It seems that the prudish types at Apple are keen to apply their moral values to the App Store, first kicking off the (admittedly rather tawdry) boob-jiggling app Wobble, and then setting off on a crusade to cleanse the store of flesh.
A developer who has been in discussions with Apple claims to have got the low down on their new policy, and it’s the kind of thing that would make Mrs Whitehouse proud.
In short: no skin, no wobbly bits, no swimsuits, no innuendo and definitely no boobies anywhere. Or even silhouettes.
After talking to “multiple App Store reviewers”, tech site TechCrunch say that Apple’s initial policy of banning “overtly sexual content,” has now been ramped up to something far more uptight and censorious, with rumours of 5,000 apps being removed.
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 …)
Predictably, the notoriously secretive Apple have declined to offer any more details about this policy, but it may prove disastrous for some app developers who rely on the store for their income – as Tech Crunch illustrates:
The developer who I spoke to says that he’s spent the last year regularly speaking to Apple representatives, attempting to tweak his “sexy” apps to accommodate Apple’s constantly evolving standards. He was told things like (paraphrased) “a woman can be pictured in a bathing suit, but she can’t have her thumb on the suit’s strings” — because that would have been too sexually suggestive.
He’d make the modifications and resubmit, oftentimes only to have another photo get called out for an equally bizarre reason. During these back-and-forths he was told that things would get better when the iPhone’s parental controls came out. And that was true for a little while, until Apple changed its mind.
After making around $30,000 last year from the App Store, he’s essentially lost his income. And Wobble’s company, which was pulling in around $500 a day, is now making less than $10. Apple gave these developers the green light to build “sexy” apps, and now that they’ve built businesses around them, it’s tossing them aside without so much as an apology. To Apple, they’re expendable.