Paper, by MiSoft

iOS app developer MiSoft, in an updated description for their drawing app Paper:

When we began working on a pure, simple, inclusive drawing app, we decided to give it the most basic of names, Paper.

We followed Apple’s Rules, that is, we went into our Developer account and created the App “Paper”. The name Paper was assigned to us by Apple as NO ONE ELSE was using it.

While working on the app over many months, other apps named “Paper” came and went. How? Do to glitches in Apple’s system. A Developer can add other words to an un-available name, or open an account registered outside the US, create an app with the same name as an existing US app, get the app approved for sale outside the US, then set the app territories to make it available in the US! They can even change the name of an older, existing non-US app and enjoy what looks like an earlier first use.

We pointed these glitches out to Apple at WWDC 2012 and, well, the next day another “Paper” app, one which added other words after the name Paper so it could post in the US App Store, received an AWARD! We felt somewhat put upon. That other app was very well funded, money talks, and they had been out “breaking things” in our market for a while. There are Best Practices in the Developer world against, in Apple’s words, “confusingly similar” names. Why didn’t that matter for these guys? Why is this not only tolerated, but awarded? Which Rules do we follow; the posted rules, the rules others use, the rules which work, or the rules which we believe in? A conundrum in many areas of mobile today.

We approached the makers of that other Paper app on the floor of WWDC after they received their award, told them our story, and offer to discuss settling this. We even later sent a message to their CEO. Nothing. So we’ve been considering our options.

Now we see this other “Paper” app is upset that an even larger company has also chosen to name an app “Paper”, same trick, by adding more words to the end.

An interesting twist on FiftyThree’s complaint regarding Facebook Paper.

Update: On Twitter, the @FiftyThree account responds:

@daringfireball Please don’t take the bait. Paper by miSoft V1 was launched Sep 20th 2012, 5 months after us.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014