"In order to get new iPhone applications reviewed, developers often now have to pay a site to review their software"
Paying to get anything reviewed is fundamentally appalling. The notion that fledgling (or veteran) application entrepreneurs have to shell out cash to get someone to evaluate their efforts is an unmitigated affront. It is also a POLA violation to the spirit of independent open source developersOkay, so Apple's development/deployment process for iPhone applications is a far cast from real open source software development, but the process does intersect at points with the open source model:
The iPhone operating system is partly BSD based and inherits that open source license The Software Development Kit (SDK) from Apple is free to download and use Apple includes the iPhone Simulator to test features (not all) during development
Apple does, however, require that developers register (currently $99) if they want the ability to deploy their apps on real hardware devices. Along with a rigorous review of candidate apps designed to ensure that uploaded software meets the Apple standards, Apple also requires a single point of sale for developed applications (the AppStore), a 30% cut of the gross sales, and a Spring blizzard of paperwork to participate in the for-profit distribution of applications.
Though it is relatively easy to jailbreak your device and bypass Apple's restrictions and use third party means to deploy and distribute applications, that ability hasn't slowed the deluge of apps that developers submit to Apple. Foundering in that flood are developers who can't get their software reviewed on its merits by independent third parties.
It is time to change that.
Developers in search of a review may submit their apps to Serendipity35 for review, sans payola. We have the necessary credentials to install applications on devices and publish honest reviews. Interested developers can contact us at iReview at serendipity35.net.