updated 10:10 am EDT, Tue May 5, 2009
App Store limits to loosen
Content restrictions at the App Store may lower significantly with the advent of iPhone 3.0, reports say. In tandem with iTunes 8.2, the next iPhone firmware is said to offer the choice of limiting app access by age. Parental controls divide access into 4+, 9+, 12+ and 17+ categories, suggesting that games with violence and some other forms of "adult" content may be allowed to go on sale.
Bolstering evidence is a recent rejection of the Newspaper(s) app by Makayama, which allows people to read several dozen newspapers from the US and the rest of the world. Although now available, the app was initially blocked from sale due to the Page 3 section of the UK's Sun newspaper, which features topless women. The published Newspaper(s) software excludes The Sun as an option.
In denying Makayama its initial access, an Apple representative wrote that due to the upcoming parental controls, it "would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available." Should Apple indeed introduce freedom of speech to the App Store, it may be able to deflect a constant stream of criticism from developers, who have noted that many apps are rejected for seemingly arbitrary offenses. The most recent incident affected the band Nine Inch Nails, whose NIN Access app was rejected due to a single song found in a podcast.