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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 122
    "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.
  • Reply 2 of 122
    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
  • Reply 3 of 122
    +1



    Thanks Apple!
  • Reply 4 of 122
    Imagine a world without rules, laws, policies, etc. What would happen?
  • Reply 5 of 122
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 122
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 122
    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'?
  • Reply 8 of 122
    Quote:

    Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected



    Well, there goes my Deer Hunter game.
  • Reply 9 of 122
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 122
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    5MB for 5 minutes means you can maintain 128Kbps audio, and then some, assuming I did my math right.
  • Reply 11 of 122
    peteopeteo Posts: 395member
    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!
  • Reply 12 of 122
    801801 Posts: 271member
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 122
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


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



    The Android App Market.
  • Reply 14 of 122
    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."



  • Reply 15 of 122
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 122
    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
  • Reply 17 of 122
    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
  • Reply 18 of 122
    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."
  • Reply 19 of 122
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 122
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,342member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    Well, there goes my Deer Hunter game.



    Diddi-Mao!!
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