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.

Texas Apps Now On Android!

We have just published our Texas Apps on Android.  All of these apps are are current with the 82nd Legislature and are available in the Google Play Store now.  To help introduce our Android releases, we are discounting the prices on these apps until the end of January.

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.

Android Support! 2013 NYPD Patrol Guide Now Available

We have just released our first Android App – The 2013 NYPD Patrol Guide, and it is available now in the Google Play Store.  Our other apps will be available in the Google Play Store soon.

This is our first Android app so there may be some issues that need to be addressed over the coming weeks.  It has been looking very good on all of our test devices and runs well both on phones and tablets. If you do run into any issues with this app please contact us and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

As this is our first release of the NYPD Patrol Guide for Android, we will be discounting the price to 9.99 until the end of the January.

You can find our 2013 NYPD Patrol Guide app in the Google Play Store at the following address:

2013 NYPD Patrol Guide App for Android

Our iOS release of the 2013 NYPD Patrol Guide for the iPhone/iPad is also now available.  You can find it here. The iOS release is being discounted through January 15th.

Texas 2012-2013 Releases Now Available – Discounted through April 15th

Our Texas Apps that reflect the 82nd Legislature (2012-2013) are now available in the app store.

These do require a new purchase, however to help with upgrading we are discounting the price on these apps until April 15th.

All of these apps have been updated with the statutes from the 82nd Legislature First Called Session.  We have also included some new features including:

Faster searches – It was quick already, but it’s even faster now.

Statutes are now separated into individual sections – this allows for finer grained search, since only matching sections will show up, and also allows for bookmarking an individual section.

Real-time section number searches – matching sections will show up as you type the section number into the search box

Email support – send a section of the code to an email address

Printing support – wireless printing is now supported.  Printing requires an airprint compatible printer

We have other improvements and new features planned that will be coming out as free updates, and, as always, welcome any comments or suggestions.

Additional 2012 Releases Just Approved – Discounted Through Feb 10th

The following 2012 California and New York apps were just approved and should be available in the app store later today.  Upgrading to the 2012 release does require a new purchase, however we will be discounting the prices on these apps through Feb 10th, 2012.

Six New CA 2012 Releases – Discounted Prices Through Jan 31st

The following 2012 releases were just approved by Apple.  They should be available in the app store later this evening. Upgrading does requires a new purchase, however to help with any upgrades we are discounting the price on them through the end of the month (Jan 31st, 2012).

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.