Feb 21st, 2010

One man’s loss is another man’s gain, and in the case of two contrasting Application Store ideologies, the iPhone App Store and Android Market each have their fair share of ups and downs. Whereas Android offers a free market where consumers decide what is good and bad, right and wrong – Apple has gone the protective route, ensuring the App Store offerings meet a certain standard of quality and morals, defined by them.

painting-redhead-in-bedBut what happens when the rules “defined by them” are RIDICULOUSLY more prude than the rules that would be defined by anyone else? Easy: 5,000 applications get removed from the App Store because Apple’s executive team seems to be stuck in an alternate universe where America in the 1950s meets a Catholic convent meets the unfortunate cultural demands of women in (some) Middle Eastern countries.

It all started when an app called Wobble iBoobs was pulled from the App Store. The application allows you to take an image, mark the boobs and shake your phone to watch them wobble-wobble, shake-it shake-it (and jiggle jiggle). It was on the App Store long enough to make $300,000 yet was pulled, and their creators sent an EMail that contained the following ominous sign:

We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application.

There were at least 4,999 other apps/games with overtly sexual content, all of which were removed today. Peeved, the Wobble iBoobs team contacted Apple and got the following response in terms of the new “guidelines” – republished from MobileCrunch with Marc Flores comments in parenthesis:

  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 …)

kids-playground-420Stay here and enjoy your iPhones little kids – Daddy Android will be in the next room hanging out with the other big boys and girls. Don’t worry: one day you’ll be able to swim in the deep end, jump off the high diving board, ride your bike without training wheels, and wipe your own  butt too! When you get an Android Phone that is…

How do you feel about the level of censorship going on in the iPhone App Store? How much should Google tolerate in the Android Market or should it be 100% free and open as long as it isn’t racist, pervert and derogatory? And by the way… why does Apple pull content from the App Store yet allow music/audio/video with ANY type of language, titles and content into iTunes? Consistency Apple… consistency.

[Via MobileCrunch, Painting by Natasha Sazonova]