Poll: Should Apple Improve the iPhone App Store, Eliminate It, or Both?
Should Apple improve the iPhone App Store, eliminate it as a single point of access to iPhone apps, or both? Given that Apple's response to the FCC indicated there were only 40+ full-time, trained reviewers for the App Store, and 8500 apps a week for them the review, simple math makes it appear a challenge (as does casual observation of review times). Since the App Store is the only way, outside of enterprise or beta provisioning, to get native apps on the iPhone and iPod touch, depending on your point of view this is either not a problem, an untenable bottleneck, or only half of a better, more workable solution. So what can be done?
First, Apple could try to continue to improve the App Store as is. They could hire more reviewers, improve and make more transparent the review criteria, and otherwise create an environment that's more predictable and sane for developers.
Second, as Facebook developer Joe Hewitt suggests, they could get rid of the App Store and simply allow developers to release whatever they want. Hewitt claims this works well enough for the Web and WebApps, and it's currently similar to the model Google is using for the Android Marketplace where, after a series of automated bug tests, the app is simply released. If, post-release, the community flags the app as inappropriate (i.e. copyright violation) or malicious, Google will investigate and potentially remove it.
Third, Engadget suggests Apple create a hybrid model where the App Store remains for those users who want an uber-safe, Apple controlled single point of access, but Apple also allows for "side-loading" applications from other sources. Similar to the (currently restricted to 100 users) Ad Hoc distro method, or Enterprise provisioning method already in place, this means applications not approved for the App Store could still be downloaded and installed via iTunes.
Check out the poll up top and let us know what you think!