Especially if the producer is willing to change the product to fit your requirements.
Some time ago almost everyone agreed that Nokia failed also due to a lack of developers for Simbia, do you really think treating developers with a proven track record like that will do you any good?
I really hope that this issue is solved to the satisfaction of every party involved and the app will be back soon.
Ah, and finally, if this was due to the "sexual content" the only thing left to say is "brave new world". And that from a company that help to battle SOPA...
There really isn't any competition in the app "market" because Apple is far too big to really allow for it. Any and all of these smart phone platforms need to be legislated to provide opportunity for different store fronts beyond the platform provider.
Apple really is the 21st century Microsoft.
And the legal system just hasn't yet caught up enough to keep them in check. They're the robber barons of our age.
Maybe they could improve the process with the following schema:
* Instead of doing a single longer review, a few of your approval team will review the app briefly, and provide a score between 1 and 5 of "acceptability".
* If the score is 4 or 5, go forward. If the score is <= 3 send it to a more expert reviewer that will do an in depth analysis.
Optionally also discard the app if the average score is <= 1.5 if there are problems with the "load" of the experts.
Curating content is almost impossible to do; app stores should limit their reviews to exclude:
- blatant spam and copyright violations
and THAT'S IT. Assessing the quality of an app is what users' ratings are for (and of course excluding adult content is just childish).
This system of app review and locked-down pay-wall systems makes commercial sense for now, but ultimately it is not scalable, doesn't provide quality and is too slow. Any system that goes against the grain of a major trend, progressing along a rapid trajectory, with rapid innovation... simply will not continue.
The point at which people realize that Google and Apple are hindering innovation, will be the point at which they will open-up, and hopefully become a free platform.
(although I'm hoping before that time, our Internet infrastructure and bandwidth will be ubiquitous enough that all phones will simply boot into a browser - it's inevitable at some near point in the future).
You can have now your site accessible from the iPhone without the approval from Apple. It's not about availability, it's about the convenience of selling on the regulated highly accessible market. To sell in their store you enter the contract between them and you, the same way you'd do this if you'd want to have Walmart selling your goods instead of selling them on your own on the street, and even for selling on the street you'd have to follow the local laws.
As an app store user I disagree. User ratings in the app store are not really a useful guideline in my experience - and it often takes trying several (reasonably well rated) apps to find one that is actually usable.
For example; it took me the best part of 10 tries to find a working tourist map of a city I was visiting a few weeks ago.
The app store review process is currently broken; as you say this decision is prudish, and other review decisions are idiotic.
But I think it is generally broken too in letting too much cruft go live.
In fact, I'd happily pay a premium for a "curated" store where reviewers judged the utility of apps more strictly.
I can let my children get on the app store without worrying too much it will lead to questions I don't feel like answering at that age. I have greater confidence that getting a game for the kids won't come with overly onerous spyware. I also have a better feeling that it will generally work.
This is not the way I want to operate, but I see how it appeals to some people.
Apple is trying to move from being the cool kids counter-culture creative types alternative to the PC to being the corporate acceptable alternative to the Blackberry.
A story about karmasutra apps or ifart in the WSJ could cause a CEO to change their mind about allowing users to use their iPhone on the corp network.
And of course the best way of preventing such a story is, as we all know, to make a big splash about banning such an app
Overall I think Apple's process works, but the inconsistency is just ridiculous. Especially when your releases are time critical.
Only this has nothing to do with it.
iOS made inroads into the enterprise DESPITE the plethora of fart apps, Kama Sutra apps and such stuff.
Apple could care less about the hypothetical CEO you mention --not that 99.9% of CEOs would care about the presence of Kama Sutra apps in the app store when considering allowing the iPhone or not.
Mostly things like: employes and managers like to use it, it delivers a business advantage, we can deliver apps for our corporation in that platform.
The old fringe player Apple could - the new $trillion corporate Apple might "think different".
Remember once upon a time Microsoft was a cool fashionable young persons software company fighting against the established corporate monopolies
I'm sure this was just a new employee who was probably still in high-school when the Appstore launched and thinks anything not on the front page of reddit is ancient.
