App Rejections: who is in charge? Editorial

(The above video is not my iPod)

Ages ago, when Pull My Finger, a gas of an app whose cheese was cut by Apple for having ‘limited usability’ made waves on internet, the App Store was still young. Now, with over 10 000 apps in its library, the App Store is a gigantic katamari ball for both good and crap software. Need we more evidence than last Christmas when a farting app made the top ten seller list, touting features like, “the sick dog”?

While iFart Mobile is not hampered by as little usability as the infamous and now extinct, ‘I Am Rich’, it begs the question, who is the iPhone designed for? Who would spend hundreds of dollars on a phone and thousands on a contract that utilises one of the sexiest mobile designs and platforms for farting?

Fanning farts aside, I think we all can guess that it will be cold in hell before Firefox, Opera, foobar2000 or Rockbox have iPhone iterations in the App Store. Fully usable applications that will bring new features and fans to the phone is obviously not the aim of Apple Inc. I can accept that. Apple have always been keen on protecting their own sandbox but this time something is off. In accepting apps such as iFart Mobile and Whoopee, Apple are proving themselves chic-dom, to aim below the belt rather than above the law.

Recently, the titillating rejection of iBoobs, an application that has such uses as making boobs bounce, has been burning in the chests of many. Its partial rejection can be seen here courtesy macinstein.

“Applications must not contain any Obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”

My wife and I were both stunned and aroused by the app’s orientation toward no practical use. Fortunately, Apple too saw through the jiggly facade and kept their dignity. However, they have lost much of my admiration for a company who have stand aloof from the usual advertising bravado. Rather than true brown nosing, at least Apple keep their aloof stance and rather pocket the earnings from one of the stupidest apps in the store than posting the fart icon on every iPod Touch. I fear however that it will not be long till every iPod and Apple Mac will come with a yellow sticker advertising Energy Star®, dual USB ports®, a Glass Screen®, Gestures®, iFart®, etc.

All of the above aside, I can’t say that I do not enjoy a good fart, or breasts for that matter. But, Apple did well to disapprove of iBoobs for this reason: maintaining what credibility is left. If the App store gets more ‘out for the cheap buck’ developers who spam its shelves with silly apps that border on mere tech demos, who is encouraged? Not developers with quality software. Apple need to clearly define their rules and regulations for admittance to the App Store or we will be deluged by putrid software and as a community of iPod and iPhone users, public disdain.

Maybe it is too late. Among the latest reviews that I have done, nearly half have felt like a rough draft at best which is proving one thing that is wrong about Apple’s strategy: quality does not come without risk. Currently, it is too easy to set up shop and ultimately produce software. Anyone with a few hours to bone up on xcode and 99$ can become a developer. Who will want to spend time, real effort and money, to develop quality applications when your competition gets paid for pooting and bouncing? Meanwhile, iFart Mobile has blown into the App Stores 2nd spot with nothing in return but an old laugh.

Let’s hope that Apple can make a proper policy that will encourage pranksters and perverts to pre-teens to keep the top on or keep it in the pants.

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