Apple creates 'explicit' category for App Store software

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Though it is not yet in use, Apple has added a category for developers to label their applications as "explicit" software in the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch [Update: now removed].



Update: Apple has now removed the explicit tag from the developer Web site. An Apple representative reportedly told one developer that the company is considering an option in the future, but "it's not going to happen anytime soon."



A developer revealed to Cult of Mac that the new category is available for selection on the iTunesConnect Web site. However, applications with the "explicit" distinction have not yet appeared in the App Store.



The change could signal that Apple is preparing to launch an adults-only section of the App Store that would segregate potentially offensive content from the remainder of applications.



The move follows Apple's removal of more than 5,000 applications the company said were "overtly sexual." The change in policy came after the company received numerous complaints from users who were concerned children would be able to access inappropriate content from the App Store on their iPhone or iPod touch. Whether those applications removed in the last week would be allowed in to the App Store under the new "explicit" category is unknown.



Apple is also preparing to launch its iPad device, a new form factor the company will pitch as a multimedia accessory that can serve as an e-reader of novels and textbooks. The new hardware will also have access to the App Store and its library of more than 140,000 applications. Its potential adoption in the education market could have played a part in Apple's decision to remove sexual content.







Though Apple purged a number of applications (including some mistakenly), other adult oriented content remained on the App Store, including applications from Playboy and
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    Well, that was quick. I'm glad that Apple listens (sometimes ).



    Bring back the apps, fully flesh out the Parental Controls, then we can put this behind us and move on
  • Reply 2 of 75
    Let's hope that someone who sells swimwear via an App representing their business doesn't get labeled as explicit because someone is modeling a bikini.
  • Reply 3 of 75
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Well, that was quick. I'm glad that Apple listens (sometimes ).



    Bring back the apps, fully flesh out the Parental Controls, then we can put this behind us and move on



    Exactly.



    Guess everyone that was 'explaining' to us that Apple doesn't want to be associated with adult themed apps were sort of grasping at straws.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    Now if they will just create a political speech category, and stop rejecting apps as "politically charged", all will be well. The sooner they get off these slippery slopes the better.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Well, that was quick. I'm glad that Apple listens (sometimes ).



    Bring back the apps, fully flesh out the Parental Controls, then we can put this behind us and move on



    I think you are assuming a lot here. I don't see this necessarily as evidence of them "listening."



    For starters, none of the apps that were banned could by any stretch of the imagination be referred to as "explicit" in the sense that this word is usually reserved for the extreme end of the scale in terms of adult entertainment. The apps that were banned were from the opposite end of that scale. The apps that were banned had no nudity for instance. Many had no content that you couldn't see in any fashion magazine any day of the week. Some were tamer than a Disney movie.



    Those apps were most likely banned just because some executive at Apple "didn't like them" and didn't care about fairness or making any kind of sense with the admission policy. This is a bad thing that they did and putting in an explicit category (if they are in fact doing that), doesn't change that fact.



    I can't see them adding a simple app that shows swimsuit pictures into an "explicit" category. That's just laughable.
  • Reply 6 of 75
    Well we all know they had to do this or die a slow death. I wonder if they have "feelers" out there reading the various boards?

    Unfortunately this bloats iTunes yet even more. It needs its own website.

    Will the "explicit" section make way for hard core?
  • Reply 7 of 75
    Sorry, I don't buy the "for the children" BS behind this move because:

    1. Playboy is still available

    2. iTunes content is not being censored

    3. Devices used in the education market would use the SCHOOLS' iTunes accounts, and it's not likely they will give out the passwords.

    4. Children cannot legally enter into a contract with iTunes (at least in the US), nor can they obtain credit cards, therefore it may not actually be legal for children to download anything at all from iTunes, Apps or content.
  • Reply 8 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Guess everyone that was 'explaining' to us that Apple doesn't want to be associated with adult themed apps were sort of grasping at straws.