But it does show a certain attitude inside Apple. Iconoclast thinking different and "we can do no wrong" is great when it's Jobs deciding you only need one mouse button - it's different when it becomes an unwillingness to even talk to your customers and users.
I seriously doubt it. Especially since they became the "$trillion corporate Apple" by not caring about those things --so why change a winning strategy?
Surely the review team should hear the iKamasutra's concerns and realise that the app has been in use for years already, and that the sudden reason to reject it is confusing and obtuse.
Of course, the problem there is that it's not obvious to a non-trivial number of people. Who apparently in this case work in Apple's review department.
The most obviously idiotic things often look perfectly sensible from "inside", or from a singular perspective.
> I suggest looking up "Steve's Folly"
Which turns out to be a rant about Adobe Flash for Mobile, which even Adobe has since given up on.
Try this one: http://www.cultofmac.com/125623/the-best-revelations-quotes-...
"Steve Jobs’ obsession with aesthetic details could be taken to ludicrous extents. For example, when they built a state-of-the-arty factory in Fremonth to manufacture the Macintosh, Jobs wanted all the machines repainted in bright colors. Apple’s manufacturing director, Matt Carter, fought him on it, because this was precision equipment, and repainting them could make them not work right. Steve persevered, and one of the most expensive machines broke, being known as Steve’s folly."
Now, about the customer satisfaction rating... did users rate the phone (calling) experience alone, or the overall experience of using a 326dpi, internet-enabled, capacitive touch screen pocket computer with 500 000 "apps" that also happens to have a GSM capability besides Wi-Fi/FaceTime/Skype-video-calling??
If you're listening to music and receive a call, one squeeze to the headphone chord answers the call, then the music comes back up where it left off when you or the other party hangs up. It's really convenient.
The AT&T network was kind of crappy for a while because they had trouble keeping up with demand. This perception issue only affected people who didn't use headphones and held the phone in a certain way and had unusually poor local signal strength...but even then, it wasn't appreciably worse than the situation those same people would have faced with the prior model, the 3GS.
The standard set looks a lot like plain white earbuds, but there's a tiny clicker thing on one of the headphone wires. In recent models that is (1) a microphone, (2) an up/down volume control, (3) a sort of generic action button - single-click to answer an incoming call or hang up an active one. When listening to music, single click is pause/resume, double-click skips to the next track, triple click backs up a track. press-and-hold gets you Siri.
OT: I've been stupidly downvoted for many things recently, including my observations about the exercise that kids get a few days ago (I have three boys, 11-17 y.o., coached in the town leagues for years, know a helluva lot of kids and watched them grow up, but I guess that doesn't qualify my observation or make them pertinent to such a discussion in any way...).
I've never complained about a downvote-- until now.
Somebody downvoted me because my fucking iphone 4 didn't come with a mic. I'm afraid our community is getting really fucking stupid. It's not that I care about karma, but I grieve the loss of the community.
Not using headphones is truly a relic of the past.
Orwell's description of how censorship looks at scale is probably as good as any.
But seeing how quick they are to jump on objectionable content...is it safe tos ay that most of an app-approver's time has to be spent skimming for nudity/extreme violence/cuss words? how else could this reasonably scale?
Appstore is a threat because if you want software on your Apple phone then it is the only legal method.
But with Android you can install software from any app store you like, or directly. Google provide an app store as a service, but it's only one of many.
"Your Honor, yes, I shot at him, but I missed!"
That's just ridiculous in so many ways. Even if you want to wall in your hardware to your own appstore, you should always provide SOME way of letting users install their own software, even if it's some hidden obscure option.
But I agree, its ridiculous that you need the manufacturers approval to deploy software _you_ have written on a device _you_ have bought and paid in full.
than "the general no tech-savvy population will have problems with malware and/or malicious apps they install without knowing what they are doing" (the problem the App Store is supposed to solve)
+ alternative markets option was on
+ no google apps at all (umm, maybe youtube was there), no gmail account setup, etc.
