The Apple App Store. Quite possibly the main reason the iPhone is outselling most of the competition. Over 50,000 Applications, with over 1 billion downloads since it launched last July. It’s quite simple to develop applications for the iPhone, as Apple supply an SDK. You can upload whatever you want to the App Store, but Apple ask that you don’t upload “objectional material”. This is where the problem lies.
Since its launch there have been many controversies regarding certain applications. One of the most common reasons for app disapproval tends to be foul or offensive language that search features within the applications can return. These search features are more often than not provided by something other than the application itself (read: the internet) so it leaves me utterly bewildered why Apple can block some applications for this reason despite its own web browser being capable of the same ‘heinous crime’ </satire>. The first application that I know of that fell foul of Apple’s double standards is Tweetie, but since there’s been so much coverage over it and the application has since been approved without alteration I don’t see the need for me to comment further.
One of the most recent issues the App Store has had to face is with the Ninjawords Dictionary App, from Matchstick Software. Over two months it was rejected three seperate times because people were able to look up objectional material and words. In the end the application was approved, but only after all such words were removed, including standard words that can have an objectional meaning (ass, etc.) and even then it was still slapped with a 17+ rating, meaning anybody with parental controls on their iPhone/iPod may not be able to download it. Meanwhile, Dictionary.com have an application on the app store, free to download, with all the objectional words included – go on, download it, search away!
That’s my main problem with the whole fiasco – you had to actually do a search for the objectional material. If you’re consciously searching for such words, then you’re hardly going to find them objectional, are you?
As far as I know, Ninjawords is still censored on the App Store. But this week Apple approved another app, that’s loaded with “objectional material”: Texts From Last Night. Just take a look at the picture preview Apple offers up:
Everyone can see this image, without even downloading the application. On those grounds, shouldn’t Apple have banned its own App Store? Apple need to change their approval methods, instead of approving and rejecting similar apps like Hitler playing with a Yes/No spinner.