But I find it impossible to justify what is quite obviously a politically motivated rejection.
I still believe this is Apple's store, and they can admit and reject what they like. But if politics comes into it, than that changes my personal perspective on buying Apple products.
Just imagine if the subject would be "places that legalize gay marriage" instead of drone strikes. The only "objectionable" part of the drone strike app is that it may have a political agenda. That should never be grounds for rejection.
I really wish people would take these stories as a sign that we need to focus on the android market.
FWIW: I am not advocating for the baby & bathwater argument. I think we must focus on android because it will put market pressure on apple to have a more fair/just approval process.
Well, it's not feasible as long as bootloaders remain encrypted/non-unlockable. That's the problem with restricting the software that can run on hardware after the user has purchased the hardware and owns it.
We've already been through this. AT&T (uniquely among US carriers, I believe) blocked non-Market applications on all of their devices. The success of the Amazon Appstore forced them to change that policy.
If it hadn't been for a large, US corporation lobbying AT&T to allow their product on the handsets, would it have gone through?
A future where AT&T allows the Amazon and Google app stores only is still one that could happen.
The point is, just because something is open-source now doesn't mean it will remain that way in the future.
You are right, but the statement was meant to be more of a what-if situation and not a it is. Either-ways we all can agree that based on the past events that it is not in Google's priority list to keep the open-source community updated:
>and Android doesn't force users to create or use a Google account.
If so, could you tell me how I could use an android phone without setting up a Google account? The first screen to hit you when you switch on a brand new android phone is the Google Login/Signup screen.
I was quite surprised when I saw that.
Just like I wouldn't pick up a candy bar off the street and eat it, I wouldn't download a disreputable looking app. Common sense.
Yes you're being harsh. Kids use smartphones. And while some of them are really the clever "digital natives" we were promised, a lot of them also are not.
Similar reasoning goes for my mother (62) who is very good with computers compared to others of her generation, indeed smart enough to not trust "DOWNLOAD FREE MP3s!", but still if she were to be tricked by something that might seem real obvious to us, there will be loads of sympathy. (And also a lot of fist-shaking at the unknown malware pusher that got my mom)
Regardless, I wouldn't recommend them iOS. It's a good learning experience even if you get burned and keeps you in a feeling of control and responsibility and freedom.
Maybe my grandmother. There's some bitter irony in the term "walled garden" there, though.
It's true that Apple's is a bit draconian, but that's because they care about protecting their users.
I hear the TSA's marketing department is hiring.
I think it would be a clear mistake for them to do it now.
I also think eventually there is little doubt they will do it but we're at least 3-4 years away from that.
What does "should" even mean here? For Apple's best interest or your's and mine? Clearly Apple should buy us all ponies for xmas, it's not like they can't afford it. Man, who doesn't want a free pony?
I certainly hope not. I'm fine with them "locking down" phones and tablets. These are appliances and I can't put Android on my toaster either (well, maybe it's possible). But a computer is something totally different. They can have it locked down by default but they have to always provide a way for power users to do whatever they want. The day they lock down Mac OSX the way their appliances are locked down is the day that every developer who uses them now to have a unix with a decent UI is going to leave.
Grownups can make their own life choices to some extent, but society everywhere forbids certain behaviours and activities.
An OS with a software distribution platform that tries to prevent the average user from making mistakes, and that attempts to prevent malicious activity while avoiding being overly restrictive seems a good model.
Not a bad shout for government as well.
App store == France, Marketplace == UK, Play == US?
Or something like that.
"grownups are allowed to make their own choices"
Apple didn't force anyone to buy an iphone. It's always been a curated app market. Grownups should take responsibility for their decisions. If you want a wild west app market you should not buy iOS products and that has always been the case.
After Apple has sued the top three Android OEMs in the US (Samsung, HTC and Motorola) and more competitors overseas that statement rings more than a little hollow.
