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Inside Apple's App Store Review Guidelines: 'We don't need anymore Fart apps'

post #1 of 123
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Apple's newly published guidelines for the App Store review process provide a candid, plainly written summary of the company's policies on iOS software, including the blunt statement in the introduction: "We don't need anymore Fart apps."

As promised, on Thursday Apple published its App Store Review Guidelines, a document that details what is and is not acceptable for App Store software. It covers a number of topics, including the functionality of software, use of features such as push notifications and location services, and integration of Apple-controlled programs like Game Center and iAds.

In its opening introduction, the document makes clear the "broader themes" that Apple uses in reviewing App Store submissions. The company clearly stated that it is concerned about children having access to inappropriate applications, and is also interested in keeping the quality of software at a certain level.

"We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store," the document reads. "We don't need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn't do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted."

Apple described its guidelines as a "living document," something that will evolve over time as the company is "presented with new apps and situations." It promised to continually update the guidelines to reflect changes.

But the company also reserved the right to decide what content is considered "over the line" without clearly spelling it out in the guidelines.

"What line, you ask?" it reads. "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 see it."

The introduction concludes with the statement that people at Apple "love this stuff too" honor what their developers do, but at the same time the company is attempting to create the "best platform in the world," all while allowing developers to make a living.

"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," it reads. "Just like almost all of you are too."

The table of contents includes 22 sections, ranging from metadata to user interface to violence and pornography. Many of the requirements have already been clearly established, including the fact that applications cannot crash or have serious bugs.



Some rules of note in the guidelines:

User interface:
Apps that create alternate desktop/home screen environments or simulate multi-app widget experiences will be rejected

Apps that alter the functions of standard switches, such as the Volume Up/Down and Ring/Silent switches, will be rejected

Apps that look similar to apps bundled on the iPhone, including the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBookstore, will be rejected

Content:
Apps that are simply web clippings, content aggregators, or a collection of links, may be rejected

"Enemies" within the context of a game cannot solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity

Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected

Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (ex "Chat Roulette" apps) will be rejected

Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as "explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings," will be rejected

Apps that duplicate apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them

Apps that are not very useful or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected

Apps may contain or quote religious text provided the quotes or translations are accurate and not misleading. Commentary should be educational or informative rather than inflammatory

Apps that misspell Apple product names in their app name (i.e., GPS for Iphone, iTunz) will be rejected
Bandwidth:
Audio streaming content over a cellular network may not use more than 5MB over 5 minutes

Video streaming content over a cellular network longer than 10 minutes must use HTTP Live Streaming and include a baseline 64 kbps audio-only HTTP Live stream

Apps that excessively use the network capacity or bandwidth of the APN service or unduly burden a device with Push Notifications will be rejected
Privacy:
Apps that do not notify and obtain user consent before collecting, transmitting, or using location data will be rejected

Apps cannot transmit data about a user without obtaining the user's prior permission and providing the user with access to information about how and where the data will be used

Apps that require users to share personal information, such as email address and date of birth, in order to function will be rejected

Apps that target minors for data collection will be rejected
After laying out the rules of what can't be done, the guidelines end on a more personal note, with some helpful advice for developers:

"Thank you for developing iOS," it reads. "Even though this document is a formidable list of what not to do, please also keep in mind the much shorter list of what you must do. Above all else, join us in trying to surprise and delight users. Show them their world in innovative ways, and let them interact with it like never before. In our experience, users really respond to polish, both in functionality and user interface. Go the extra mile. Give them more than they expect. And take them places where they have never been before. We are ready to help."

To review the document in full, see the App Store Review Guidelines - App Store Resource Center PDF.
post #2 of 123
"Let consumers decide..."

"Apple is censoring..."

"The Droid market is more open..."

etc, etc, etc.

I give a big thumbs up to Apple for at least TRYING to maintain some semblance of sanity in their online store.

I guess the biggest problem is that all those small-time developers that want to develop another Fart app will just have invest some time and effort into creating something a little better. But then again, that would require...time and effort. And really, who wants to take the time and effort to make something better than a Farting app.
post #3 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by guytoronto View Post

And really, who wants to take the time and effort to make something better than a Farting app.

Apparently not the guy running the App Store:

Apple director Shoemaker developed 'fart,' 'wiz' apps for iPhone
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...or_iphone.html
post #4 of 123
+1

Thanks Apple!
post #5 of 123
Imagine a world without rules, laws, policies, etc. What would happen?
post #6 of 123
I love this bit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as "explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings," will be rejected ...

Hilarious!

It's worth noting that many many of the apps that were banned for being "sexy" don't fall under this guideline at all. The key words in this definition are "explicit descriptions" (presumably literary or photographic), which were never in most of the apps that were rejected. There is no way you can realistically define a picture of a woman in her bikini (or even in her underwear) "explicit" in any way.

