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Apple approves 'politically charged' iSinglePayer app

updated 11:45 pm EDT, Mon October 5, 2009

App promotes health care reform in US

Apple has reversed course and approved iSinglePayer, an iPhone app advocating health care reform in the US. The app had initially been rejected for being "politically charged," as it contains charts and information regarding single-payer health care systems. Users can even find the nearest congressperson and view campaign donations provided by companies in the health sector.

The app creator criticized Apple for lacking clarity with its SDK terms, a complaint echoed by many other developers. While Apple approves apps promoting individual candidates, iSinglePayer was said to have been rejected, in part, because it lacked official backing by a politician or group.

Aside from apps created for politicians, the App Store contains content that would also seem to be "politically charged" concerning specific issues. "America's political civil war has hit the Apple iPhone," reads a description for Conservative Talking Points. "The first shot over the liberal bow has been fired!"

Apple has not been accused of having a political bias when reviewing apps, but rather an inconsistent approach that leads to frustration and wasted time from a developer's standpoint. The App Store review policies have even brought attention from the FCC, following the rejection of a Google Voice app.

The company's approach has not gone unnoticed by competitors, as Palm has organized its app portal in stark contrast to the App Store. Not all webOS apps will have to go through an approval process. Developers can instead choose to independently create content and host it on the web, outside of Palm's App Catalog.

"I am glad that the app got through, and I hope that Apple will not be rejecting any more applications because they are politically charged," says Red, the creator of iSinglePayer. Apple's reasons for reversing its decision remain unclear, however.

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    rejoice conservatives

    now you can create an iDeathPanel app, as well as an iBirthCertificate app... that is, unless Al Gore intercedes and commands Steve Jobs to reject them. That's how it works, you know.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Let's not forget the "Point of no Return Global Warming Countdown" app. Too bad the iPhone wasn't out years ago. We could of had the "iRaqi WMD Locations" app (it would be auto-updating, of course). The "Find Saddam's Spider Hole" game (they wouldn't be able to make one for bin Laden, since it would be either unrealistic, as you'd win by actually finding him, or never-ending, as you never do find him).

    And I beta tested iDeathPanel. It was really cool until, after level 45, I ended up being on the other side of the desk, so to speak.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's only fair...

    The App Store is filled with religious apps, which SHOULD be put into a separate category, like Religion & Spirituality, just like ANY bookstore. Instead they litter legitimate categories such as Lifestyle, Education and Reference.

  1. solefald

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Excuse my ignorance, but why would Apple have power to decide whether something is "politically charged" or not? They are in Hardware and Software business. Last time i checked that does not qualify them to be political analysts and make decisions like that.

    And yes, i wholeheartedly agree with JeffHarris's post above. Take all that religious c*** out of my sight.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: hmmmm

    They shouldn't be caring if it is politically charged or not, and, in fact, would be hard-served to not try to ban any app even close to politics or religion. Because all they need to do is ban one app and end up facing a lawsuit claiming to be violating someone's first amendment rights, and they don't want some judge telling them they have no right to ban apps from the app store/iPhone.

  1. mattack

    Joined: Dec 1969


    first amendment

    The First Amendment is irrelevant. The only thing it covers is the government's restrictions of your speech.

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