You can buy Apple and use the iOS app store, you can buy Apple and jailbreak, you can buy dozens of different Android phones and use a number of different Android stores many of which are curated beyond what Apple does, you can buy WP7 and use that store (also heavily curated), you can buy a Blackberry and use that store (also curated), etc.
Everyone knows why Samsung got sued, even Google told them to change their design. Motorola sued Apple first and Apple sued HTC first. Nokia sued everyone before any of that but somehow only Apple is the big bad that's taken away everyone's ability to buy non-Apple phones.
The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom
The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
Part of the problem with the app store is a chilling effect - people don't even try to make controversial apps if they run a large risk of being blocked.
Perhaps you could look at the number of apps in Cydia, since the primary reason to put an app on Cydia is that it does something that would be blocked in the App store. I couldn't find an actual figure but simple searches on the Cydia store show > 35,000 results. I'd say that's much higher than the number of truly malicious Android apps that made it into Google's store and lasted any length of time there.
Not to mention if anybody needs more apps, its the Windows Phone App store.
At the very least, WP is different from iOS in that their SDK is provided for free (using the express edition of Visual Studio).
I saw this play-out with Vimeo apps not too long ago. Prior to the company launching their (really nice btw) official app there were a few a third-party clients which used the Vimeo name and logo; since then, they've all rebranded or disappeared (I’m guessing at the request of Vimeo to avoid confusion).
Other than that, pretty much everything else seems to fly (I’m guessing security issues and serious bugs that come-up during review aside). This is all anecdotal (I don’t work at Microsoft or review apps for certification) but I’d be pretty shocked if they blocked an app like this.
Anyways, it looks pretty cool, maybe if iOS certification doesn’t go over the dev can port it to WP. For simpler apps (no offense here) I’ve heard it’s fairly quick work and involves a lot less on the testing/optimizing for 1,000+ device SKUs (Android) front.
"Phone Story was pulled from the iTunes App Store on Tuesday September 13 at 11.35am, only few hours after its official announcement."
Hatred an bigotry aren't "purely political". The fact that certain sick fucks leverage those sentiment for political gain doesn't change that. You can ban apps that are hateful and bigoted for that reason only, without it being a political statement.
This is very different from the drone strike app, which is not objectionable in any way if you remove the political dimension.
Exodus claims to 'provide support' for people who want to 'recover' from homosexuality. Predatory? Misleading? Sure. Immoral? I'd say so.
But unlike homophobes, I don't agree with censoring speech that I disagree with and forcing my beliefs on other people.
I'd much rather let the app stand, have it receive 1-star ratings, have alternate competing apps (ie, from pro-gay groups) come up in the search results, etc.
Why? Because I'm certain I'm right and that ex-gay conversion is wrong, and I'm certain that, if the truth and the lies are laid out side-by-side in the plain light of day, eventually, the truth will prove itself.
But unlike homophobes, I don't agree with censoring speech that I disagree with and forcing my beliefs on other people."
Does this even follow? "Predatory" and "misleading" should be enough to remove the app in the first place -- you don't need to assume they removed it because they disagreed with its politics.
For all of society yes but for one company's store, that's just how the free market works. Walmart like Apple and many other merchants decided they didn't want to sell porn in their store. If you're offended by this decision of theirs you are free to take your business elsewhere.
Apple has a monopoly on iOS app distribution, and that makes their behavior so worrying. And of course it has enboldened Microsoft to follow the same model, something they probably would have never attempted on their own.
I'm not taking my business elsewhere because they won't put porn in their store, I have already taken my business elsewhere because I KNEW beforehand that it would ultimately lead to censoring arbitrary stuff for all the wrong reasons.
Turns out I was right.
UPDATE: NYT is reporting Mr. Fiore has been "encouraged"
by Apple to re-submit. So the lesson here? Win a
Pulitzer, get a 2nd chance at the App Store.
Look Apple, I supported some of your bans in the past
-- like your ban on sexy junk apps -- but political
cartooning is *slightly* different.