Apple seems to be hanging on the simple determination of prurience here. If it makes you horny as opposed to happy, then it's porn to them. The part they are ignoring and leaving off is that Webster's only defines material that is "explicit" as pornographic (if it also makes you horny instead of happy).

As dreary as these apps are, "Girls in Bikinis" still doesn't qualify as "porn," by Apple's own guidelines.
post #7 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Imagine a world without rules, laws, policies, etc. What would happen?

Someone would discover fire, and then eventually civilisation would emerge.
post #8 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by guytoronto View Post

"Let consumers decide..."

"Apple is censoring..."

"The Droid market is more open..."

etc, etc, etc.

I give a big thumbs up to Apple for at least TRYING to maintain some semblance of sanity in their online store.

I guess the biggest problem is that all those small-time developers that want to develop another Fart app will just have invest some time and effort into creating something a little better. But then again, that would require...time and effort. And really, who wants to take the time and effort to make something better than a Farting app.

But what I want to spell it 'iTunz'?
post #9 of 123
Quote:
Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected

Well, there goes my Deer Hunter game.
post #10 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Someone would discover fire, and then eventually civilisation would emerge.

Without "rules", there could be no civilization.
post #11 of 123
5MB for 5 minutes means you can maintain 128Kbps audio, and then some, assuming I did my math right.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #12 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Someone would discover fire, and then eventually civilisation would emerge.

Ah, so thats why my iPod Nano battery is designed to catch fire!
post #13 of 123
So,

"explicit descriptions or displays of weapons or violent activities or gore intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings,"

Is OK then?
post #14 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Imagine a world without rules, laws, policies, etc. What would happen?

The Android App Market.
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Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
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post #15 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by 801 View Post

So,

"explicit descriptions or displays of weapons or violent activities or gore intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings,"

Is OK then?

You missed this part:

Quote:
"What line, you ask?" it reads. "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 see it."
post #16 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Without "rules", there could be no civilization.

well yeah, I was (inexpertly), making a joke to that effect.

no rules = anarchy/animal kingdom
rules = civilisation/people

If there were no rules we would all be animals, then eventually someone would discover fire and one thing would lead to another, and we'd be right back where we are now. Having the *least* rules and laws is always a good goal, but having no rules at all is always a mistake if any kind of civilised behaviour is your goal.
post #17 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

5MB for 5 minutes means you can maintain 128Kbps audio, and then some, assuming I did my math right.

You did, I got it to work out to be 136.something
post #18 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by 801 View Post

So,

"explicit descriptions or displays of weapons or violent activities or gore intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings,"

Is OK then?

Yep, that's correct. However, on this planet displays of weapons or violent activities independent of an association with traditional sexual icons are very unlikely to stimulate erotic feelings. Therefore, a different rationale has to used to prohibit violent games or weapons
post #19 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Without "rules", there could be no civilization.

Without rules the above sentence would look like this:

"Without rulz, there could be no civilisation."
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #20 of 123
This is all censorship. Apple forced me to buy the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Then the corporate thieves forced me to develop software that conforms to its unholy standards.

I just want to write programs that crash, infect customers' devices, steal banking information and collect user data on children.
post #21 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Well, there goes my Deer Hunter game.

Diddi-Mao!!
post #22 of 123
And as you know, he makes those apps the he writes available outside of the Apple app store. And he never said that he practices what he preaches, he just does as his employer has asked him to do. He is free to do as he likes, just outside of the Apple app store. Nothing wrong with that now is there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalTroll View Post

Apparently not the guy running the App Store:

Apple director Shoemaker developed 'fart,' 'wiz' apps for iPhone
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...or_iphone.html
post #23 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Diddi-Mao!!




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MviKyYxKvKI
post #24 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Imagine a world without rules, laws, policies, etc. What would happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Someone would discover fire, and then eventually civilisation would emerge.

All of this has happened before. And all of it will happen again.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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post #25 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

well yeah, I was (inexpertly), making a joke to that effect.

no rules = anarchy/animal kingdom
rules = civilisation/people

If there were no rules we would all be animals, then eventually someone would discover fire and one thing would lead to another, and we'd be right back where we are now. Having the *least* rules and laws is always a good goal, but having no rules at all is always a mistake if any kind of civilised behaviour is your goal.

Animals have rules too. It's just that they need very few. Animals would never think of doing to each other what we humans do to each other, so they really only need a couple of unspoken () rules.
post #26 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by guytoronto View Post

"Let consumers decide..."

"Apple is censoring..."

"The Droid market is more open..."

etc, etc, etc.

I give a big thumbs up to Apple for at least TRYING to maintain some semblance of sanity in their online store.

