updated 07:50 pm EDT, Tue March 10, 2009
Apple rejects Tweetie
Apple yet again has sparked controversy regarding the App Store approval process, with the rejection of Tweetie 1.3 over "offensive language." The said language was not contained in the program interface, as would be expected to bring a rejection, but rather in the search results (NSFW) showing the public Twitter "Trends" rankings, according to The iPhone blog.
Although developers would anticipate problems submitting an app that contained offensive content, Apple appears to be inconsistent when considering apps that provide search functions. Its own native browser, Safari, easily allows users to seek out and view content that could be deemed significantly more offensive than a few expletive words.
A number of other developers have voiced frustration over Apple's approval process. A call-routing app, Newber, has been under review for over five months already, without any formal explanation. An open letter to Steve Jobs recently complained that the AMBER Alert app is also still in review after an unreasonable amount of time, while the organization has been using resources to train its call center workers and other employees to accommodate the app.
Aside from the lack of communication and clarity, several apps appear to have been rejected because they compete with Apple's own software. A Gmail account utility, MailWrangler, was rejected because it "duplicates the functionality" of the Mail app.
The discontent seems to be growing, but Apple has yet to provide more insight regarding the specific criteria for approval.