> politically motivated rejection
Probably that is the reason. But when I first heard of that App I did think of "torture porn". You practically track the death of people. How is that App used? Imagine being at lunch and you get a new notification. What do you do with that kind of Information? Why do you want that? Certainly not to grief, because it would desensitize you. I imagine the people who would install it (and leave it installed) would be from the opposite side of the spectrum and militaristic nuts: "Hell yeah, another 7 terrorist brownies taken down!"
How is that App used? Imagine being at launch and you get
a new notification. What do you do with that kind of
Information? Why do you want that?
It sounds better than sticking my head in the sand and pretending it's not happening. As for being desensitized, are you serious? _That's_ your argument against raising awareness of drone strikes? We're already desensitized to the violence we perpetrate on others. It doesn't even make the news if it has to compete with the latest celebrity gossip.
Now, I happen to agree with the politics in that case, but it also illustrates the broader point: A curated app store is inevitably entangled in politics. Approving an app can be just as political a decision as rejecting it.
Why does Apple think it is suitable to make these decisions on your behalf, iDevice users? Are you happy with this?
Personally, I'll be sticking with my HTC device running Cyanogenmod.
* We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps, and parental controls don't work unless the parents set them up (many don't). So know that we're keeping an eye out for the kids.
* We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it". And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
* This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your app will trigger this.
* Lastly, we love this stuff too, and honor what you do. We're really trying our best to create the best platform in the world for you to express your talents and make a living too. If it sounds like we're control freaks, well, maybe it's because we're so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products. Just like almost all of you are too.
"Protecting the children" is always the scoundrel's excuse for pushing censorship and control over the line of a sensible balance.
Why can't adults opt in to seeing adult apps?
There are literally hundreds of millions of non-iDevice smartphone users who don't live with these restrictions and who are not being harmed at all. Is there something special about iDevice users that means they need extra protection? Of course not.
Because Apple made the iPhone and they own the iOS store and they decided they could make more money with it this way.
"There are literally hundreds of millions of non-iDevice smartphone users who don't live with these restrictions and who are not being harmed at all. "
This is called assuming your conclusion. There are certainly standards at Google Play and Amazon's Android app store, not every Android user can sideload apps and the idea that no one has been harmed by uncurated stores is strictly false in general and in specific cases like this basically unknowable.
That's a statement of fact, but does not answer the question of why.
The last point is probably why a lot of parents buy iPhones for their children.
As for the app in question, I find nothing objectionable about it, im sure the same information is available through Safari, but i suppose the same argument applies to adults wanting to see this content, stop whining about not having an app to do it and just look it up online.
I can think of at least one way to make it difficult for a kid to opt-in (I'm sure there are others): require the opt-in to be done online and require re-authorizing the credit card associated with the iTunes account. If it's good enough to get an email account out of a COPPA jail, it's good enough here.
If "parents don't bother enabling parental controls" was an actual excuse, they couldn't ship a web browser!
And this is a different problem that also needs to solved.
People jumping into credit late in life as an adult without any teachings on how to properly manage their financials is the greater problem here.
If you had a credit card before 18, that means you were added on your parents account as an authorized user and you were piggybacking off of their credit history.
The greater problem here is that credit cards exist in the first place.
1. It's like having a proxy between your actual accounts and your purchasing. A stolen credit card is annoying and easy to rectify. A stolen debit card is terrifying.
2. Sometimes in life, an expense arises that exceeds both income and savings. When this happens, we either pay with credit (of some kind), we don't meet our financial responsibilities, or we go without. Sometimes the best option is to go without. When that is not possible, the credit card is a good answer. Pay off your balance responsibly and as quickly as possible and either save more in the future or be prepared to pay interest again.
Perhaps in the recent age of debit cards, but credit cards filled a massive void in the usability of cash. And it is often still more convenient to manage your money transfers after the fact.
I just don't get the negativity. They're a great tool when used appropriately. You can't really fault the tool if people use it inappropriately.
