Apple approves previously rejected app unprompted

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Remember that analog clock iPad app Apple rejected for “having limited functionality,” despite plenty of apps like it already in the App Store? Apple doubled back, unbidden, and approved it.

To recap: Isaiah Carew, indie developer behind YourHead Software, wanted to use his iPad as a clock instead of letting it sit idly around, twiddling its thumbs. Underwhelmed by the iPad clocks already in the store, he did what any enterprising developer would and rolled his own. Apple rejected Carew’s first submission of Wall Clock for “having limited functionality,” so he added a few options and doo-dads, resubmitted, and got shot down again. Carew was content to let his app rest in rejection limbo, but Apple changed its mind.

Carew never updated Wall Clock for a third try, but he reports that Apple called Monday to say that the company would “have another look.” Within a day, the previously rejected second version of Wall Clock is now available on the App Store. Carew says that the Apple representative he spoke with offered absolutely no explanation for the change of heart. “I asked what had changed,” Carew told Macworld. “She wouldn't say, but then asked if I was still interested in having it reviewed. I said ‘sure.’ and that was that.”

Of course, this is neither the first nor the highest profile of Apple’s bizarre app rejection stories. Recently, for example, Apple initially rejected a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist’s iPhone app, only to approve it later, after the media got wind of it. But Carew’s tale is interesting because he hasn’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and he didn’t even push the matter with Apple. He let the app go, Macworld and others covered it, and that seemed to be it. But here we are, three weeks after the second rejection, and Apple has approved it without explanation.

Carew brushes off Apple’s schizophrenic App Store approval process in his post. “Hey, I can finally have the clock I was after from the beginning,” he said. Indeed, Wall Clock for iPad is in the App Store for $1. “So, I’m pretty happy about that.”

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