Apple hints App Store rules may loosen with iPhone OS 3.0

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Following the rejection of an iPhone app for content the developer didn't produce itself, Apple has given signs it may allow more risque software on the App Store once iPhone OS 3.0 and its enhanced parental locks become a reality.



The response came as part of a rejection notice sent to Newspaper(s) app creator Makayama over the initial submission of its article reading software; the software's inclusion of the UK edition of daily newspaper The Sun, which is well-known for the topless models in its Page 3 section, purportedly violated App Store rules against obscene content.



However, while that newspaper eventually had to be pulled for Makayama's app to clear Apple's review process, the company told iLounge that it might have a chance at resubmitting the app with the British paper intact once iPhone OS 3.0 is available. It "would be appropriate" to try submitting the app once the new firmware's parental controls are an option for iPhone owners, the Cupertino company said.



The upgrade, due to ship in the summer, is set to provide significantly expanded content filters that aren't limited to Apple's software. Although the block system hasn't been fully illustrated, it should let parents screen for particular kinds of apps and, in theory, prevent younger children from seeing Page 3 or other more controversial content in the future.



Requests for such a change policy are steadily becoming more prominent with the growth of the App Store and reached a possible boiling point this weekend, when Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor published Apple's rejection letter and accused it of hypocrisy (caution: profane language) in rejecting an update to the NIN: Access music fan app.



Even though Apple had green-lit version 1.0 with its access to the industrial band's music and videos as-is, an attempt to submit a patched version was rejected for allegedly including offensive material in a podcast accessible from the app, which had a copy of the song "The Downward Spiral" as part of the stream. Reznor likened Apple's approach to the double standards he sees in Walmart's music section, where bands have been forced to self-censor their albums even as games and movies with language, nudity and other content at least as offensive could be had in the same shop. "The Downward Spiral" and all of NIN's frequently expletive-laden songs are already available on iTunes while the Safari web browser and the iPhone's e-mail client aren't subjected to the same scrutiny, the artist said on Sunday.



Nine Inch Nails' preview video for the features of its iPhone app.



The Nine Inch Nails lead isn't alone in having been subjected to a seemingly random approach by Apple to monitoring content. In a more straightforward example of filtering content, author and CNET editor David Carnoy was pressured into removing expletives from an iPhone edition of his book. However, other apps, such as Latest Chatty from developer Alex Wayne, were rejected simply because of community members' posts (caution: further expletives) beyond his control that were still fully accessible through Safari on an iPhone or iPod touch.



At this stage, it's uncertain whether the notice to Makayama to wait until iPhone OS 3.0 is again the result of a frequent app-by-app variation in Apple's reactions to content or part of a more consistent approach. If the latter, however, it directly implies that more adult-oriented content may be allowed into the App Store under the assumption that parents concerned about content will finally have the tools to ban these apps from childrens' devices themselves.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    There is more profanity in the posted reviews of apps than there is in the apps themselves! They need to get this solved to allow a greater range of apps and material for customers. They shouldn't aspire to be Blockbuster or Walmart, they should aspire to Walmart's sales, with Apple's openness.
  • Reply 2 of 41
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    There is more profanity in the posted reviews of apps than there is in the apps themselves! They need to get this solved to allow a greater range of apps and material for customers. They shouldn't aspire to be Blockbuster or Walmart, they should aspire to Walmart's sales, with Apple's openness.



    And the same profanity they are preventing in the app is available in the songs the NIИ songs they sell. It's pretty damn silly.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    4metta4metta Posts: 365member
    The trouble they are giving Reznor made my blood boil. A lot of NIN fans (including myself) are suggesting he release an unshackled version of the app on Android.
  • Reply 4 of 41
    eyelesseyeless Posts: 28member
    Apple will launch its new "breast recognition technology" for parental filtering!
  • Reply 5 of 41
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 4metta View Post


    The trouble they are giving Reznor made my blood boil. A lot of NIN fans (including myself) are suggesting he release an unshackled version of the app on Android.



    I'm not so sure that will happen. The platform may be less encumbered by content checking, but it will harder to create an app at the same level of the iPhone SDK. Then there is the issue of how many will get the app. I think that Reznor has to either remove the profanity or wait until v3.0 to come out. Since it's only a couple months away I think he will probably just wait, but they really need to have more consistency between the apps and music they sell with profanity.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,975member
    I hope Apple gets out of the buisness of filtering content for us REAL FAST!



    I don't mind providing parental controls, as long as they are adjustable by the end user, but it just doesn't smell right when Apple is deciding what we can see on our iPhones. (I say "our" but I don't have one yet--maybe in June?)
  • Reply 7 of 41
    fpsandersfpsanders Posts: 31member
    I understand that some filters are appropriate. I also understand there's some filth out there. Still, it blows my mind how puritan the morals are in the U.S. towards expletives and sexual content...



