Tuesday, August 4, 2009


John Gruber says pretty much all that needs to be said on this. Not a sign that things are heading in the right direction, I"m afraid.


ScottYelich said...

Typical. I can only say that this is (1) new and (2) arbitrary. I had a discussion of this point as one app I was working on was rejected, I think for the 2nd out of 7 times... because it matched an amazon product that was deemed too foul for the precious iphone. After 7 rejections, the app was approved and made it into the app store -- SO LATE, it was immediately pulled because the product it was to be used for had changed! Thanks Apple.

ScottYelich said...

So, you play the word game... rejected... at least they tell you, oh, they searched for "fuck" ... ok, block that. Resubmit. Rejected. Oh, now Apple doesn't like "shit" -- aww crap... ok, removed/blocked.. resbmitted... rejected -- are you told? oh, it's cunt this time. How about .. oh, I dunno, shag? where do you draw the line? It's arbitrary and except for the developers (and I am one) pain, it's also so funny. I'm pretty much holding off developing for the iPhone until Apple fixes this absolute joke of a process. If they want to ban for words -- lets see the list. Be transparent.

Mostly Torn said...

Ninjawords - a dictionary - is forced to have a rating of 17+, yet the Kindle app has an age rating of 4+ and with it you can get all sorts of books and dictionaries. Go figure.

I'm still waiting for Apple to give me a hint what rating I'm supposed to assign to my free Radio Paradise app. I got a nice friendly email from them saying the app is not appropriately rated (even though it's live in the store) and I'll need to resubmit. They leave out the detail of what rating is considered appropriate and repeated emails to the wonderfully helpful appreview@apple.com address for clarification are completely ignored.

I'll gladly change the rating if they'd tell me what they want. (It''s not like I have a choice anyhow.) Instead it seems they want me to play the guessing game. At least there are only 3 guesses left (9+, 12+, or 17+).

I swear, if I didn't currently depend on freelance iPhone development for my financial survival, I'd have said "so long" to Apple months ago.

In 20 years of developing software, I've never dealt with such hostile "support" from a company, and I've dealt with some pretty annoying companies.

PokerPodcast said...

do ratings make a difference? do they restrict the market? does anyone even look at them? I know I don't.
You need a credit card, (ok, ignoring redeem voucers) to download content anyway, what harm is there is clicking a button saying you don't that the app is for 17+. It could even work in favour as I know most (all) kids relish the though of downloading something they are not meant to have.
Seriously, I just don't see the big deal.


Andy R said...

I work for a large publisher within their English Language Teaching division. I've been developing iPhone versions of some of our learners' dictionaries, and it's a bit of a minefield regarding the more adult words. There's a strong pedagogical argument for learners of English to have access to entries relating to such words.

It's rather odd to censor a dictionary. The context should taken as a larger factor. I'm worried about our latest app which is currently in the review process, as it's an idioms dictionary, and it's got plenty of strong and colourful language in it (but that's because language can sometimes be strong/colourful, and therefore we have an obligation to educate learners about it).

The silly thing is that so much of the "objectionable" content that Apple rejects can be found in seconds when accessed via Safari!

K. A. Barber said...

20/20's John Stossel needs to do an in depth expose of Apple's App Store approval process. I want to know why it is so hard for them to make a correct assessment of submitted applications.

PokerPodcast said...

Have now re-read the article and I'm even more confused. I have the dictionary dot com app installed which is a 4+ rated app. It autocompleted fuck and gives further choices of fuck off, fuck around, fuck off , fuck up and my personal favourite fuckhead. It also includes the c word (although this does not autocomplete) This is to be expected from an unabridged dictionary.
How then a 17+ app can be expected to exclude every day words I'd beyond me.