Of the "iOS' walled garden is anticonsumer" concerns - the one that's in regular demonstration is Apple's refusal to allow adults to indicate that they really are grown up enough to be exposed to content regarding politics, religion, war and, yeah, even sex.
This is still the problem. You don't know whether the kid or the parent opened the box and set the phone up the first time.
While I know some people at HN would still be mad if the App Store defaulted to "kid safe," it's a fix with much smaller side-effects than outright bans. Assuming "to protect the kids" is really the motive.
Yes, this parent has problems. And it's this situation that Apple thinks they're watching out for.
Oh wait, this already "happens". The phones come with webbrowsers.
I really don't understand what problem Apple is trying to solve.
Allowing the web is PR-defensible: "it's the web". But when it comes to things you explicitly review and choose to allow in your store, you're forced to either stand up for adults' right to that content, or you preemptively censor yourself and your suppliers. (a la Walmart)
1st* You need an Apple ID with a credit card to use the App Store. Ergo, adult work. Ergo, parental controls can be integrated into the credit card screen by the simple checkbox "Is the user of this account an adult?"
2nd* Supreme Court Justice is given the authority by the state to decide on immense matters after years of honorable (which is their title, by the way) service. Nice attempt at equating that with an app review team, whose job, according to an Apple employee, is to look "at things that may or may not be dcks all day long."
4th* More blabla with qualifiers to look like one of us.
I'm pretty sure you don't, at least beyond the first-time setup of the account. My son has an iTunes account and we "fund" it through iTunes gift cards. There is no credit card attached at all. Once his gift card credit is used up, no more purchases for him.
Presumably they think they will make more money by excluding those apps for now.
"Why does Apple think it is suitable to make these decisions on your behalf, iDevice users?"
Because that's the way stores work. The owner of the store decides what goods to sell in his store. A clothes designer has no guarantees that Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom's or Macy's or Walmart will carry any or all of their products.
"Are you happy with this?"
I'm happy the iOS app store is curated, yes.
That would probably get through fine.
Every riposte you have given has been that Apple have the right to choose their policy.
Yes, Apple may have a right to have a horrid policy.
But that doesn't make the policy any less horrid.
The horridness of the policy is the whole point. You have therefore missed the point every time, with every answer.
I'm sorry you came here to here a dittohead fest where everyone echo'd your views and didn't get it.
You did not do that, you said "Build your own Apple then!".
This comment is the closest you ever came to defending the policy, by saying "I'm fine with it". But you're not trying to convince anyone else by providing any information or reasons. Rather, you're asserting that they can't possibly convince you.
And you have resorted to a low by attacking me personally as a "dittohead".
(Therefore you cannot claim that all stores have the same policy. This stuff is high-school level logic and I don't understand why you have difficulty with it.)
In which case I am perfectly free to find Apple's policy horrid, and find the hypothetical Android store policy commendable.
> Mobile app developer here... It was probably rejected because all it is is a web page wrapped in an app.
> > 2.12 Apps that are not very useful, are simply web sites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
> Which this app clearly is. It's not even using the mapkit API. It's just a link to a web page.
The Cupertino company says the content is “objectionable and crude,” according to Apple’s latest rejection letter.
But the free flow of honest information is fundamental to democracy. This is stupid and gutless editorial censorship on Apple's part (unless there's some detail about this story that I'm missing). I hope someone higher up sees this, reverses the decision, and clarifies their internal standards on this.
Fucking lame Apple! Shape the fuck up!
I'm sorry, but that's completely contradictory. The point of the wall is that it blocks things Apple don't approve of.
For example, do you support the right of a newspaper editor to pick and choose which letters to the editor get published? How about a restaurant's reserved "right to refuse service to anyone"? If you do, you still reserve the right in each of these cases to object to individual decisions, and to refuse patronage if an individual decision or a pattern of decisions offends you. All without contradicting yourself.
This is why almost every country in the world has abandoned monarchy. It's ultimately too error-prone and inefficient.
