PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

Summary: While Apple has been staunchly opposed to allowing pornography on the iPad, Playboy has found an interesting way around the restrictions with its release of iPlayboy.

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Playboy today announced that iPlayboy, its iPad-optimized app announced earlier this year, is finally available. The app offers access to every single issue published in the magazine's nearly 60-year existence, as well as access to new issues, for $8 per month or $60 per year.

Curiously, iPlayboy makes its appearance almost a year to the day of Gawker writer Ryan Tate well-known email exchange with Apple CEO Steve Jobs. During the conversation, Steve Job's praised the iPad's ability to offer freedom from, among other things, pornography.

This is because Apple, and especially Steve Jobs himself, has traditionally not been too keen on allowing nudity in the walled garden that is the iOS ecosystem. This has created significant hurdles for Playboy in getting its app onto the iPad, as evidenced, certainly, by the fact that the app was supposed to launch in March.

So how did Playboy manage to stand up against the overwhelming ideology of Steve Jobs himself? By completely circumventing it. iPlayboy may look and feel like an iPad app but there is very little about the release that is specific to the iPad. Instead of creating an actual iPad application, Playboy merely created a website and optimized it for the iPad. Users actually access iPlayBoy via i.playboy.com in the iPad's web browser, making it closer to a website than an application.

This was a smart move for a variety of reasons. Not only is PlayBoy able to capitalize on the mass appeal and branding of the iPad but it is also able to do so without sacrificing its most significant asset: nudity.

Apple, in a strange way, wins as well, because it doen't have to backtrack on previous policies as it allows, in a roundabout way, pornography on the iPad.

Playboy's methods also offer other vendors a clear and effective model on how to get their content on the iPad while bypassing Apple's strict application review process: Just go around it. Other publishers are sure to follow its lead.

Topics: Collaboration, Apple, Operating Systems, Mobility, iPad, Enterprise Software, CXO, Browser, Banking, Software Development

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17 comments
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  • re: playboy on ipad

    This is going to removed so quickly.
    awkward hug
    • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

      @awkward hug Did you even read the article? It's a webpage optimized for iPad. They CAN'T remove it, because it's not from the appstore.
      Aerowind
      • They could blacklist playboy.com in iOS

        @Aerowind
        So it takes you to the Apple store or something.
        Will Pharaoh
    • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

      @awkward hug
      how could you remove a website from AppStore? It seems you didn't read the total blog.
      Ram U
    • This is the worst blog header ever on Zdnet...

      @awkward hug | et al:

      THIS IS NOT AN APP, NOR IT IS AVAILABLE ON THE APP STORE.

      ITS AN HTML5 WEB SITE TARGETED AT THE IPAD.

      They are not going to take it down, 'cause Apple has control on the App Store, not on the Web.

      This is nothing new. What's new was Playboys's innovative use of the subdomain name: i.playboy.com.

      Most mobile site were called m.zdnet.com, m.facebook.com. But by using the i, Playboy has revolutionized the spectrum.

      Am sure others will follow with iPad friendly iDomains and keep the m.*.com for iPhones and Androids.
      cosuna
      • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

        [i]Most mobile site were called m.zdnet.com, m.facebook.com. But by using the i, Playboy has revolutionized the spectrum.[/i]

        I really, really hope you were being sarcastic.
        Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

    Confused. Apple's always said a web app/site is the way to go for nudity, pornography or anything else not permitted in the App Store.

    Why is this news?
    ShamooToo
  • is this not EXACTLY what Jobs told them to do?

    ..we he said that iOS supports two platforms.. apps, through the apps store and the open web.. if you can't live within the vetted environment of the app store, then just go through the web..

    EXACTLY what Jobs suggest for stuff like this.. i'm with Angrypug.. why is this news? how is this going around Apple by doing exactly what Apple suggested they do?
    doctorSpoc
    • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

      @doctorSpoc
      I agree with you.
      Ram U
  • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

    I like what Playboy did with this. Great thinking on the developers part.
    LoverockDavidson
    • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

      @LoverockDavidson

      You mean by doing what was recommended by Apple almost 4 years ago?
      ShamooToo
  • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

    Anyone else interested in porn archeology? Playboy on the internet - like taking coal to Newcastle.
    tonymcs@...
  • And no 30% to Apple either

    I'm thinking more poeple will do this especially for content. Save a horse, ride a web page
    Think Often, Think Free
  • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

    ZDnet's title ("PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app..") is disingenuous, given Playboy is a website and not an app/

    Why aren't I surprised?
    StandardPerson
    • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

      @StandardPerson@
      And why am I not surprised that they are calling it iPlayboy? Yet another indicator how the iPad is the general publics #1 pick for tablets.

      I know, I know, Android will soon catch up and pass Apple's hold, I hear it here every day, but it honestly hasn't happened yet. Hmm, I wonder if some executives will look more interested in morning meetings now?
      T-Wrench
      • Your point? It has already happened with android phones. It will happen

        in even less time with windows phones and shortly with windows and android tablets as well. There's no plausible doubting these eventualities...
        Johnny Vegas
      • RE: PlayBoy launches uncensored iPad app, evading Apple's eyes in the process

        @T-Wrench, my comment wasn't meant to be pro- or anti-Apple, nor pro- or anti-Android. The article's title just struck me as inaccurate, because the web site isn't an app and because there has been no "evasion" that I have seen.<br><br>(As the "iPlayboy" name suggests, and as the website states, the site is "iPad optimized." OTOH I imagine it can been viewed with any browser that supports the same feature set as Safari.)
        StandardPerson