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Media (Apple) Media Cellphones Handhelds Music Hardware

Apple Reconsiders, Approves NIN iPhone App 146

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-warm-blankie-for-trent dept.
gyrogeerloose writes "According to MacRumors, NIN's iPhone application has been approved. Trent Reznor has reported via his Twitter account that the now-approved app was resubmitted without modification, which suggests that Apple reconsidered their initial rejection. This should really come as no surprise to anyone who follows Apple news since it follows the company's typical pattern of handing potentially controversial iPhone apps, especially when it concerns high-profile rejections."
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Apple Reconsiders, Approves NIN iPhone App

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  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:19AM (#27874943) Journal
    Egads, that was a terrible summary.

    The decision to approve the app had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it was a high-profile app. They didn't reconsider just because Trent Reznor, with his celebrity status, bitched and complained and tried to Streisand the rejection.

    They approved the app this time around because now the iPhone will have parental controls to filter objectionable material (included in the beta of 3.0).

    Seriously, that's the biggest part of the whole deal with the NIN app, and it didn't get mentioned at all in the summary.
  • Not quite unchanged (Score:5, Informative)

    by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:27AM (#27875005)

    The app update was rejected because "The objectionable content referenced ... is 'The Downward Spiral'.".

    According to Reznor's app developer [nin.com] "we removed the song 'The Downward Spiral' from the server, hoping to appease apple and get this bug fix through."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:29AM (#27875021)

    That would make sense if 3.0 had been released. So far Apple has told people to re-submit objectionable apps for release with 3.0, but they don't get to the store before the release.

  • by stokessd (89903) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:40AM (#27875133) Homepage

    You can write your own app and install it on your own phone (that includes compiling somebodies app that you download from the net), but you have to be a developer to get the appropriate keys to push it to your phone. You can't get an executable from the net and download it to your phone either.

    There's also an ad-hoc distribution method where you can share 5 copies of your app with others, but they too have to be registered and there's a key exchange process. so you can't just hand out the app or install just any app.

    Neither method is particularly easy, both methods require that you have an intel based mac.

    The obvious solution if you don't like Apple's walled garden method is:

    1) don't buy one - but you lose out on what is really a very nice phone and internet gadget

    2) jailbreak - then you truly own it, but things can and do break and generally don't work as well as with an non-jailbroken phone (in my experience, your mileage may vary).

    Sheldon

  • by maxume (22995) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:44AM (#27875185)

    Have you walked through a Wal*mart? Ever?

    They do a huge amount of business selling products that treat the user like a five year old (and many of those products aren't even intended for five year olds).

  • by stokessd (89903) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:55AM (#27875275) Homepage

    I forgot to add, in addition to having to use an intel mac, you also have to pay to be a developer, $99 a year... Not sure how or if that translates to other countries.

    Sheldon

  • by stokessd (89903) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:56AM (#27875281) Homepage

    I have a trivial little app that I made and it took apple about two weeks to approve it. Maybe it's because it's a simple app, or maybe things have been improving.

    Sheldon

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:00AM (#27875323)
    If you'd written it, it would be up there by now and you'd be raking in cash instead of bitching online.
  • by syzler (748241) <david.syzdek@net> on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:02AM (#27875339)

    There's also an ad-hoc distribution method where you can share 5 copies of your app with others, but they too have to be registered and there's a key exchange process. so you can't just hand out the app or install just any app.

    Actually you can share up to 100 ad-hoc copies of the app with others. They do not have to be registered as iPhone developers. There is not a key exchange between the developer and the end user. The end user, however, does have to provide the unique device ID of their Apple device. The App developer then adds the device as an allowed device in the developer's provisioning profile.

    To install the app, the end user installs the developer's provisioning profile on the device as well as the application.

    There is an exchange, but it is not as complicated as the end user having to generate a key and submit it to the end-user

    With that being said, I really wish I could just distribute compiled versions of my apps to friends without having to maintain a list of their current device IDs.

