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Apple Alters App Store Decency Policy, Cans Over 5,000 Apps

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For a company which prides itself on looking forward, the tyrannical reign of its App Store has a neck so crooked its execs are made of salt.

Without warning Apple has this week decided to 'clean up' the App Store and made unilateral changes about what it considers right and proper. This has lead to the impromptu removal of over 5,000 apps and consternation on behalf of a large section of Apple's development community.

Speaking to the New York Times, Apple exec Phil Schiller explained: "It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see... we obviously care about developers, but in the end we have to put the needs of the kids and parents first."

Now on one hand Schiller certainly has a point and those he states do make a lot of sense. Problem is, much as we admire Apple, it does have difficulty seeing points of view other than its own. So here's the flip side of the coin.

Developers deserve warning. If you're going to make sweeping changes, then those who are likely to be victim of those changes deserve a head's up. Whatever their content, no-one deserves to have the rules switched after weeks and months of hard work. On top of this, the iPhone has parental controls and since iPhone OS is lauded as one of the most intuitive OSes in history they are pretty easy to use as well. If you're a parent, that's your first port of call. The iPhone is aimed primarily at adults and it isn't Apple's job to police the World.

Lastly, there's hypocrisy going on here of the most capitalist kind. For while apps like 'Swimsuit Catalog' from minor developers got canned Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition remains, as does Playboy (both sets of grabs taken from the App Store today). Violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Doom also continue to do a rip-roaring trade so clearly there is no issue for Apple in having the kids play these.

You know what Phil, I'm not saying Apple isn't both an innovative and important company in the technology sector, but it wouldn't do you any harm to *hums* consider things from another point of view...

In related news Wagamama has become the first company to launch a food ordering iPhone app in the UK. This is somewhat surprising since the US App Store is overloaded with such things.

As for the app itself, as you might expect, it is nicely laid out, locates your nearest restaurant, updates menus and allows you to specify collection times - all features you can do with this amazing other app in the smartphone's armoury called the phone.

The Wagama app also asks for orders to be completed by entering your credit card details directly, something that is a) time consuming and b) a security risk. Personally, I'd stick a tenner in my pocket and use the old dog and bone.

Links:
via the NYT
Wagama iPhone app (warning: opens iTunes)

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