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Apple posts guidelines for Mac App Store (and we have highlights)

Apple has posted the Review Guidelines for what will soon be the omnipresent Mac App Store, and many developers aren't happy with what they're seeing. Like the iOS App Store, Apple will control the gates and review each application before it's posted. Of profits made, 70 percent will go to the developers, and 30 percent will presumably pay for chairs in which Steve Jobs and the rest of his executive team will sit to watch the iOS App Store money roll in.

We took the liberty of rounding up some of the most intriguing lines from the document so that those of you who don't have access to the developer portal can get the highlights. According to Apple, your Mac app will be rejected if:
  • It is a "beta," "demo," "trial," or "test" version
  • It duplicates apps already in the App Store, particularly if there are many of them
  • The developer is "spamming" the App Store with many versions of similar apps. You will also be removed from the Developer Program if this occurs.
  • It is not packaged and submitted using Apple's packaging technologies included in Xcode - No third party installers are allowed.
  • It requires license keys or implements its own copy protection
  • It spawns processes that continue to run after a user has quit the app without user consent
  • It has metadata that mentions the name of any other computer platform
  • It uses location-based APIs to control vehicles, aircraft, or other devices (Saying goodbye to my Macbook Air tank project. Sigh.)
  • It uses location-based APIs for dispatch, fleet management, or emergency services
  • It has misspelled Apple product names in its name (i.e., GPS for Imac, iTunz)
  • It looks similar to Apple Products or apps bundled on the Mac, including the Finder, iChat, iTunes, and Dashboard
  • Your user interface is "complex or less than very good"
  • It changes the native user interface elements or behaviors of Mac OS X (Well, that just wiped out 90 percent of the best Mac apps in a single, flaming fist punch.)
  • It creates a store inside itself for selling or distributing other software (i.e., an audio plug-in store in an audio app)
  • Your game portrays realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured, or injured. (Such as Counter Strike, Halo, and pretty much every other good video game ever produced.)
  • "Enemies" within the context of your game solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity. (I wonder if this applies to zombies...)
  • It contains user generated content that is frequently pornographic (like "Chat Roulette" apps)

Even with that daunting list of red tape, Apple managed to round off the Review Guidelines with a really nice message to those who are creating the apps that sounds like it could be the words of Steve Jobs himself:
"Show them their world in innovative ways, and let them interact with it like never before. In our experience, users really respond to polish, both in functionality and user interface. Go the extra mile. Give them more than they expect. And take them places where they have never been before."

Now that is a philosophy I can get behind.

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