The Red Laser story – top barcode app in The App Store

by SteveBayle on December 6, 2009

Newsweek has an article about the founding of Occipital, the developers of Red Laser, which enables you to scan a bar code with your iPhone and get back ratings and reviews.

Evidently they had their issues with The App Store, however:

When we launched RedLaser in May, it performed terribly for users. We had a software fix ready to go, but Apple suddenly—and maddeningly—began rejecting part of our code because of a policy change that lasted for three months.

Back in the old days of software development, when we had to send of “golden masters” for disk duplication we were incredibly careful and paranoid about QA. If you shipped a product with a show stopper bug it could cost you a lot of hard cash to send out new disks with the bug fix, not to speak of lost sales and bad reviews.

With the advent of web development, Netscape pioneered concept of release early and often and let your customers do the QA. And that has worked out ok on the Web. But the cell phone and The App Store are a bit more like the old world of manufactured software. You can’t just ship something and assume your customers will do the QA for you and you’ll just fix those bugs and ship out a new release.

That may make things tougher on developers, but as an iPhone user and app consumer, I’d prefer not to be an uncompensated QA tester. Do your own testing before you send it to Apple and make sure it “doesn’t perform terribly for users.”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Giuseppe Taibi December 6, 2009 at 10:23 am

True, but Apple should not underestimate the opinions of the top developers or they will flock to the Android platform. I even emailed Steve Jobs about this. Platform developers ecosystem need to be nurtured and managed. Ignoring these complaints is not to the benefit of Apple and of the consumer. Consumers benefit from products built by the best minds.

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