IPhone Facebook App Developer Quits Over Apple Policies

joe-hewittIn the early days of social networking, the dominant player was MySpace. As time went by, MySpace was joined by other players like Facebook and Twitter. MySpace has since lost the top position in the social networking world to Facebook.

In October, traffic numbers for September 2009 for social networking sites came in and Facebook had over 300 million users, pushing MySpace to second place in user numbers. One of the things that Facebook users on the iPhone enjoy and that contributed to the user numbers is the Facebook iPhone app, which is the most popular app on the App Store.

The developer that built the Facebook app for the iPhone has quit development for the iPhone and passed the app off to another engineer at Facebook. TechCrunch reports that Facebook App developer Joe Hewitt is still at Facebook and is simply working on new projects.

Exactly what projects the Hewitt is working on are unknown. As for the reason why the developer stopped developing for the iPhone, the reason is clear. Hewitt said, “My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies.” Hewitt says that he is “philosophically opposed” to the existence of a review process and that he is worried Apple’s policy might be implemented by other companies seeking to mimic Apple’s App store success.

Apple has been under increasing scrutiny for its practices of approving and disapproving apps that are seemingly haphazardly enforced. Apple has found itself in hot water with the FCC after the FCC asked AT&T and Apple to explain why they rejected Google Voice from the App Store.

One particularly tough question the FCC posed to the AT&T and Apple was, “Do any devices that operate on AT&T’s network allow use of the Google Voice application? Do any devices that operate on AT&T’s network allow use of other applications that have been rejected for the iPhone.”

Despite Hewitt’s stepping away form iPhone development for Facebook, the social networking giant still has people working on its iPhone application. Perhaps the action by a high profile developer will spur others to speak out about the Apple app approval process.

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