Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

iPhone developers angry as Apple purges adult apps

ChillFresh website screen grab
ChilliFresh was among developers to find their app banned

Developers have expressed anger at Apple's decision to ban some adult-themed applications from its iPhone.

Thousands of apps with adult-themed content have been removed from the store since Friday although some, such as one from Playboy, remain.

Apple has said that certain apps were removed following customer complaints.

Developer Jon Atherton is angry that previously-approved apps have been pulled, and accuses Apple of "experimenting with our livelihoods".

Apple said it had to respond to its customers.

"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," Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of product marketing, told the New York Times.

Knee-jerk reaction

When asked why some apps with adult content had remained intact he said that Apple took into consideration how "well-known" companies were as well as whether they had "previously published material".

ChilliFresh is an Australian company that creates apps for the iPhone, including the recently banned Wobble, which allows users to add 'wobble' functionality to any picture. The firm markets the app by suggesting people can use it to wobble women's breasts.

"I'm now worried the eco-system is run by puritans and is not fair to all players," developer Jon Atherton said on its website.

"And worst of all it is not a secure source of income. It can drop to close to zero if they decide to change the rules," he added.

The firm was making £320 a day out of its apps, a figure which has dropped to £5 since the ban, he said.

"On Friday evening we got an e-mail out of the blue which basically said, thanks very much but we don't want you any more. Apple said it was removing all overtly sexual apps," he told the BBC.

He said that if Apple was serious about protecting young customers it should allow parents to set controls for devices.

He called on Apple to publish its new guidelines so that developers were clear on what they could and could not do as well as to clarify why not all sex-related apps are affected by the ban.

"My view is that this is a knee-jerk reaction. Apple is very controlling. These apps are getting popular but the apps store doesn't have an adult section," he said.

"I'd have thought there was a technological way of fixing the problem rather than pulling the rug out from under people's feet," he added.

Print Sponsor

Call 'to block' BBC iPhone apps
18 Feb 10 |  Technology
BBC to offer iPhone applications
17 Feb 10 |  Technology
Mussolini iPhone app taken down
03 Feb 10 |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Silicon RepublicApple speaks out about pulled apps - 3 hrs ago
San Francisco Chronicle TECH CHRONICLES / Apple's boosts smart-phone market share - 3 hrs ago
CNN Money Apple purged 6,000 risque apps - 3 hrs ago
Spiegel Online App 'Censorship' Has German Tabloid Fighting Mad - 6 hrs ago
* May require registration

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific