updated 12:25 pm EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
'We don't need any more Fart apps'
The newly public App Store Review Guidelines are providing extra insight into why certain apps have been rejected. The introduction of the document illustrates several themes present in the formal rules below. Apple admits, for example, that the reason it is strict with potentially offensive content is that most parents don't take advantage of parental control features. "So know that we're keeping an eye out for the kids," the guidelines claim.
In other points, Apple attacks apps with little quality or use. "We don't need any more Fart apps," the company mentions explicitly. "If your app doesn't do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted." Along these lines Apple is also rejecting what appear to be practice or otherwise hastily-assembled apps. "We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour."
Some rules may be flexible, both to the benefit and detriment of developers. "We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line," the document states. "What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, 'I'll know it when I see it'. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it." At the same time, a Review Board exists for appeals, and "new apps presenting new questions" may potentially result in the changing of guidelines.
The same section also criticizes developers appealing to the press in the hopes of getting a formerly blocked app approved. "If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps," the company suggests. The statement is demonstrably false however, as a political caricature app was admitted in April precisely because of media coverage.
"We're really trying our best to create the best platform in the world for you to express your talents and make a living too," Apple writes. "If it sounds like we're control freaks, well, maybe it's because we're so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products. Just like almost all of you are too."