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  5. App approval inconsistencies rile developers

App approval inconsistencies rile developers

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iPhone App developer Tom Richmond, who also contributes to MAD magazine, responded with disbelief to the news that his latest application had been rejected by Apple because of a breach of submission rules.

The app in question, called Bobble Rep 111th Congress Edition, contains detailed contact information for 540 American politicians and is intended to be used as a database for iPhone users who wish to contact their governmental representatives.

It is not the exhaustive data that the app contains that is the issue, but rather the caricatures of each and every politician it contains, which Richmond inked himself.

Users would be able to flick and shake their iPhone to cause the head of their chosen congressperson to joggle about merrily.

Apparently the representations of these public figures are seen as defamatory under section 3.3.14 of the developer licence agreement issued by Apple.

Mad App

Apple refused to specify precisely with which portion of the app it has taken issue and has so far refrained from releasing a statement to the media.

Richmond responded to the rejection via his personal blog, calling the decision ridiculous and explaining that none of the images included were spiteful or excessively exaggerated to the detriment of the person depicted.

Bobble Rep 111th Congress Edition joins a long line of rejected applications which have been denied public availability due to some less than clear reasoning from Apple.

Another political app with a more critical message, FreedomTime, was rejected by Apple because its sole function was to count the amount of time that former President Bush has been out of office.

Another rejection highlighting alleged hypocrisy within the app selection process came when a Nine Inch Nails app, which featured songs from the band containing explicit lyrics, was refused release.

Complaints were made because the same songs are available in an uncensored form from the iTunes store.

Although the regulations governing apps are aimed to maintain the quality and respectability of the App Store, developers are understandably calling for a more consistent selection process and improved clarity of communication and detailed explanations when their apps are rejected.

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