Apple Adding "Explicit" Category to App Store?

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Cult of Mac is reporting that Apple has added an "Explicit" category to iTunes Connect, the portal through which developers submit and manage their App Store apps. According to their developer source:

“It’s available for selection when adding a new app to iTunesConnect although I can’t see any sign of it in the actual App Store yet.”

MacRumors says they've confirmed the information, so where does this leave us now? Apple removed 5000 sex-based apps last week and stirred up a ton of reaction (cheers and jeers alike), only to come up with an organizational alternative a few days (and hundreds of blogs posts, thousands of tweets and comments) later? If it wasn't a reconsideration, wouldn't they have just added the category and reshuffled the apps without all the fuss and muss? Or did they want to force a re-submission to start the new category off with a clean slate?

Either way, hopefully this will include a better ratings implementation to go with it, so parental controls can turn off "explicit" apps without turning off apps that access the web along with them.

What think you?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple Adding "Explicit" Category to App Store?


Having an extra category then allowing it to be turned off via parental controls is a much better solution.

Porn is really the only thing the iPhone is missing. Although there are plenty of iPhone formatted sites you can get to through Safari.

maybe, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be there because you don't want it. If you don't want it, don't use it.

@Shaun that's so true if u don't like it don't use it. This is America we have the choice to say yae or nay. Just like the choice to abort a baby or not. 

Can't agree more. I may want to use it, so I should have the choice. If parents don't want their children to see it Apple should offer a parnetal control, and parent's should take responsiblility for their own children and not rely on someone else to watch over them.

This is the sensible solution I and many, many others have been wondering why they didn't implement in the first place.
Lets see an explicit category, with apps clearly marked that way like in iTunes, and lets have a separate parental control for that. Done and dusted, no big outrage about hypocrisy and shafted developers.
For a big clever firm Apple sure can be stupid.

I share Rene's questions and agree with Maniacfive. It's as if there's some internal debate or 'power struggle' going on in Cupertino . . . Not the usual "make the decision, take the hit, and don't look back" that we've gotten used to the last ten years.

I think this is a great solution and I hope Apple includes the option to hide the category entirely from the App Store.
I still think it's ridiculous that parents are upset that they actually have to be a parent and monitor what their kids do...
I'm sure this category won't actually be available in the App Store until Apple release an update for the iPhone which adds explicit apps to the parental controls.

Good move, even if they could/should have done it more smoothly.
No one has ever done an app store before. No one, not even Apple, thought it would be so popular. Apple has stumbled with app store policies but the general trend is that they are making the policies better over time.

Another explanation for the sort of panic-mode in which all this has been done just occurred to me. Perhaps there are major content deals for the iPad in the works (and that Apple wants done by iPad release next month) that are contingent in Apple demonstrating
their dedeicatiom. To family values in their online store content . . .

Could that partly exlain why there was no Disney content announced even though Steve owns more of Disney than he does of Apple?

I am a parent who actively monitors my child (to be clear to those who suggest that parents should not "leave parenting to someone else"). That said, I was very uncomfortable with all of the sexual content that was previously available in the App Store. Until recently, the utility to remove that content was broadly over reaching, in that it removed content that was not "explicit". I'm grateful that Apple is offering this middle ground solution. Like others have posted, I have no right to censor adults who want to watch porn, but neither my child nor I should have to be subjected to it simply by virtue of browsing the App Store.

@Leana Loft
Yeah, we parents should confiscate our children's phone when they walk out of our line of sight. Oh, wait. That would defeat the purpose of our children having phones to begin with - so we can contact our kids and they can reach us if needed. HELLO. If there's technology available for us to better, more responsible parents, it should be available for us like porn needs to be available for the pro-porn people. What apple is doing now is a much better solution. Good for apple.

I think Apple probably lawyered up over this issue; I would expect that all the apps that were cut can be re-submitted for consideration under brand new guidelines that minimize Apple's potential liability.

This would make sense IF ANY OF THE APPS IN QUESTION ACTUALLY HAD EXPLICIT PICTURES OR VIDEOS. The most graphic application in question has images of people you could find in G and PG-rated films or TV shows.

You knew there would be some movement on this issue as soon as the boob ban hit the New York Times.
Now since Apple is ACTIVELY marketing to children (why else the ban?) perhaps they will add parental controls to the itunes store in general and we can all just move on.

Just have to chime in to say 'pornography' aka 'porn' has both dictionary and legal definitions, and nothing in the App Store last week today or probably ever was, is, or is going to be 'porn.'

Whether we could class the dross that was starting to flood the app store as porn, pornography or entertainment for losers who wouldn't know how to act around a real woman -this stuff was tacky and wasting our time looking for the things we all want, the next cool app. I think Apple were right to remove it, but I won't be pleased if it returns unless I can block it out completely.

Giz is reporting that the Explicit category is gone with Apple telling a dev they're looking into doing it but there are no definitive plans yet.
We'll post it up after the live cast...

Frankly, with the amount of money we've all spent on out devices, why are limits imposed in the first place? This is a sensible solution. Don't like an app, then dont use it. B'sides, you forget who's deciding what is explicit and what isn't. Craigs list apps are considered adult, so explicit, doesn't always mean explicit.

Ben je iemand die houdt van zachte sex of kies je toch liever voor de hardere hand en wil je deel nemen aan de harde sex? Weet je al wat er wordt bedoeld met deze harde sex? Kom er nu achter en kijk eens wat men allemaal aan harde sex kan doen. Het aanbod is zo groot, je kunt heerlijk naar live beelden kijken van stelletjes welke aan harde sex doen, wil je zelf ook ervaren hoe hard de echte harde sex is? Kijk dan nu naar de live beelden van de webcam en ervaar hoe de harde sex er aan toe gaat. Raak je hier opgewonden van?