Rejected Apps

iPhone to iTunes Wi-Fi sync app rejected by App Store, finds home in Cydia

No shock: Apple has rejected that nifty Wi-Fi sync application that was submitted for the App Store. Good news is, it's now available via Cydia for any jailbroken iPhone for $9.99. Engadget contacted the developer by phone and here is his rejection explanation.

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App Store search spam -- can we get a rejection for that?

Go to the iTunes App Store, search for an app you want, and get your results flooded with spam-apps. Its a growing problem as unscrupulous developers keep finding new and annoying ways to try and game Apple's approval process and scam users.

Marco.org highlights some of the worst offenders, but more importantly offers legitimate developers a way to take action:

When an app is infringing on your copyright or trademark, the proper procedure is to send a clear notice to appstorenotices@apple.com citing your intellectual property and which apps are infringing it (provide their iTunes URLs to eliminate ambiguity). As part of this notice for trademark infringements, you can request that apps not be allowed to use your trademark to market themselves in search results (keyword spam).

Hopefully Apple will save developers the frustration and

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Another developer returns to iPhone post-iPad

Frasier Speirs, one of several well-publicized developers to leave the iPhone over objections to Apple's App Store policies and controversy surrounding app rejections, has decided to return, post iPad, and his reasons are intriguing:

I suspect that the days of everyone buying a MacBook to get online are soon to be over. I've already written about how I see our three-Mac family turning into a one-Mac, three-iPad family over the next hardware cycle and I imagine that scenario repeated industry-wide over time. Already the ratio of iPhone OS devices to Macs is 5:2.

He believes Apple can and will reject apps, and that the frontier days of computing are giving way to the mainstream, appliance future.

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Steve Jobs: want porn, go to Android

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is once again hitting the send button and lighting the internet on fire, this time telling someone who would prefer parental controls over outright bans that if he wants porn, he can go Android. (Is that what the kids are calling it these days?)

The email from Matthew Browing, who also expressed concern over the initial rejection of Mark Fiore's political satire app:

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UPDATED: Pulitzer Prize winning satirist can't get into App Store

UPDATE: According to the WSJ, Apple has contacted Fiore:

Apple called the cartoonist Thursday and suggested that he resubmit the app, Mr. Fiore said in an interview. “I feel kind of guilty,” he said. “I’m getting preferential treatment because I got the Pulitzer.”

Preferential perhaps but not uncommon. Several controversial app rejections have been reconsidered when publicity brought them to the attention of higher-ups at Apple. Unfortunately, the "review team rejects, executive team reconsiders" is not a scalable or likely desirable strategty for Apple.

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Apple removes Dashboard-style apps from iPad App Store

Here are the first (to our knowledge) class of apps to get removed from the brand new iPad App Store: Dashboards.

Desktop, for example, no longer shows up via its iTunes link.

These apps leveraged the large iPad display to offer multiple windows and mini-apps/widgets to get around some of iPhone 3.2's 3rd party multitasking constraints.

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Apple Cracking Down on Mass Produced, Low Functionality Apps?

TechCrunch is reporting that companies who mass produce (or provide tools and templates for the mass production of) "cookie cutter" apps are hearing that they need to add differentiation and functionality or risk Apple not allowing them into the iTunes App Store. Jason Kincaid says:

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Apple Removing Wi-Fi Scanning Apps from App Store

Cult of Mac reports that Apple has begun removing apps from the iTunes App Store that scan for Wi-Fi access points. It looks like these apps are being removed due to their use of private APIs, which is prohibited by the iPhone SDK agreement. This would make it similar to the recent removal of apps that misused the iPhone camera DCIM folder to store and exchange documents.

There's been some suggestion, however, that list reflects a policy change from Apple closer to the recent removal of sex-based apps.

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NYT: Apple SVP, Phil Schiller on Why Sexy Apps are Out, Sports Illustrated, FHM and Playboy are Still In

Apple Senior VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, was quoted by the New York Times in an article on the removal of 5000 sex-based app from the iTunes App Store:

“It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see.”

To developers who weren't afforded any warning or options to pre-emptively make changes where such changes would have been possible:

“We obviously care about developers, but in the end have to put the needs of the kids and parents first.”

As to why Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit app, the Playboy app, and a few other publication-associated apps were allowed to remain:

“The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format.”

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5000 Sex-based iPhone Apps Removed, Are These the New Rules?

Chillifresh, who first sent TiPb word of their Wobble iBoobs app being removed from the App Store due to what Apple termed its "sexual content" has followed up with another blog post, now claiming 5000 apps have been removed and presenting what they say are the new App Store rules:

  1. No images of women in bikinis (Ice skating tights are not OK either)
  2. No images of men in bikinis! (I didn’t ask about Ice Skating tights for men)
  3. No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was OK, and the Apple guy got angry)
  4. No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs (yes – I am serious, we have to remove the silhouette in this pic)
  5. No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex – all banned
  6. Nothing that can be sexually arousing!! (I doubt many people could get aroused with the pic above but those puritanical guys at Apple must get off on pretty mundane things to find Wobble “overtly sexual!)
  7. No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content (not sure how Playboy is still in the store, but …)

Apple has already commented to TiPb that they took action following customer complaints over objectionable contents, and our readers have been split between "good on Apple, we don't want to see that in the App Store" and "shame on Apple, we should be able to decide for ourselves" camp.

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