Apple is yet again making it hard for developers to provide games to visually impaired people. I submitted updates for Blindfold Hopper, Blindfold Horserace and Blindfold Craps today. All three were rejected because, and I quote:
“We noticed that your app appears to be created from a template. Your app provides the same feature set as many of the other apps you’ve submitted to the App Store; it simply varies in content or language.”
I write back:
“There is no commonality between this app and the other apps. Each game is different. Read the user guide. The menu format is the same because blind people need a common interface but the functionality is far different. It would be nice if you evaluated things prior to jumping to conclusions.”
“Thank you for providing this information. We ask that you consolidate your existing apps, as well as any new apps that you submit, as your app provides the same feature set as other apps you’ve submitted to the App Store, only varying slightly in content or language.”
I write back:
“Each app does not provide features of other apps. Each game is unique unto itself. For example, of the three you just rejected, one is a game where you walk your fingers on the screen to race horses. The second is the casino game craps. The third is a game similar to the video game frogger. Did you read the user’s guide before giving me the generic response above? If you have questions, please contact Jessica @ Apple, and her phone number is 1-669-XXX-XXXX, she knows about these games.”
“Thank you for your response. An Apple Representative will call you on the number provided within the next 3 to 5 business days from today to discuss your app.”
If Apple insists that the 80 Blindfold Games are considered identical because they have the same main menu, which provides consistency for the blind game players, they are doing a disservice to the blindness community. If Apple doesn’t change its position, I’ll post a phone number and email address to reach Apple, should you want to contact them.
In the meantime, let’s give Apple the benefit of the doubt.