2013 NY CPLR Now Available for iOS

Our 2013 NY CPLR App for iOS was just approved and is now available in the app store. To help with upgrading we are discounting the price on our 2013 NY CPLR for iOS through the end of February.

Our CPLR App is also available for Android in the Google Play Store:

Apple Approves Five Of Our 2013 Apps

We are pleased to report that today Apple reconsidered and approved five of our 2013 Apps for New York and California.  The following apps were approved today and are available now in the app store:

To help people with upgrading from earlier releases of these Apps for the iPhone/iPad we will be discounting the prices on these apps through February 15th.

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Apple Is Blocking Our 2013 iOS Releases

In December Apple approved the 2013 release of our NYPD Patrol Guide App, and we thought that the rest of our releases for 2013 would go smoothly.  In fact, our NYPD Patrol Guide has been in the top 50 reference apps since its release, however just a couple of weeks later Apple rejected the 2013 release of our NY Penal Law and NY Vehicle and Traffic Law Apps, calling them spam.  This is despite the fact that we have been successfully selling these same apps in Apple’s store since 2009 to very favorable reviews and Apple has demoed and used our apps as a selling point when meeting with law enforcement agencies.

We have been in communication with Apple since then trying to resolve this without much luck.  Actually, calling it communication is being generous, since Apple has not been getting back to us.  On January 15th we were told that a representative from Apple would call us within 3 days to discuss our 2013 Apps, but we have not yet heard from anyone. We sent another message to Apple a few days ago about the importance of getting these releases out in a timely manner, but still have not heard back.

The arbitrary and capricious nature of Apple’s review process is making it impossible for us to do business and support our customers.  We still hope that this can be resolved and that Apple will in fact get back to us, but having our apps sit in limbo for a month or more does not help anybody.

So that we would not be completely dependent on the changing whims of one reviewer or another at Apple in 2012 we decided to create Android releases of our apps as well.  The good news here is that we decide what to release and when to release it, and the customer decides if it will be a successful product or not.  There isn’t someone like an Apple Reviewer getting in between us and our customers arbitrarily keeping our customers from getting new releases that they want to have.

While we still hope to hear back from Apple and to be able to resolve this,  if you would like timely releases and updates of our apps, please be aware that an Android tablet or phone is an option.

2013 California Apps now on Android!

The first of our 2013 California Statute Apps are now available for Android!  We have just released:

Other titles for California will be available soon.  As with our other Android releases, we are discounting the prices on these apps until the end of January.

Where are the 2013 iOS Apps?

We have started receiving questions about where our 2013 Apps for the iPhone/iPad are.  For iOS releases we need to go through Apple’s review process.  After approving the first of our 2013 Releases for iOS last month, Apple has started rejecting our other 2013 Apps as “Spam” and is refusing to publish them.  We are trying to resolve this with Apple to get our apps published, but things are going slowly.  We will be putting up more details and updates on the situation with Apple in the next few days.

Five 2013 Android Apps for NY Now Available!

We now have a total of five of our popular iOS Apps available for Android in the Google Play Store.

In addition to our 2013 NYPD Patrol Guide, law enforcement including the NYPD and New York State Police will be interested in:

Our two other new Android releases available now are:

These 2013 releases for Android are available now and being discounted until the end of January.  The 2013 NYPD Patrol is also available in the Apple App Store, and the other releases will be available for iOS as soon as they complete Apple’s review process.

Apple Just Called – They Will Not Approve All Our 2012 Releases

*** Update: at 3:10pm today, we received a call back from Richard at Apple who now said that Apple will be releasing our 2012 updates!

Richard from “Worldwide Developer Relations” at Apple just called to say that Apple will not be approving the rest of our 2012 releases.  Let this serve as a warning to any other businesses that are considering developing iOS Applications, or ones that like us have been successfully doing this in the app store since 2009.

Our first Arbitrary rejection was in 2011

Last year in 2011 we went through the same process where Apple was ready to shut down our business.  In the same arbitrary manner Apple approved some of our updated apps, then rejected others telling if we wanted to have them available it would need to be as ebooks in Apple’s new iBookstore.  This nearly shut our business down.  We filed a dispute with Apple – our Apps are reference sources most popular for their fast and powerful search capability, as well as ability to share/print statutes, etc.  These are not novels that a person reads page-by-page like a book. In the end Apple overturned their rejection and approved and published all of our 2011 updates.

