Developers furious over App Store “Line Cutting” - Macenstein

Developers furious over App Store “Line Cutting”

There’s a bit of bad blood brewing between developers of iPhone Apps these days. It seems several different companies have renamed their iPhone games to begin with either a space, a quotation mark, or some other symbol so that they appear first in the list of 197 games on the iPhone portal to the App Store.

Jirbo, who often puts a space in the front of its applications’ names, is one of the developers trying to cut to the front of the line.

One developer, who wished to remain anonymous writes “As a developer myself with my own game on this list, I am extremely disappointed that these companies have essentially tried to step all over everyone else in order to promote their products, particularly Jirbo, Inc. who decided to put a space in front of all of their games’ titles. I would imagine that as a consumer, these tactics would be equally perturbing as they screw up the integrity of the store.”

Agreed, anonymous developer. This is something Apple needs to address quickly. You can see in the picture above, when sorting the apps alphabetically, Jirbo Break and Jirbo Avatar are listed ahead of even the alphanumeric 105 Classics, and “legitimately” titled “A” apps.

Developer “Tools”

Above: Essentially every developer in the “Yellow Zone” above is a tool.

This is almost as bad as my local “AAA Plumbers”, who no doubt chose their name for similarly suspect placement motives in the phone book (for the record, I skipped past them and went with the much more legitimate-sounding ACME Plumbing).

36 Responses to “Developers furious over App Store “Line Cutting””
  1. Rowlings says:

    Oh, that’s so lame! I was wondering why I kept seeing Jirbo’s crap all over the store!

  2. Pendor says:

    Easy fix: strAppName.trim(). Any time you’re ready to update your code, Apple….

  3. Andi says:

    Well, just give those apps a poor (0 Stars review) with telling about the Name-cheat as the reason for the bad review.
    Nobody buys a 0 Star game …

  4. Mitch says:

    Wow! That is SO lame.

  5. Required Name says:

    This is a nation of whiners! Get over it.

  6. Mike Cane says:

    Wow, that is very sad. In the 21st century, they’re acting like it’s the 1950s and the Yellow Pages.

  7. IllinoisMike says:

    Amazing that they would not have used a simple TRIM() to eliminate the space before (and after) title names.

  8. lo says:

    It would be incredibly simple to just make developers use Alpha-numeric characters in their titles, with no spaces or symbols

  9. Those dirtbags at Jirbo have also made a practice of putting others’ Web apps into a frame and selling ads. Here’s mine:

    I’ve had to take steps to inform people that they can play my stuff for free, and would advise others to do the same.

  10. Marcos says:

    Hmm, as of right now Apple seems to have put the kibosh on this. I’m looking at the App store and I don’t see any app names with spaces or characters. Though there are some with their price in the name at the top. I wonder if Apple did add a Trim to this.

  11. Ted Wood says:

    It appears that iTunes is ignoring the spaces in front the app names. When sorted alphabetically, even Jirbo’s apps with spaces are sorting correctly in their rightful place.

  12. Betty says:

    Even trimming names won’t stop all the problems, as the article itself points out you could just as easily prefix the name with the letter A alot. Expect their next game to be
    “AAA Jirbo Break”…

    That said Apple really brought this on themselves by their interface choice. I mean really, who thought a simple list of 200+ apps that you scroll through (even when broken down by category) was a good idea. I know I didn’t read through them all.

    They really need a subcategory/tagging/better search etc etc before this becomes useful.

  13. Tom Taper says:

    I agree, it’s lame. But IMHO it’s Apple to be blamed. It’s their mistake that these tactics work although it’s a known trick for decades. What’s worrying me a bit is Jirbo’s practice Kent mentioned before without anyone interfering and Apple still letting them selling/offering their stuff in the App Store. This is not a legitimate way of doing business.

  14. Todd Cochrane says:

    Whats new this has been going on for three years in the podcast directory and Apple has done nothing in all that time guess what LIVE WITH IT

  15. bb says:

    Ummm. So what? Do people really just buy the first app they see? Does this mean if I come out with a game called Zebra’s Revenge that no one will buy it unless I start the name with a space? The only way this is annoying is if I’m looking for something specific in a list and then I’d just use search. Order is only useful if you aren’t going to look at the entire list. Besides, you’d be better off sorting by rating anyway.

