In what can only be described as an oversight (at least one can hope) Apple approved an iTunes application that displayed a picture of a baby and played a crying sound.
The "objective" of said app was to violently shake the iPhone or iPod touch until the crying stopped. At which point two red X's are placed over the baby's eyes, implying of course, that you killed the baby. After protest erupted Apple removed the app from at around 1pm PT yesterday.
The description, written by a company called Sikalosoft, literally turns my stomach:
On a plane, on the bus, in a theatre. Babies are everywhere you don't want them to be! They're always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker, there was nothing you could do about it. See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!
Nice one Apple. It has denied dozens of apps -- for much lessor reasons -- and it sees fit to approve Baby Shaker?
There are only two ways that this could have happened: a) Apple's approval process is automated and it slipped through the cracks, or b) someone working for Apple approved the application for sale. If Apple's apps are indeed reviewed by a live, human being, I want to know who approved the application for sale and what Apple is doing about it. Apple has been completely mum on the subject.
As a parent of a young child, Apple's approval of this application infuriate me and is deeply offensive. In fact, it's the worst thing I've seen Apple do since I got my first Mac in 1984. In fact, I'm boycotting the App store until Apple explains how an application whose sole objective is to shake a baby to death as quickly as possible reached the Apple store.
1 billion apps downloaded? Who cares.
Calls to Apple PR weren't returned as of publication time. I will update this post if/when Apple responds...
Photo: Tom Krazit/CNET
Update: Apple has issued a lame and half-hearted apology to InformationWeek saying "This app is deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store... We sincerely apologize for this mistake." Apple refused to answer the questions I posed above about how the app got approved in the first place and what action is being taken against the employee(s) responsible for approving it.
Update 2: Baby Shaker developer Alex Talbot of Sikalosoft showed little sign of remorse for the tasteless game, saying "Yes, the Baby Shaker iPhone app was a bad idea" instead shifting the blame to Apple "It was approved by Apple for download upon the iPhone." Nice job Talbot. Good luck with that.