One year later, and another arbitrary rejection in 2012

This year, again in an arbitrary manner, Apple approves some of our 2012 updates and rejects others.  Three were approved in December, then four were rejected in December, then seven were Approved in January, then six were rejected in January.

These are the exact same apps that were rejected and later approved for a different reason in 2011.  The exact same apps that were approved without issue in 2009 and 2010, and the exact same apps that Apple’s sales team is demoing on an ongoing basis to Law Enforcement to help sell their iPads and other devices.  In fact, in addition to individual sales, we had bulk institutional purchases of our apps in October and November of 2011, and in January of this year.

Can we remain in the App Store?

With Apple’s sales team demoing our products at the same time they are being randomly rejected by Apple’s review team it is very hard to find any sense in this.  We would like to continue development for Apple’s devices, but we require Apple’s support in doing this.  Having the support of Apple’s sales team is apparently not enough.

Apple’s review team has demanded that we combine our individual apps into a single app and use “In-App Purchases”.  This is a significant change – we will need to duplicate the multitasking features we get from from iOS (allow users to quickly and seamlessly switch from one statute to another while saving state, etc.), duplicate the features we get from the app store (notifications, secure downloads,  purchases, updates), make user interface changes so that this appears seamless, and inform our users about the changes.

These changes will require a multi-month development effort.  We have told Apple we are willing to do this for our 2013 releases, but that we need the 2012 releases to be approved now.  Apples actions have been completely arbitrary, while our releases and apps have been consistent since 2009.

Another issue is that the “In-App Purchase” model is not currently supported by Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.  We have had volume sales of our apps to law enforcement in Oct and Nov of 2011 as well as this month, Jan 2012. Apple is actively demoing our software to law enforcement agencies who in general would be expected to use Apple’s Volume Purchase Program to purchase our apps for their officers.

If Apple is going to demand significant design changes they need to provide a transition time to allow for development. Also in cases like this that would impact how people use and purchase our apps, we need a transition time to inform our users of the changes. Also any demands like this need to apply to all developers and all apps.  All of our competitors currently have individual apps in the app store, and Apples rejections that we experienced 2011 and 2012 were arbitrarily applied.

Apple Rejects Additional 2012 Updates

After first approving three of our 2012 releases, then rejecting others, then approving seven of our 2012 releases last week, Apple is once again rejecting our apps.  They have just rejected the following 2012 releases:

  • 2012 CA Code of Civil Procedure
  • 2012 CA Evidence Code
  • 2012 CA Family Code
  • 2012 CA Health and Safety Code
  • 2012 CA Labor Code
  • 2012 CA Welfare and Institutions Code

This puts our business at risk and is confusing to our users.  Since 2009 our users have been able to depend on getting updates from us for new laws, but Apple is making that impossible for 2012.  Not only are they making it impossible they are doing this in an inconsistent and confusing manner where some 2012 releases are approved without issue and others are rejected.

Unfortunately the only way to sell apps (without requiring users to jailbreak their devices) is through the Apple run app store.

If you would like to see our apps released including these and other updates for Texas, Louisiana, New York, Florida, or states we are not currently supporting please join our twitter page @PDAWizard, send us a message through the contact us link on our webpage, and/or consider sending an email to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.

Update on 2012 Releases

Initially Apple approved and released three of our 2012 updates (NY Penal Law, NY Vehicle & Traffic Law, and NY CPLR), while rejecting the rest of our releases.

We just received a call from Richard of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations who told us that Apple will release another seven of our 2012 updates.

So this is progress, but we told Richard that we need to have all of our 2012 updates released (most immediately, for California, New York, and Texas).  Richard told us that it was a “one-time exception” for seven of our apps, but he will see what he can do and get back to us Monday.

Here’s to hoping that Apple will do the logical thing and release all of our 2012 updates rather than a random selection of them.

** Update: The seven apps Apple approved are now available in the app store.  While we are waiting for the rest, here are the seven that have just been approved and released.  To help with upgrading, the price for these apps will be discounted until January 20th:

  1. 2012 CA Penal Code
  2. 2012 CA Vehicle Code
  3. 2012 NY Criminal Procedure Law
  4. 2012 NY Domestic Relations Law
  5. 2012 NY Family Court Act
  6. 2102 NY Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA)
  7. 2012 NYPD Patrol Guide