Readability iOS app resubmitted to the App Store

Earlier this week I posted about Readability  and how their app had been rejected from the App Store. Today I have an update for you. The following was tweeted from the Readability account yesterday:

The Readability iOS app has been re-submitted. Coming soon: our open love letter to Apple.

I doubt that they're paying Apple's Vig and there hasn't been enough time to negotiate a lower rate, so my guess is that Readability are making use of  a quirk in the rules that Steve Jobs invented this week. One developer, concerned about the affect Apple's greed would have on various services he subscribed to (such as Dropbox, SalesForce, and Evernote), asked Steve Jobs to clarify the rule. This is the email he is supposed to have received:

We created subscriptions for publishing apps, not SaaS (software as a service) apps.

Sent from my iPhone

As I see it, this is an arbitrary distinction that attempts to separate some subscription apps from the rest. This answer bothers me more than if Apple had decided to go after a cut of the subscriptions from SaaS apps, because there is only a small difference between SaaS and streaming services like Pandora, Rhapsody,and Netflix. In fact, I really don't see how these services count as publishers when they stream content. Can someone explain?

Is it just me, or are the folks at Apple are just making this up as they go along?


About Nate Hoffelder (11214 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on Readability iOS app resubmitted to the App Store

  1. The distinction is the difference between data and content.
    Data being, of course, information that is a means to an end and content being an end unto itself. Providing storage space for personal files isn’t quite the same thing as providing those files in the first place though they may use the exact same delivery mechanisms.
    For example, an app that accesses a personal document via OPDS and Calibre from my PC is no longer forbidden but using that same OPDS app to get a book I bought fron BAEN is still a violation of the rules.
    Ain’t life grand in the world of Godfather Jobs?

  2. So Readability will now need to rely on a web application and provide the content through a browser. BFD.

    As for Readability, their website sucks. How am I suppose to be interested in this service if their website doesn’t speak specifically about the content I can access?

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