Brian X. Chen over at Wired has done another piece of excellent snooping and followed a trail of evidence to uncover some awkward truths about Apple’s own director of applications technology, Philip Shoemaker.
Shoemaker has a whole host of iPhone Apps that he sells under his company name Gray Noodle LLC. Included in his “portfolio” of work are not the stunning works of software excellence we would expect from an Apple employee who is directly responsible for overseeing the approval and rejection of our apps. No, it’s a litany of Fart, Wee and Poop apps, with accompanying graphics and sound effects of the basest and most simplistic nature.
Not only that, but casting an eye over the screenshots that Wired have of these apps it is clear that Shoemaker has used the most rudimentary and cynical methods of putting apps together. Not even bothering to customise the default Interface Builder buttons Apple provide for prototyping apps, so that they appear as generic white ovals with plain blue text in them. In short, the apps are not worthy of a kindergarten programmers efforts.
As soon as Shoemaker discovered that Wired were onto him he attempted, rather clumsily, to cover his tracks. Showing that he does indeed at-least realize the hypocrisy and distastefulness of his duplicity. Perhaps he fears for his job, and rightly so in my opinion.
Apparently he has also played rather fast and loose with some of his comments about certain iPhone developers on his Twitter feed. Which he had wiped today also.
Further, whilst it is acceptable to sell apps that you made before you joined Apple, which is what Shoemaker claims is the case, it is clear from his deleted Tweets (available as a download from Wired) that a large number of his apps were published after he started working at Apple, and after he had starting rejecting independent developers apps. Something which it is not clear that he had permission to do.
This behaviour is so unacceptable on so many levels. Selling shoddy apps of low value is a minor crime. Potentially breaking your employment contract by selling apps in a store you are employed to “police” is perhaps forgivable. Or perhaps he had special dispensation. But doing so when you are the one rejecting other people’s apps for faults that your own apps exhibit in abundance is totally unacceptable.
Do you think Apple should show Shoemaker the door? Let us know in the comments.
Disclosure: I am an active App Store developer, and have had no issues with Apple’s approval process to date, with any of my products. But I am happy to stand up and be counted and ask that this guy be asked to leave the Mothership.