  16. Soo much Jerbo garbage.

  17. matt says:

    $0.99 UEIPong makes no sense apart from the listing position when in the uk app store since its £0.59 all the jirbo shovelware games have been renamed tho

  18. matt says:

    Wow, nobody buy Jirbo stuff..

  19. Mike says:

    I think the best fix is to update the alphabetizing to put the titles that begin with a ( ) or a symbol at the bottom.

  20. Marc says:

    Simple fix. Apple can just revoke Jirbo’s agreement and remove their products from the App Store.

  21. Kensei says:

    Give AAA Plumbers a break!

    I am sure they are a business partnership between 3 friends. Amos, Andy and Algernon. Right? ;p

  22. Robert says:

    Not that I really care… but why not randomize the list of games. That way everybody will eventually make the top/bottom of the list?

    Anyhow, it’s Apple… and I’m so over the happy Mac’ies!

  23. jl says:

    Jirbo games are shat.. They somewhat ruin the store..

  24. Joe says:

    It appears that all of the offending applications have been renamed. I guess Apple didn’t let the situation stand for long.

  25. Rick says:

    Well, for Apple that would be fairly easy to take care of… A simple LTRIM function on the application name would fix that problem.

  26. Josh says:

    If everyone would start adding extra spaces at the beginning and end, Apple would probably fix it a little faster. My suggestion is to full up all available name space with an empty space.

  27. Erik says:

    Apple, of course, would never stoop to this level.

    On an unrelated note, their stock symbol is AAPL.

  28. Tim says:

    There will always be people that try to cheat the system. If it isn’t spaces then they will use a valid printable ascii character such as ! or ” or #… It’s not right, but it is the world we live in. Best you can do is drop their rating

  29. Joe says:

    Erik, what sort of moron buys a stock based upon where it shows up in a list of thousands of tickers? I doubt that’s that much of a problem. The ticker “APPL” is taken, as it happens (though I don’t know if this was the case when AAPL did their IPO.)

  30. Shannon Shiflett says:

    it’s absurd when a game maker promotes and engages in cheating. i don’t like that — i’ll be deleting my Jirbo apps and any app whose developer does this until they clean up their act. apple should just trim() titles and be done with it.

  31. salvo says:

    This is not the first time that Jirbo use cheat to earn money. Is about 1 year that Jirbo is inserting in the apple web app catalogue static image (they call them illusions) instead of applications. The worst part is that apple allow this, there are thousands of developer that are developing real web apps and instead every day you see in the apple catalogue a product from jirbo … a static image. Congratulations to Jirbo, they are filling the apple web app catalogue of trash …and I am sure they will do the same in the app store. They are also inserting in their portal the links to web games of other developers ..of course there is a big adsense banner and to play the game you need to click in the ‘play’ text’ below the banner. I am sure that many users will click the banner instead of the ‘play’ button …and also google allow this!

  32. Adam says:

    They just need to add some simple validation. Either auto trim the string, or reject it.

    Well call it.. iRegex

  33. Techno Quiz says:

    That would be a serious copyright case against the jirbo guys. If apple takes it seriously.

  34. jenny_lee89 says:

    Actually, I submitted my game to the jirbo portal and they gave me a whole ton of traffic to my site… for which i’m thankful. It’s like youtube… you post something and you get noticed…

  35. jason says:

    stop blaming the company, they’re only doing what they’re supposed to in business, any thing you can do to promote your product do, it viable or not. this is clearly apple’s fault. if you don’t want something like this happening a simple piece of code would fix it. it’s astonishing that something to catch this was put in in the first place, i doubt there’s any program/product/company on earth that has a legitimate space before their name, so why it would even be allowed is beyond me. as for numerals, this should be reportable, if the name applies to the product, stop hating, they put 105 of’em in there to specifically get that name (though they could have easily gotten away with 15), but if it’s 1iSolitaire simple reporting system with selectable options like bad naming could be placed and if it gets over 100 hits, apple should have someone take a look at it (maybe 1,000 or more depending on app sales right now).

  36. kris says:

    I am surprised to see many people ( I didn’t read all of the posts) that are upset and outraged by this. I congratulate Jirbo and their fantastic way of exploiting the system. Apple made a mistake, they found it and shot to the top. It is people like that that break the system but don’t cause any harm to anyone or any thing that fuels new ideas in the world, stop trying to punish them. The furious developers should be thinking to themselves “How can I get my programs out there and high up?” rather then sitting there and complaining about it.

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