The joy didn't last long. According to an iPhone developer, the new "Explicit" option available this morning on the App Store submission software is now gone. He just got off the telephone with Apple, who confirmed the removal.
According to the developer, Apple said that, while they are thinking about it, "it's not going to happen anytime soon."With the iPad launch a month away, Apple will be dealing with this much sooner than it thinks.
A developer writes to us and says this might all be academic soon: "Looks like Apple are adding a category called Explicit to the App Store," he says... [adding] "It's available for selection when adding a new app to iTunesConnect although I can't see any sign of it in the actual App Store yet."It sounds like common sense: Deal with the issue without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Along the way, though, Apple still eliminated a reported 5,000 apps, perhaps in an effort to knock the glut of "sexy" apps off the top 25.
If it's wise, Apple can learn a couple lessons from the past week:
- Apple is flushing out money for vague ethics: Many "sexy apps" were in the Top 25 apps -- perhaps the reason for the mass booting -- and several sources report a number one app can get 50,000 hits per day. Apple gets 30 percent of the app price. Even if these apps were the basement-level $.99 price, we're talking tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. It's a lot to give up for a nebulous set of standards.
- Apple can no longer make drastic App Store changes without warning: A "scrubbing" of the App Store might have worked the first six months, but eighteen months and some 140,000 apps later, any major decision will affect hundreds of developers and perhaps thousands of lives. The business community and the consumers themselves will not tolerate fickleness from here on out.
- Apple needs to trust consumers: Unlike Wal-Mart, Apple users identify with the brand as smart, hip, and urbane. Restricting content is in none of these attributes. Did you notice the first collective thought with the sexy app removal? Not protection, but censorship.