Apple bans iBoobs, welcomes sweepstakes apps

The moving target that is Apple's standards for inclusion in the Apple Store took a couple of twists and turns that would blow even Shaun White's mind. It has banned several apps that feature boobs but now allows sweepstakes apps. Go figure.

College Boobs
The moving target that is Apple's standards for inclusion in the Apple Store took a couple of twists and turns recently that would blow even Shaun White's mind.

The company recently sent a letter to Jon Atherton, the developer of Wobble iBoobs, informing him that his app was being removed from the App Store for "overtly sexual content." A video demo is here. The application was fine the day before and had almost a million downloads in the preceding year.

According to TechCrunch it's not an isolated incident, “Exotic Positions” and “Sexy Women” also appear to have been removed. However, similar apps like College Boobs, which bills itself as "MOST EXPLICIT BOOB APP AVAILABLE!" in the first line of its description is still for sale for $1.99, as are Epic Boobs, Boobs Magic, Asian Boobs and Adult Tennis Boobs, to name a few. A quick search of the App Store for the term "boobs" reveals over 130 apps that use the term in its title or description.

The App Store still hosts hundreds of "sex" and "girlfriend" apps that would also appear to violate Apple's new standards for "overtly sexual content," yet they are still available for download. Not to mention apps like Naughtiness which promises "EXPLICIT CONTENT!" in the first line of its description. And what about the "overtly sexual" audiobooks from the likes of Penthouse that seem to fly under the radar? Why is Ok for them to be in the App Store but not a boob wobble application?

My problem is that Apple is applying its new decency and morality standards in a totally random and opaque fashion. If it removes one app, it should remove them all.

In another apparent shift of policy, AppAdvice reports that Apple is now allowing lottery-style sweepstakes apps in the App Store. The terms of the iPhone SDK appear to allow developers to include promotional sweepstakes and contest functionality in their apps:

3.3.17 Your Application may include promotional sweepstake or contest functionality provided that You are the sole sponsor of the promotion and that You and Your Application comply with any applicable laws

The Ka-Ching button (99 cents, no link love, sorry) is one of the first of a new generation of sweepstakes apps that offers a chance to win a $1,000 prize on March 15th by downloading the app and pressing a button.This is certain to be just the start of a torrent of similar, garbage apps.

When's the madness going to stop at Apple?

Tip: TechCrunch