“App-ian Way:” How iTunes Selects Apps — Be Very Afraid

This image described by iPhone, App Store, CrudeBox, PrudeBox, Akali Media, Crudebox

If the recent Baby Shaker scandal doesn't tell you that the App Store approval process is about as reputable as Jim Cramer's recent stock picks, the following should leave no doubt whatsoever.

Three college grads who make up Alkali Media decided to code and submit a naughty-noises soundboard called CrudeBox.  (Enlargen the above image to see the crude sounds available.)  In its original form, the app (which included the sound of a female orgasm) was unceremoniously rejected by Apple.  So they replaced said "Big O" with a "sproing" sound, thinking a cartoonyerection effect would be less offensive.  "Sorry," said the House of Jobs, "you're now 0-2."

Then one of the Akali boys had a brainstorm: what if they changed the app name to PrudeBox, and the user interface from drippy barf-green to blue skies and sunflowers — but left everything else (the sounds, the labels) intact?  Which they did.  And lo and behold, Apple looked on it and saw that it was good, and gave it a big stamp of approval.

Remember: same function, same content, just a kid-friendly look and feel, and the app got through.  It's possible that the App Store's approvers aren't actually running these apps on an iPhone (otherwise the accelerometer-based Baby Shaker never would have seen the light of day), or they're just so overwhelmed with the sheer volume of submissions they're doing only cursory checks.

But this may in fact open the floodgates to programmers playing "let's see what we can get away with THIS week."  Which has the potential for being a Very Bad Thing.

Hey, Uncle Steve — a little better QC, please?

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