App Store Boner: No ‘Pad’ for App Store developers

Image courtesy of funny-potato.com/blog

Thanks to anonymity and great spacial distances, the internet generally protects people from physical violence at the hands of totalitarian gestapos. Unfortunately it can’t stop tyranny from laying into people, companies, or other gestapos. Recently, Apple attacked the developer of two legit iPad apps for incorportating the word, ‘Pad’ into the app name. Evidently, if your app has ‘Pad’ in its name, you will suffer the ban hammer or have to change the app’s name. Apple are no strangers to sudden app removals and bans. Unfortunately for JournalPad and JournalPad: Bible Study Edition‘s developer, a lot of money was already funnelled into marketing the apps. Both apps have been trimmed to : journal.APP, and bibleStudy.APP respectively. Take a minute to read this ringer from Jobs Himself.

“Its just common sense to not use another company’s trademarks in your app name.”

Hardly a missive, but in Jobs’ case, it certainly is a long reply. Apart from flaming Apple’s dictator, however, there does seem to be some reasonable explanation: the ‘Pad’ used in the original app titles does coincide with the name of their parent platform. Both in and out of the tech world, companies have laid the smack down for titular abuses. The problem is that ‘Pad’ is a word used in many trademarks. But, it is also a common English word and patenting common English is an important step in corporatising the language.

At least Apple didn’t name it, iA, iThe, or iIn; otherwise, we’d all be screwed. The App Store as the final guard point to paying customers has its advantages: general security and a semblance of grooming; but apart from sex and ‘magic’ apps, there isn’t another distribution method. Thus when Apple get angry, apps go to the bin and developers get stuffed.

No longer is the iPhone a small side platform. There are 180 000+ apps with more every day. Its user base is expanding. It makes news, and this is BAD news. Apple’s most important customer base isn’t app buyers, it is app developers. Without them, there’d be no app sales, and since apps constitute the probable biggest reason people buy the iDevice over other platforms, Apple had better learn to play nice.

Patenting the English language in order to ‘protect’ their device is stupid and conniving. Apple have been at the game for decades; this isn’t a juvenile reaction: it’s mid-life crisis, but Apple already have all the toys. The only thing they can do to buff up their self-inflated image is to toss their burdens around, squashing developers in the process. Poor, poor choice.

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