- some map/satnav crapware but nothing standing in the way
So... not everywhere in the world carriers are monopolized by GOOG. (and I'm not saying that maybe we dont' have some carriers who put google setup by default, I don't know)
There is nothing like this for iPhone. You can't go to a different company than Apple to buy your iPhone on different terms.
We need to be vigilant as a lot of consumers don't really care about these kinds of things.
A lot of the iOS apps I use could have been written as web apps. Is this true on Android, too? Maybe it's time for somebody to write a "generic mobile app store", for the apps that don't require fancy things like 3D graphics.
Regarding Android, we can always use another marketplace, but then the problem would be security and good quality apps. And so we would again be at square one. Does anybody have another idea?
I would argue the Kama Sutra is both historical and educational and not sexually explicit at all. Perhaps a celebration of human bodies even, I don't know.
It seems though that Apple particularly feel that its customers require a squeaky clean filter to assess everything they access.
For cloned and low quality app's this is great! Restricting porn... I guess it is a good thing. Kid's can browse the app store. However this grey area between what is clean and what isn't is something they have never mastered.
It is really sad to see Google following this path of over-censorship..
I also think that the argument that it keeps the store clean so kids can browse it does not really work. Other online stores like Amazon don't have this, you can search for and buy porn there and nobody is outraged. A much better idea would be to give apps a suggested user age, so you could filter the store.
I had the iKarmasutra app and it was great; slightly coy and fun, but detailed enough to understand how each position worked. The images were tastefully drawn with the same emphasis. But the detail couldn't be described as "realistic"
I don't think you even need to argue the historical/educational angle.
The problem is that there is no one objective definition of seuxality explicit. "I'll know it when I see it" is almost as good as you can get.
What does "sexual explicit" mean? It is quite explicit about sex -- it is wholly concerned with sex.
However the app in question is not the historic Kama Sutra. It is a list of sexual positions, and by their own admission, with some subtle between the lines commentary, they seemed to be pushing boundaries on what graphically was allowed.
Today I realized that my 3g plan is censoring adult content. I also listened to a podcaster talk about renaming his podcast "talkings hit" to get passed the itunes criteria. The paper had some silly fluff article about Facebook and breastfeeding pictures. Youtube is stricter than TV on nudity (and laxer on violence).
These were all little corners of the internet up until recently and it seemed all right that they all have their own rules. Suddenly they pretty much are the internet and soon the will be the computer.
I don't like it.
In your country. sigh
Many, many developed nations allow swearing, violence and nudity on TV at all times of the day.
except for stuff like this (very NSFW just after the 8 minute mark) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLjRExyIBNM which somehow is still there
[Edit - it's Penn & Teller on Taxes, part 3]
The #5 paid app is a scam designed to confuse (check out the reviews):
Discovery and charging for your mobile web app or for content within it may be challenging for the foreseeable future, but hopefully not forever.
Another issue is feature parity with native SDKs, which seems to be very slowly narrowing each year.
Ability to produce performant apps is another area with very slow but greater than zero progression.
For games, sure, go native and take advantage of the store discovery and payment platforms, access to all the APIs, and performance.
For other kinds of apps like these, maybe mobile web apps are a better idea.
If I were in charge, person who made the call would be out of job.
And if this was "company" decision, well, good luck to you all, and move to Europe. We love brunettes here.
Please, assume that I'm 12 years old, and try to explain.
There are many people in the world who use technology, but are offended by even the slightest sexual material. They might not have reasons for it that you and I would agree with, but that's beside the point. The point is that they can get very loud and insistent and they might go on TV saying that "Apple distributes smut" and whatnot. Apple wants to avoid that kind of hassle. There are different ways to do that, but the easiest for Apple is to simply reject any content they think might cause them this kind of trouble.
Ergo anything that implies that normal people can be healthy and happy and want to have sex threatens this world-view.
Kama Sutra - not ok.
Killing people app - ok.
I have no idea where this comes from, if it stems from some kind of deep rooted puritanical culture, but it's not exactly unique to Apple's app store.
