App Store craziness: banning the word 'Android'

Apple has apparently forbidden a developer from using the word "Android" in his app's description. Apple should allows its developers to tout their app's awards in the Android Developer Challenge and not give it a second thought.

Apple App Store BanOk this is crazy. PC World's JR Raphael reports that Apple has apparently forbidden a developer from using the word "Android" in his app's description.

ZDNet native son Garett Rogers notes that the developer of Flash of Genius (App Store, $0.99), an SAT prep app that was named as one of the finalists in the Android Developer Challenge, was denied the ability to mention the award in the app's description on the App Store because it contained the word "Android."

And to be clear, Apple isn't banning ported Android apps or Android code or anything, it's banning the word.

Let's disregard for a minute the questions this raises about Apple's insane App Store approval processes. The move would mean that Apple is facing more pressure that it's willing to admit from Android and that it feels genuinely threatened by the Android Market. But, I thought that Apple had an "A+" iPhone update in the pipeline that Android won't be able to catch up to?

If so, why is Apple so worried about a developer mentioning an award that his app won? Wouldn't Apple want it's devs having better app descriptions so that they can sell more apps? No. Apple is willing to forgo some additional sales in an attempt to hide the fact that Flash of Genius is also available on a competing app store. Amazing.

It's a foolish move for Apple to even acknowledge Android in the first place. When you're the market leader you shouldn't give publicity to the guy in second or third place. Apple's policy of banning the word Android in app descriptions is going to have the unintended consequence of giving tons of publicity to the Android Market which will draw more of the inevitable comparisons between the Nexus One/Droid/etc. and the iPhone.

Ironically the word Android is allowed in almost every other context in the App Store. As of this writing there are 26 apps that use the word "Android" in their title or description, but zero that use the phrase "Android Market" or "Android Developer."

Apple should allows its developers to tout their app's awards in the Android Developer Challenge and not give it a second thought.

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