to catch!

Posted in AirFloat | 9 Comments

Emojis NSCharacterSet Objective-C Category

Hey

I am currently developing an app, where I needed to distinguish between Emojis and non-Emoji characters in an NSTextField. After spending some time searching the web for a NSCharacterSet addition with all the Emojis, I decided to create my own.

The code is iOS 6 ready.

Continue reading

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Some Thoughts on the Removal of AirFloat and AirFoil

As a follow-up to my previous post regarding the removal of AirFloat, I just want to give some insights to my perspective of this recent turmoil.

The search for the perfect app

A year ago I was looking for an app that enabled me to stream audio from iTunes to my iPhone. I was sharing an apartment at the time, and in order not to disturb my then flatmate, I used headphones for listening to music, when I was having long nights of development.

But the limitations of my computer annoyed me. I was annoyed by the fact, that if I had to make a late night cup of coffee, I needed to take my computer with me, if I wanted to do it while listening to music.

Continue reading

Posted in AirFloat, Opinion | 45 Comments

AirFloat has been removed from App Store

As of today, AirFloat is no longer available on the App Store.

AirFloat is – or should I say was – an app, that allowed you to send audio to your iPhone, by emulating the AirPlay audio protocol. It is written from the ground up. Almost 10.000 lines of code was written – as a full time project over the course of three month.

The app has been hugely popular. Not in sales, but in reviews. The app has gotten only 5-star reviews on the App Store. People were praising it. And I was in the final stages of getting my marketing campaign rolling.

Needless to say. I got a call from Apple friday, telling me the app was being taken off the App Store. Even though they have initially approved it, they somehow along the lines – changed their minds.

Their reason for this, is they believe I violate their App Store Review Guidelines. Even though that is their claim, I will have to look into that. I cannot further comment the case with Apple, as I will be investigating the matter over the next couple of days.

That being said… this has huge impacts – being self-employed – on my private affairs. As previously stated – having spent three months in development – it currently looks like AirFloat won’t pay off. The implications of this is not yet determined. But as of now, it is possible, that I will be forced to shut down my app businesses. But that’s the risks you run, when competing with the company guarding the gates of your market.

I really do regret this on behalf on my customers. It looks like it was highly appreciated amongst you. Sadly – as it looks – the app won’t have the change to satisfy others.

Being this is kind of sudden, I would like to thank everyone who enjoyed AirFloat. Thanks for your great feedback – both to me personally, on e-mail and on the App Store.

I’ll keep you posted, if anything emerges.

Posted in AirFloat | 17 Comments

Spotify for iPad is out!

Hi People!

I have both good news and bad news. The good news is, that Spotify finally came around to releasing their Spotify app for iPad.

The bad news is, that it also means the end of Spotable. The reason for this decision is first and foremost, that I do not wish in any way to compete with Spotify. I made Spotable because of my disappointment with my inability to use Spotify on the iPad. So now that the Spotify app is finally here, I see no reason for me to continue.

Secondly Spotable has been a spare time project for me. And doing my livelyhood by making apps, it takes a lot of time away from the commercial products I produce. So it is also with kind of a relief, that I can finally see Spotify coming to the rescue.

I would say though. If any of you guys were willing to support the development of Spotable in the form of donations, I might just reconsider my decision. But I really don’t think that’s an issue.

That said though – I did promise to fix the login issue. The problem is I decided to take a completely different approach. Namely to rewrite Spotable.

I have never been proud of Spotable. It nowhere compares with the standard I thrive to obtain. And then you can say, that it’s just unfortunate that Spotify should beat me to the finish line. But then again. It’s their great service, so they really should get the credit as well.

But to give you an impression, of what Spotable was to become, you can take a look at the screenshots I posted below.

So to sum it off. It has been great having this attention. Spotable reached no more than 30.000 downloads in just 30 days! I will probably never come to see that again, for a simple app I created on my spare time. Maybe not ever again.

So thank you all! Sorry I didn’t make it to the finish line. But I sure hope you will enjoy Spotify’s own iPad app. I have just been scrolling though it, and I really think it looks promising.

If I ever were to claim my 15 minutes of fame, this must have been it. Thank you all! Just to bad the app wasn’t as it was supposed.

And remember AirFloat for iPhone is available on the App Store. It enables you to send audio – inclusive audio from Spotify for iPad – to your iPhone, which you then can plug in to your stereo or dock, and then send your audio to your speakers. Kind of neat? It emulates the AirPort Express – in essens turning your iPhone into an AirTunes audio receiver. Receives both audio from other iPhones, iPad and iTunes.

See it on App Store .

But to conclude. Here are some screenshots of what Spotable was becoming.

Thanks!

Continue reading

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The Spotable Login Issue

Hello all.

I have gotten numerous accounts of people being unable to login to Spotify using Spotable. The issue is being investigated within the next couple of days, and hopefully the issue will be resolved within next week.

Thanks for the feedback!

 

Posted in Spotable | 5 Comments

Spotable is back!

Hey All!

Spotable is back on the App Store. Go get it!

http://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/spotable/id501040046?mt=8

 

Posted in Spotable | 8 Comments

Tablified is almost back. Almost! And now it’s Spotable.

Well.

It has been some busy couple of weeks these last few. I have been highly involved with a project for a telecommunications company, and therefore time for the new version of Tablified (now known as Spotable) has been sparse.

It has been a project of mine to upgrade Spotable before it went out. Things like making a new and improved user interface and do some of the highly requested features. Well – as I said before – time has been sparse. And now I feel like I don’t want to make people wait any longer. Therefore Tablified as you know it has been resubmitted to the App Store today. Just as Spotable instead.

Thank you all so much for your feedback and your great comments. It is highly appreciated.

So here it goes. Spotable is available as soon as Apple has approved it. And of course for free as previously.

It is the same app as Tablified. No changes what-so-ever. My energy has been on other projects, but I promise – a new better Spotable will be available within some short time.

So were back. Enjoy!

 

Posted in Spotable | 9 Comments

Tablified becomes Spotable

Tablified has been off the App Stpre for a couple of weeks now. I have gotten multiple request about when it will be available again.

There good news and bad news. It WILL be available. But not before a couple of weeks. I am currently redesigning Spotable to a whole new user experience. The app will have easier navigation, have full playback control and the ability to edit playlists.

I am currently wrapping up production of AirFloat – an app that turns your iPhone into an AirPlay audio receiver. And when that have launched, we are in full effect on Spotable.

So please be patient. But be assured it’s coming up. Sorry about the delay, but to be frank, the Tablified app really wasn’t ready for production. And since Spotify hasn’t approached me, I am confident to make an even better player for the new version.

In the meanwhile you can tell me what you crave for it to include.

Posted in Spotable | 4 Comments

Seeking beta testers

I am currently in the process of wrapping up a project, that allows you to turn your iPhone/iPad/iPad into an AirPlay receiver. Thereby allowing you to turn any speaker, dock or headphones into an AirPlay capable device.

The app is compatible with the AirPort Express implementation of AirPlay.

I am currently seeking beta testers for this app. Do you use AirPlay regularly, and want to test out this new app, please let me know.

I need about 20-30 beta testers.

If you sign up please be active. I will be needing feedback, so please don’t sign up as a way to receive a pre-release. Beta feedback will be available from the app.

If you think this sounds interesting, please join the beta test here:

https://testflightapp.com/join/a0733dee3369a2b345a89a95c6f010de-NTQ5NTc/

Thanks in advance.

Posted in Products | Leave a comment