I remember one especially biting criticism from a comedian or filmmaker who basically argued that we have it backwards with the ratings for violent films, and instead should rate certain war movies so that younger people actually CAN see them, and rate other, "fantasy" violence higher so only adults who can discern the difference can see them.
I think the example was "Saving Private Ryan" which is rated R, but in this new scheme would be PG-13, because it depicts war realistically. The James Bond movies, which are PG-13 because they have no gore, should be rated R, because the violence in them is depicted unrealistically: with no consequences, with effortless skill on the part of the killer, and with clear cut "good and evil" roles. I'm sure I'm butchering this argument, but I found it to be an extremely compelling one, if a bit too optimistic that this would ever change.
In games, see the recent article on Jonathan Blow that was posted to HN, called "The Most Dangerous Gamer". There's definitely a related discussion among certain game makers about violence in games.
But the underlying point still stands, even if that film is not a great example. Depictions of war should probably be treated be differently than the kind of over-the-top violence in most action movies that I can only describe as fantasy. Yet the ratings board seems not to take that into account, and just counts splatters of blood in a way that's taken out of context.
Mere reproduction-level sex can ensure the survival of a community just fine. Plus, sex can quickly get communities into trouble (rivalries, mainly, also people becoming absent-minded etc).
Whether having an app that talks about positions is going to make a 13 year old (more?) sexually active is a completely different question, but compounding the two is nonsense.
2) Carriers (AT&T) are known for disabling app sideloading.
3) Having to root your device presents the basic user with a major technical hurdle, and in some cases, an outright impossibility.
If you're going to advocate as an alternative an entire platform you can't guarantee freedom on, for freedom's sake, why advocate it?
When I see comments like the parent's the logic seems to be: "Android isn't properly open, so let's sue Apple."
> I don't think I've ever advocated Android
I really wanted to know why the original commenter was talking about suing Apple, instead of just buying an Android phone.
Google would simply say "we're open already", and become the dominant platform while Apple was reeling from the legal damage.
But so far, you haven't explained why this should be done given that Android offers what you ask for. What's wrong with letting people decide for themselves?
If so, how would suing Apple (successfully) have any effect other than to cede the market to Google?
That leads back to the original question: Why is it so important for Apple to be forced to operate like Android when people are free to just buy an Android phone if they want that kind of environment?
What's wrong with Android in your opinion?
[edit: removed point about Apple not having a monopoly]
I'd have had no issue with Apple if they had simply not allowed it on day 1. But to allow it to be hugely successful for such a long period of time (as in: within the top 50 or so overall for months on end) only to pull it without reason is horrifying to me as an app developer.
(I'd say the 13 million "SALES" are also an indicator of quality but, Angry Birds aside, there's no way a number that high was all paid downloads.)
Seriously, though, there are much better sources of porn out there than books and sketchy non-explicit monochrome drawings, and kids are well aware of them.
Are you sure? Why?
Using that business model keeps flexibility in place, where users decide if they want to risk trusting an unapproved app, or would rather go for an app that's been approved by one of these companies (potentially incurring additional cost if the developers passed the approval cost on to their users rather than offsetting against advertising).
AppApproversLtd could offer different levels of approval / ratings - i.e. just checking for malicious code vs. checking for polite error handling, efficiently written code, best practices, impact on battery life, etc.
It seems analogous to running your website code through the W3 checker. It's a certification that you did stuff right, but it doesn't stop most users from going to your site if you don't have that little badge at the bottom.
Edit: I've since learnt that that is actually the title of the post. It still seems kind of sensationalist none-the-less.
I remember reading a quote of Jobs where he said 'no-one wants porn on their phone', when clearly porn is popular enough that plenty of people do.
Some clueless people now will try to educate me that a native client is better, even it not having bookmarks, several tabs, browser extensions, pitch to zoom on every page, etc etc
That's a curious statement that makes you wonder which part of the story we don't know (was this a case of pushing boundaries, seeing what they could get away with?) It seems doubtful that we're hearing the full truth.