February 24, 2010

876 words 5 mins read

Thank you Apple for cleaning up the AppStore

In case you haven’t heard, Apple recently decided to ban most “sexy” applications from the iTunes app store, nearly 6,000 in total. In brief, they removed anything that had any implied sexuality up to anything showing skin at all. CNN Money put forth the theory that they are doing this because of the upcoming iPad release (ah, the biggest flop we all know and love).

So I titled my post “Thank You Apple”, and you might be wondering: why? Because this is fantastic news. The more stupid stuff Apple pulls like this, the more disillusioned developers will become. The more people that become publicly jaded by Apple’s bible thumping antics, the less likely they will want to develop for it and the quicker Apple will die a slow, painful death.

Let’s look at it realistically. Here are nearly 6,000 applications which were previously allowed, that no longer are, through no fault of the developers of these applications. Even if the application was nothing but gratuitous tits and ass, it cost money to make. Someone had to put in the time writing the code and compiling the application. Someone had to take or license the media used in these applications. Someone had to take the time to go through the app submission and approval process. It may not have been a lot of time to program; it may have been a lot of money to license the images, but it did cost actual time and money. Money these developers can no longer recoup, just because Apple woke up one morning and decided that’s the way it is. Hell, even if you’re marketing is a bit risque (and by risque I mean risque as used by the Islamic militants, or maybe the puritanical Amish) like in the case of Wobble, you get delisted.

This leads me to my very sarcastic point of “Thank you Apple”. Developers who had previous put time and money into building iPhone apps, have now been ripped off. It is one thing to gamble making an application knowing it may or may not be approved, but to make an application knowing that it will probably be approved, only to have it yanked down… that isn’t a gamble, it’s just bad business. Now you’ve got a bunch of very unhappy app developers. Will they ever build apps for Apple platforms, maybe, are they going to be extremely careful should they do so again, you betcha. More importantly, every other developer of an application out there is watching this and quietly sweating themselves. What is to stop Apple one day from deciding that your picture taking applications are treading on the turf of their own app, and that simply won’t do. It is completely asinine, but that is the fear running through everyone’s head. If experienced app developers are worried, new app developers are truly scared. Who wants to spend the time and money it takes to get an app, to go through the well documented and known to be dangerous approval process, get an app up, only to have it pulled again.

The one last point I want to make is to briefly point out how stupid this entire “ban” is. First you start out with the fact that they banned almost every sexy app, not every sexy app. Did some slip through the cracks? No, I’d hardly say Sports Illustrated or Playboy as a “Slipping through the cracks” type. I included screen shots above from the Sports Illustrated app and another app I happened to have tried out of amusement: the “Sexy Scratch Off app. Basically you were given a picture of a lady, and could “Scratch off” her clothing and reveal her lingerie. Note, if you will, the SI bikini model has less “clothing” on than the “Sexy Scratch Off” girl. Let’s be realistic though, no apps on the iTunes app store ever had nudity. The closest they came was something like the Top Off (NSFW screen shot) app, which while not safe for work, still isn’t nudity. For all your porn needs, there’s Safari. Pop it open, search for porn, bingo. You get access to unfettered, unlimited hardcore porn. You want anal, you got anal, you want gay, you got gay. You name it, the internet has got it. Of course, many of these site have made themselves iPhone friendly so you can stream that lesbian soccer porn(NSFW, duh….) directly.

It was stupid, Apple. It was a terrible PR move for Apple. You alienated a ton of developers, Apple. It was hypocritical, Apple. For all that, I thank you Apple, because hopefully with a few more screw ups, people will jump ship and go to a different platform. You’ll be the only company in history that could make a “killer” product and burn into bankruptcy so fast it’ll make our heads spin. Please die, Apple.