It’s hard to make demands of the largest company in the world.
But in order to be successful, developers constantly have to make requests of Apple.
Apple, which deals with thousands of app developers every day, has a process for these kinds of requests. The company calls them Technical Support Incidents (TSIs).
But TSIs are geared more toward bug fixes than allowing developers to implement a new feature or tweak an existing service.
What’s more, they’re expensive. You get two per year when you sign up with Apple as a developer, but after that they’re about $US50 a pop.
Luckily, there is a workaround for this problem.
You have to ask Apple in person, and make your requests as simple as possible, according to a Debug interview with Nitin Ganatra, Apple’s former director of iOS apps.
I was at Apple for so long and so after a while you kind of build up a thicker skin to this kind of thing, but you know there are those times, especially during something like WWDC, where a request will come from a developer and will begin with, ‘All you have to do is…’ And because the request just seems so small and it seems like such a nothing of a request, well how could Apple possibly say no to that unless they deliberately don’t want 3rd parities to have the best possible software.
The struggle for Apple is keeping its developers happy while advancing its application programming interface (API) and provide new features for its users.
“At those moments you have to think hard about when you’re going to introduce things because at some point you’re going to want to deprecate them,” Ganatra said.
This strategy doesn’t work 100% of the time, though.
Ganatra also hinted that Apple isn’t afraid of saying no to developers face-to-face.
“You’re gonna be stuck with [the API] for years, so even these seemingly simple requests that get turned down may appear to the outside world as ‘Oh, Apple doesn’t care about the little guy,'” he said.
Making a hard ask in person is definitely your best bet at getting a response from the tech Goliath, even if it’s not the one you’re looking for.