Even Linux has King Linus. And Android has King Page, Queen Rubin and a host of Lords (Verizon, AT&T, Samsung, etc). Don't kid yourself.
Furthermore, we're talking about a product, a phone, not national governments or the sovereignty of citizens over them. Poor strawman.
Once upon a time (a few years ago), King Linus and his nobles weren't terribly happy with many of the technical decisions the Android team made. How did King Linus exercise his sovereignty? Did it stop the Android team from doing what they wanted?
Anyway, if you are truly for freedom, support Apple's freedom to do things its way and Google's to do things its way. You can follow whichever one you want. Or did you want to dictate to me and millions of others that they can't choose a walled-garden such as Apple's if that's what we want?
You want to shove your preferred freedom down our throats?
Not at all. Make yourself right at home in your cozy walled garden. Just stop using bogus patent suits to drive the products I want to buy off the shelves and compete on features instead.
When the benevolence is built-in, it isn't a dictatorship, it's something else. And something else doesn't support your argument about walled gardens, it undermines it.
And in a world where a lot of people access the internet only through a phone these decisions carry a lot more weight than your choice of shoes or your car.
We have enough problems as is with anti-malware software throwing false positives, so who is to say that Apple can do any better? Likewise, "spammy apps" and "malware" are terms subject to definitions given by the curator. If we use past history as any indicator, then it seems Apple has already proven that the company has it's own definitions for these terms.
Huh? This does not parse.
Slippery Slope is a logical fallacy: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/slippery-slope.html
This is one example everyone should know: http://www.quora.com/How-can-supporters-of-gay-marriage-refu...
It's a question of two imperfect approaches. Google's "open" Android market (it isn't quite totally open is it?) is far from utopia too, no? All that malware sucks for non-technical users. Why not allow users the choice between both approaches? Or shall we follow your "draconian rule" and disallow this choice?
You should get an actual (and logical) understanding of "logical fallacy" and then review your comments above. Sigh.
Let me see if I can explain this in more detail. I'm not saying the android market is perfect, nor am I saying that the iOS market is an ideal solution. My point is that the original statement:
> The ideal walled garden would be one that blocks spammy apps and malware - but not information
is a logical fallacy. Information is a very broad term, so the assumption that an overlord curator can perform their job in a non-invasive manner while magically defining what "bad" means is a road to hell. What we need is effectively the reddit of app stores; one curated by the community instead of a black box of employees. The tyranny of the democratic majority is still an issue, but it seems that this is a far more fair solution than what exists now.
It is an effort in futility to find the perfect end all solution, because that utopia can't exist. I would, however, rather have the risk of getting coal instead of diamonds instead of just what a company tells me is a diamond.
But as to "logical fallacy"... as Inigo Montoya would say, You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
There's a lot more at stake here than that. These kinds of devices are quickly becoming the primary or even the only means of accessing the internet for a lot of people.
When dealing with situations like this, we have a couple options. We can accept walled gardens and hope that the gardeners are made of stern stuff and love freedom.
Or we can reject walled gardens and demand ecosystems in which this kind of blocking can't happen, not just won't.
I prefer worlds where it can't. Trusting that it won't is setting up for disappointment IMO.
EDIT: qualifying availability of apps as within Apples' App Store
That's called "censorship".
Apple's store has an impact on democracy because Apple is very influential and other companies are likely to imitate their policies. Lots of young people are getting exposed to Apple's flavor of personal computer so, to them, censorship of software will seem normal.
How about Hacker News? Shall we lobby pg to remove the ability to flag an article, and let this place turn into Reddit?
Yesterday an article I liked had a healthy debate going. It was flagged as not fit for HN (It was political, about race not technology in any way) and it was taken off. I was initially annoyed but I agree with the decision. Isn't there a benefit to having distinction (HN vs Reddit), or choice as all the Android fans preach?
[Please read my other comments before you assume I agree with Apple's decision here.]
