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10 'offensive' iPhone apps Apple blocked

The tools that didn't make it into the App Store

From South Park video-clip software to the chance to throw a shoe at former US President George W Bush, there have been plenty of apps that never made it to Apple's iTunes App Store. We've rounded up our 10 favourite apps that got rejected.

9. Podcaster

Sometimes, a rejection is issued for a simple reason: Apple doesn't want you competing with its own offerings. That's the exact scenario developer Alex Sokirynsky found himself in with his highly anticipated Podcaster application. Apple told Sokirynsky the app was too similar to iTunes and wasn't welcome on its virtual shelves.

"Although my app does allow you to listen to podcasts like iTunes, it also allows you to download them directly to device, and that is something Apple does not offer," Sokirynsky points out.

Sokirynsky ended up distributing his app to jailbroken phones via a backdoor distribution system. He also created a scaled-down version of the program called RssPlayer that got the App Store green light in late January.

10. Freedom Time

Ever wonder what Steve Jobs would have said about all the recent rebuffing? One developer did, and he decided to ask. Apple put the kibosh on Alec Vance's presidential countdown clock, Freedom Time, before the counting ever kicked off. Inspectors said that the app - designed to tick down the final moments of the outgoing administration - defamed or demeaned political figures.

"Defamation means making an untrue claim about someone in order to hurt their public standing," Vance wrote in a blog posting at the time. "This app makes no untrue claims whatsoever."

Vance went on to email Jobs directly to express his concerns. A day later, he says, he received the following response: "Even though my personal political leanings are Democratic, I think this app will be offensive to roughly half our customers. What's the point?"

Vance got his answer, then, but he's one of many developers who feels it came a little too late. "By the time you get rejected, you've already wasted all the development time and expense," he says, "and there's no recourse to get [the application] accepted".

Propelled by bans of high-profile apps like NetShare and MailWrangler, a movement has been growing within the developer community to persuade Apple to use a more open and transparent application process for new iPhone apps.

One programmer has suggested appointing an 'App Store evangelist' who would co-ordinate with developers. Others have asked for a pre-approval process that could provide a tentative yes or no before any major investments are made.

Mobile phone reviews

  1. The apps that didn't get shelf space in the app store
  2. The South Park app and other rejected by Apple
  3. iBoobs, Slasher and Muderdrome
  4. Podcaster and Freedom Time

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