    Not at all- censorship doesn't need to be explained. When something is removed that's called censorship- plain and simple.
  • Reply 9 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aep528 View Post


    Sorry, I don't buy the "for the children" BS behind this move because:

    1. Playboy is still available

    2. iTunes content is not being censored

    3. Devices used in the education market would use the SCHOOLS' iTunes accounts, and it's not likely they will give out the passwords.

    4. Children cannot legally enter into a contract with iTunes (at least in the US), nor can they obtain credit cards, therefore it may not actually be legal for children to download anything at all from iTunes, Apps or content.



    okay, so what's your point?
  • Reply 10 of 75
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post


    okay, so what's your point?



    I think it was in the first line.
  • Reply 11 of 75
    Maybe we can get a STUPID category too, and all the iFart junk can go there?



    And by the way, I think everyone should be required to take an IQ test prior to actually posting a comment, that way I can...

    1: filter out the comments from morons

    2: filter out the apps that are commented on mostly by morons



    Of course the morons could use the filters to make sure they only see apps focused on porn and flatulence; and completely skip any apps focused on astronomy or literature or philosophy or...



    See, finally, everyone is happy.

    Gordon
  • Reply 12 of 75
    Movies handle this issue just fine. And I hope we've come to realize that kids who see women in bikinis do not spontaneously combust. Let's hope some intelligent ratings system is in place and utilized effectively. Things should be in the proper category and perhaps the categories expanded. The way Apple has handled this is puzzling and opens them up to ridicule and hypocrisy.
  • Reply 13 of 75
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Fascinating. None of the banned apps were explicit; all were PG or PG-13.

    Will they be reinstated in the regular categories, or will PG content be lumped into "explicit"?



    And will truly explicit content be allowed? If so, Apple might become the world's biggest distributor of pornography.



    What a road Apple chose when they decided to become the sole source of iCompatible software!
  • Reply 14 of 75
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post


    Not at all- censorship doesn't need to be explained. When something is removed that's called censorship- plain and simple.



    When a government suppresses information to keep their citizens in the dark, that's censorship.



    When a company wants to remove skank, filth, and crap from their product, it's called bowing down to consumer demand.



    But of course, when Tekstud inflates his ego, spews nonsense and "attempts" to pass it off as gospel, well he must right.
  • Reply 15 of 75
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Well, that was quick. I'm glad that Apple listens (sometimes ).



    Bring back the apps, fully flesh out the Parental Controls, then we can put this behind us and move on



    This is what I suspected would happen when they first pulled the apps. I would assume that it was always part of the plan, but didn't tell developers because they didn't want to be held to a timetable. Apple likes to be secretive, and sometimes it hurts them in the PR department.
  • Reply 16 of 75
    It is not censorship when a store chooses not to sell a particular item. Store owners have a right to choose what they want to sell. Adult-themed items are not sold in every store. The items are not banned either because you can go elsewhere if you really need to look at porn.
  • Reply 17 of 75
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Good, there should have always been an explicit category. That said, most of the removed apps were not explicit.
  • Reply 18 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    When a government suppresses information to keep their citizens in the dark, that's censorship.



    When a company wants to remove skank, filth, and crap from their product, it's called bowing down to consumer demand.



    Change that second line to read "when a company wants to remove skank, filth, and crap from their product, it's called bowing down to the demands of a prudish, inteolerant vocal minority."



    I sincerely doubt that majority of the consumers of Apple App Store products give a rat's behind about whether or not there are swimsuit apps, boob wobblers or anything else along the lines of the "5,000 apps banned" by Apple recently.



    Let's remember that there was already a ban on outright pornographic and adult-only material, so nothing recently banned was all that offensive to the average Joe/Jane.



    Personally, I find all the religious oriented apps extremely offensive, but I don't think they should be banned. I think fart apps are ridiculous, as are boob jiggling apps, but if there's a market for them, so be it. As long as Apple wants to lock down where you can get apps from, they have to be much more tolerant about what apps are allowed, in my opinion.
  • Reply 19 of 75
    Or maybe labeling your app as explicit immediately gets your submission forwarded to /dev/null



    Sort of like checking the "felony" box on your job application?
  • Reply 20 of 75
    great move by Apple
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