Newspapers have limited space and no filtering capabilities for readers.
>How about Hacker News? Shall we lobby pg to remove the ability to flag an article, and let this place turn into Reddit?
I have the choice to use my web browser to read sites other than HN (and I don't need to jailbreak my browser to do so).
Limited space is NOT why newspapers have editors. There's a reason the NY Times is so different from the Wall Street Journal.
As I just said in another comment, Even Linux has King Linus. And Android has King Page, Queen Rubin and a host of Lords (Verizon, AT&T, Samsung, etc). Don't kid yourself.
And to repeat, I think Apple's decision in this case is lame and cowardly.
That might've been true during the first few versions of Android but I don't think that's the case nowadays. I sold my iPad 2 and bought a Nexus 7 and I don't really miss anything. I certainly do NOT miss not being able to sideload software outside of an app store, or the lack of customization.
In fact I feel that the interface in Jelly Bean is an improvement over iOS in many ways. And it has stronger cloud support, I particularly like how it sync with my online, public Picasa galleries and the like.
Most people on HN, probably with good reason, assume that people take sides in a specific argument based on their Android-Apple loyalty.
[I don't distrust Apple's intent any more than I do any other profit-driven business (i.e. Google is included). Apple has many times owned up to their app rejection mistakes. See http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4454530]
[Jeez louis... why did this comment get downvoted? Shees!]
I kept clicking on the usernames of the people you replied to trying to find how you knew them as Louis. :)
"Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. " - Wikipedia
A republic isn't by default a democracy. Non-PR voting doesn't allow all citizens to have an equal say because their vote doesn't count if they vote for smaller political parties; At minimum it's not taking away seats from other parties, and not showing the genuine support for smaller parties -- and the bigger political parties know this and is why they want to keep the system this way.
if you define "many other countries" as "all other democracies" your statement might be closer to the truth...
Apple is merely interested in the fall from grace, not the accounting.
"We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write F-U-C-K on their airplanes... because...? it's obscene!"
-- Colonel Walter E. Kurtz
It's obvious from the article graphic that the app is using Google Maps to display its data, so hosting it in a Web page would produce the same outcome, even the same appearance.
Indeed, given the move to so-called cloud computing and the public nature of the data being displayed, that's a more obvious way to accomplish the program's role -- put it on the Web and publish the page's address.
If the app was something other than an obvious and trivial Google Maps incarnation, this might be different, and I am in no way excusing Apple's paternalistic behavior, but it isn't as though the content is being suppressed by their decision.
It's better overall if this is a Web page -- it lifts the restriction of being an iOS app, it opens the source to anyone with a working browser. It's a more robust solution to what seems to be a non-problem.
Again, this app is more a creative endeavor than a tool. The author is thinking of ways to make people more aware of something, forcing them to think about it during their day, not trying to give them raw information. (Granted, one must still decide they want to be forced to think about this during their day, as they have to install the app and allow push notifications.)
I'm also not making any judgements on Apple or the app itself. I'm just trying to explain what I think the creators' intentions are, and why a webpage is not suited for those intentions.
In other news: just make stuff like this as a mobile site.
Those opposed to it would like to know what's happening.
Those in favor would like to see how effective it is.
I can't see either side objecting, so I agree with you that it's probably the fact that it's about death that is the reason they were rejected.
If we aren't civilized enough to distinguish between combatants and foreigners (is has been clearly shown that we are not), we could at least have the decency to give the spectators to our fireworks shows a warning.
What is this supposed to say?
The only thing I can think of is an oversight by a lazy copy editor, just like the occasional [TK] that slips into print.
Though this is becoming increasingly rare, both because the [TK] notation is losing popularity, and because having copy editors at all is also losing popularity....
Bitdefender says that Apple removed the application, which previously was a paid product, from the iOS App Store in June, but hasn't given it a reason for doing so. A potential cause could have been that Clueful tried to auto-detect a user's installed iOS apps so it could then display information about them.