Steve Jobs appears to have personally approved an awesome video streaming application for the iPhone that violates Apple’s developer guidelines, Ars Technica reports.
The application is called Knocking Live Video. It was designed by Pointy Head Software. It basically lets you see on one iPhone what the camera from another iPhone is shooting.
An example: You’re in Chicago, your son is in New York. Your son misses the family dog, and would love to see it. You take out your phone and “knock” him. It’s an alert that tells him to log in to Knocking Live, the app. He logs in, and can see video streaming from your phone. Likewise, he can send streaming video to you.
To make the app work, Pointy Head had to use so-called “private” APIs. (For the non-nerds, that’s some code that helps make an app work.) Apple doesn’t allow third-party developers to use private APIs in their apps, and has recently stepped up screening. (For more about private APIs, read this post at Daring Fireball.)
How did this one slip through? It didn’t, at first. Apple rejected it.
The developer, Brian Meehan, then sent an impassioned email to Steve Jobs about why the app should be approved, telling Ars Technica he wrote “about being a life-long user of all Apple products, about how I believed in Apple and that I believed Jobs would respond.”
[image url="http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b1580d300000000006b943b/image.jpg" link="lightbox" caption="" source="" alt="knocking" align="left" size="xlarge" nocrop="true" clear="true"]
His email worked. The day after he sent the email he received a call from an Apple executive who told him the app would be approved. The exec said the approval came “directly from the top,” suggesting Steve Jobs.
While this is a pretty singular event, Meehan wants to think it’s a sign that Apple will improve its app approval process. We’re sure other developers are hoping for the same. And maybe it means Apple will be making more of these APIs public, so other developers can use them.
Regardless of what happens down the road, it’s a nice win for iPhone owners. This looks like a pretty cool app.