    I know, I know the Netherlands, or perhaps all of Europe have a certain reputation regarding our morals. But for all our supposed socialism, we certainly enjoy more freedom in these aspects
  • Reply 8 of 41
    istinkistink Posts: 250member
    I laughed when I heard the nine inch nails app got rejected. It just brings light to how inconsistent the app reviews are, and how more than likely it's a per-person opinion that says if an app gets through. I bet there's people at the "app review center" (something I just made up in my mind) that are really harsh and hardly let anything through, while there are some laid back cool people letting everything through.



    There simply needs to be a more concrete way of judging these apps. The iphone app store has become too monumental for there not to be.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I hope Apple gets out of the buisness of filtering content for us REAL FAST!



    I don't mind providing parental controls, as long as they are adjustable by the end user, but it just doesn't smell right when Apple is deciding what we can see on our iPhones. (I say "our" but I don't have one yet--maybe in June?)



    I've heard people refer to the iphone as a rental because of this.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Apple has to tread a fine line here, East Texas lawyers are probably lining up because someone's little Johnny saw the word "fuck".
  • Reply 10 of 41
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fpsanders View Post


    Still, it blows my mind how puritan the morals are in the U.S. towards expletives and sexual content...



    But we're okay with excessive violence and gore.
  • Reply 11 of 41
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    But we're okay with excessive violence and gore.



    ..and you make some pretty good porn.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    I cannot convey how good of an idea this would be. The application "process" has become a bad joke. If it isn't a virus isn't hardcore port, and doesn't break agreements with the carriers, it should be approved.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    4metta4metta Posts: 365member
    Trent has answered that while he thinks ANDROID is awesome, not enough people have an ANDROID phone yet but that he is considering offering the app to the jailbreak community if Apple doesn't stop being ridiculous.



    Now THAT would be funny!
  • Reply 14 of 41
    mistergsfmistergsf Posts: 236member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I hope Apple gets out of the buisness of filtering content for us REAL FAST!



    I don't mind providing parental controls, as long as they are adjustable by the end user, but it just doesn't smell right when Apple is deciding what we can see on our iPhones. (I say "our" but I don't have one yet--maybe in June?)



    I don't like the idea of Apple censoring and I don't mind parental controls, but I do feel that Apple should have a way of filtering inappropriate apps. How should Apple respond when someone wants to create another baby-shaking app?
  • Reply 15 of 41
    zorinlynxzorinlynx Posts: 170member
    Why is Apple so obsessed with keeping mature content off the iPhone?



    It's not like you can't download your own porn and put it on the phone yourself. They seem obsessed with keeping it squeaky clean for some reason.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    So yet another "app store rejection" turns out to have a simple explanation and nothing nefarious at the heart of it at all. If the (so-called) "developers" didn't whine like babies all over teh Internets every time they received an email from Apple app store there wouldn't really be a problem with the app store at all IMO.



    It somehow doesn't occur to them to calm down and make some inquiries before bleating about it to some forum somewhere and making a big deal out of nothing at all?
  • Reply 17 of 41
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post


    Why is Apple so obsessed with keeping mature content off the iPhone?



    It's not like you can't download your own porn and put it on the phone yourself. They seem obsessed with keeping it squeaky clean for some reason.



    I can think of a couple of reasons:



    With the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" case appearing again in the news, it could

    be that Apple is afraid they will somehow incur obscenity fines from the (majority

    reactionary) Federal Communications Commision.



    Even if there is no government action on objectionable applications, there are very well

    funded private organizations who make a huge stink if all public media are not suitable

    for 8-year-old Sunday school girls. Apple do not want any boycotts or iPhone burning

    demonstrations.



    The release of parental controls should free Apple from these concerns, to some extent.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post


    Why is Apple so obsessed with keeping mature content off the iPhone?



    It's not like you can't download your own porn and put it on the phone yourself. They seem obsessed with keeping it squeaky clean for some reason.



    Apple is not trying to keep mature content off the iPhone. They are trying to keep mature content off their servers. It is the same reason you don't find porn videos on iTunes. However, you can find some movies with nudity on iTunes but that because there is a standard rating system for movie content so Apple cannot be assumed liable. There is no standard rating system for software.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Apple is not trying to keep mature content off the iPhone. They are trying to keep mature content off their servers. It is the same reason you don't find porn videos on iTunes. However, you can find some movies with nudity on iTunes but that because there is a standard rating system for movie content so Apple cannot be assumed liable. There is no standard rating system for software.



    Right. It is all about avoiding blame (liability).
  • Reply 20 of 41
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Money talks and bullshit walks.
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