I guess the biggest problem is that all those small-time developers that want to develop another Fart app will just have invest some time and effort into creating something a little better. But then again, that would require...time and effort. And really, who wants to take the time and effort to make something better than a Farting app.

Yes, I fully expect the haters to criticize Apple yet again for anything they do, including clarifying the App Store policies and relaxing restrictions on tools. The haters will probably say that you can have as many Fart apps as you want on Android, and that Google doesn't give a rats ass about stupid things that end users don't care about, like their privacy, security, user experience. Google wants to impress the 1337 haX0rz by saying their haX0r values (particularly freedom) is more important than anything, right?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #27 of 123
Those of us on a quota'd plan appreciate this. Now if we only had a way to determine how much network an App actually uses, I'd be happier. Or maybe there's an app for this?
post #28 of 123
Good for you! I have teenage girls and I definitely monitor what they access on the Web and on their iPods.
What may be appropriate for me is not necessarily appropriate for them.
I appreciate Apple's commitment to applications that help people grow and thrive.
Keep up the good work.

Mark Gary Blumenthal, MD, MPH
Knoxville, TN
post #29 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

5MB for 5 minutes means you can maintain 128Kbps audio, and then some, assuming I did my math right.

You and your phone might be able to maintain that bit rate but I doubt that Att's network could.
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post #30 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Someone would discover fire, and then eventually civilisation would emerge.

And so will chaos..

Lawless world means freedom for good people but it also means freedom for bad people.

The world would've been destroyed a long time ago...

But then again we humans would destroy our planet eventually. Hopefully I won't be around when it happens.

Anyways I get your joke Professor P.
post #31 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

The Android App Market.

Rrrrright... So is that why Google remotely wiped those malicious apps a few months ago?
post #32 of 123
That last paragraph gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling of love for Apple. <3<3<3

C
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post #33 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Imagine a world without rules, laws, policies, etc. What would happen?

The Internet?

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post #34 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Rrrrright... So is that why Google remotely wiped those malicious apps a few months ago?

That was just part of the anarchy.

Edit: on a serious note, it was a good example why rules are needed.
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post #35 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (ex "Chat Roulette" apps) will be rejected

Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as "explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings," will be rejected

Thank goodness FaceTime will never be used in this manner.
post #36 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Someone would discover fire, and then eventually civilisation would emerge.


Actually it is when the people who think there is a God controlling everything then those who realize they control those people by saying they have a connection to that god that civilizations will occur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Without "rules", there could be no civilization.

Refer to the above and rules are only needed for those who lack the ability to realize what is right or wrong or who do get the joke
post #37 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

well yeah, I was (inexpertly), making a joke to that effect.

no rules = anarchy/animal kingdom
rules = civilisation/people

If there were no rules we would all be animals, then eventually someone would discover fire and one thing would lead to another, and we'd be right back where we are now. Having the *least* rules and laws is always a good goal, but having no rules at all is always a mistake if any kind of civilised behaviour is your goal.

The animal kingdom is governed by rules as well, such as the rules of nature, that we try to ignore or overcome.

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post #38 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

This is all censorship. Apple forced me to buy the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Then the corporate thieves forced me to develop software that conforms to its unholy standards.

I just want to write programs that crash, infect customers' devices, steal banking information and collect user data on children.

post #39 of 123
I always find these threads amusing... with two fairly distinct groups emerging every time.

1) I should be free to develop my crap apps and sell my crap apps to get rich anyway I please. Apple is run by a bunch of dictators who want to control your mind take away your freedom (throw in mom, apple pie, bill of rights, the flag, puppies)... and anyway Android is way better.

2) Steve said flash is bad, so flash is bad... Steve said no more fart apps, so no more fart apps... Steve doesn't like porn, so no porn... Steve says Apple is best, so Apple is best... etc.

Simply because app development has been free and open doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Apple produces a product and has the right to close that products app development as tight as they want. They are not stopping anyone from developing apps. There are maintaining quality control over apps that are developed. As someone who has paid for many crap apps in the past, I applaud them for doing so. Nobody complains that Walmart doesn't sell porn. Walmart, Sears, Amazon, Ebay... they sell whatever they want to sell. It is a free market. You can always go somewhere else. Closed platforms work better. That is Apple's model, and others are scrambling to follow... and anyway Android is way better.
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post #40 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

As dreary as these apps are, "Girls in Bikinis" still doesn't qualify as "porn," by Apple's own guidelines.

That's why they included intent in the rule. Calling something "Beach Hotties" and/or using a description like "Hottest babes you'll ever see in a bikini" gives a pretty clear intent that you are trying to excite folks sexually. As opposed to an app for buying swimsuits.

Also, it is worth noting that many of those 'sexy' apps were also app spamming, making you download a new app for each girl and even each month. Which is also against the rules

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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