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Rumor Has It: Apple to Open the Door for More “Mature” Apps With iPhone 3.0

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Taking note of every rejection from the App Store would be a full-time job, so we generally just report on ones that seem particularly ridiculous, or that involve a high-profile app or developer. Another recent rejection which may otherwise have gone unnoticed has proven interesting for another reason. That’s because while rejecting it, Apple (s aapl) gave the dev in question reason to believe that the content that was deemed offensive in his app might be allowable once iPhone OS 3.0 went live for the general public.

Makayama’s Newspaper(s), an app that provides consolidated access to a variety of major international newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and, formerly, The Sun, was the app in question. It was The Sun, a popular UK daily, that caused the app to be initially rejected to begin with. As regular readers of that paper are likely aware, topless models are regularly included in one of its sections. Topless models are still a big no-no for the App Store, despite recent relaxation that has seen the rapid proliferation of bikini-clad models in a number of apps.

Even though Apple blocked the inclusion of The Sun in this iteration of Newspaper(s), they were careful to leave the door ajar for later on. According to iLounge, Apple told Makayama in their rejection letter that resubmitting the offending content once iPhone 3.0 is released, with its improved parental control features, would be appropriate. The new parental control options should, in theory, allow parents to control what kind of apps and content children have access to on the device, much like the blocking filters available on most cable/satellite boxes.

With the inclusion of such features, Apple should have no problem passing the onus of content filtering on to parents, which would let them focus on other issues when it comes to the App Store approval process. They might have to implement some kind of ratings system, like the ESRB does for video games, but once appropriate guidelines are established, they can be mostly hands-off.

Does this mean the floodgates are open for “Adult-only” type apps? There seems to be a market for them, considering the success of even pretty terrible apps like iGirl. I don’t think it would fit Apple’s corporate image to allow a proliferation of X-rated content, though, so they probably won’t allow things to get out of hand. On the other hand, hopefully, they can avoid things like the recent NIN: Access snafu or the rejection of a Tweetie update that seem to have a very negative effect on the public’s perception of the Apple brand.

11 Responses to “Rumor Has It: Apple to Open the Door for More “Mature” Apps With iPhone 3.0”

  1. I’m with R (comment above) on this one. There are options available to moderate content, such as parental controls, so I don’t think everybody should be restricted on what can be accessed. I’m not saying I like watching such content but I do dislike censorship of any kind.

  2. Shannon

    I don’t think there should be any porn in the apps at all, though
    I would like to see more mature(grown up) games, there are too many of the same game and way too many immature apps and lately I’m seeing more learning games for children. Those apps should be stopes also, the iPhone isn’t for children.

  3. Okay, so some people have problems with pornography and violence etc. That’s fine. I don’t read or watch it, but I am 27 years old and can make that decision myself. The point is that there are a LOT of people that do like it. And there are parental controls available. This is such an easy issue: use the parental controls if you have kids. If you are an adult, watch what you please. Pornography, violence and language are not immature as Jeremy is saying, but actually very mature and require responsibility. I am against all forms (almost) of censorship, and get really annoyed when I hear about situations like this where one little app may contain nudity, and of course the little advocates are out running around trying to get it banned. C’mon, just don’t download it and it can’t bother you. And seriously people, use your parental controls everything is gonna be okay.

  4. Jeremy

    I wouldn’t say pornography and explicit language being very mature, but very immature and a bad influence on our children. I hope apple would maintain the way they are now and not go in that direction, they would lose my business.