  • by homb (82455) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:09AM (#27875399)

    You have to understand that this has absolutely NOTHING to do with Reznor or NIN.

    Apple's approval system is COMPLETELY RANDOM, and depends on:
    - a set of vague rules
    - who is testing your product

    There have been countless examples of apps rejected, resubmitted unchanged and accepted.

    I have in fact gotten the perfect proof: I developed an open-source app. I submitted the app on day 0 and at the same time released the source code in its entirety under a BSD license.
    On day +7, the app was rejected because the tester couldn't log in, supposedly. On day +8, I resubmitted. On day +10, the EXACT SAME app was approved on the app store with slightly different graphics. Some guy had taken the source, compiled and submitted a few days after me.
    I went and bought (yes, the guy sold the app that I was giving away for free) the app, and noticed that it had all the issues that my app had, and he hadn't changed the code one bit.

    To add insult to injury, my app got rejected another TWO times before finally being approved on day +35.

    Conclusion: the App Store approval is completely random within a vague framework.

  • by djupedal (584558) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:15AM (#27875475)

    Apple sent an email to developers yesterday that stated "All apps must be compatible with iPhone OS 3.0

    Millions of iPhone and iPod touch customers will move to iPhone OS 3.0 this summer. Beginning today, all submissions to the App Store will be reviewed on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0. If your app submission is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, it will not be approved."

    Some developers had reported balky uploads over the last 24~48 hours that went fine when retried am 5.7.2009. My guess is there was a hold on the background process for a short time until the updated process per any 3.0 goodness could be implemented. It is easy to imagine this carrying back for more than just a day or so. I had one app put on 'extended' review on 5.1 that went in for approval on 4.26 - I've since reworked the related binary under SDK 3.05 and placed it back in the queue. Big deal...life goes on.

  • by aetherworld (970863) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:25AM (#27875583) Homepage

    No, not really. You have to pay to have your application in the iTunes store. You can develop applications all you want but once you want to distribute them through the store that Apple builds and maintains you have to pay an annual fee. Which, in my understanding of economics, is actually fair.

    Also, I kind of understand why Apple doesn't have much incentive to port Xcode to Windows and/or Linux. You are, however, free to do so yourself, if you manage to do so without reverse engineering it.

    And, if you're well versed in ObjectiveC, there are things like WinChain [blogspot.com] which allow you to build the native iPhone toolchain on Windows (or Linux if you prefer).

    So please, for the love of the rest of us, don't spout any populistic crap in the future which has no relation to reality.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:59AM (#27875955)

    You actually *do* have to be enrolled in the iPhone Developer Program, and pay the annual $99 fee, to be able to test your own application on your own phone, as crazy as it sounds.

    Yes, you can develop and test your application on the iPhone simulator on your own computer for free - but putting it on the iPhone requires paying Apple for the priviledge.

    Because otherwise there wouldn't really be anything stopping anybody putting whatever software they want on their iPhone - just use XCode to build it yourself and there you go.

    But you can't. Unless you jailbreak it.

    One of the reasons I decided to go for a Nokia E71 rather than an iPhone. It's not a perfect phone by any measure, and the iPhone has a better web browser, but I'll be damned before I let some silly company force me to pay them for the priviledge of putting my own software on my own phone.

  • Re:I dont get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by mauthbaux (652274) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:07AM (#27876061) Homepage
    As I understand it, the "objectionable" was referring to the lyrics in the music rather than fear of infringement by the copyright holder.
    Quoting from Engadget [engadget.com] because I can't find the nin.com post:

    As posted by Trent himself in response to Apple's rejection eMail:

    ...I'll voice the same issue I had with Wal-Mart years ago, which is a matter of consistency and hypocrisy. Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and "clean" versions be made for them to carry. Bands (including Nirvana) tripped over themselves editing out words, changing album art, etc to meet Wal-Mart's standards of decency - because Wal-Mart sells a lot of records. NIN refused, and you'll notice a pretty empty NIN section at any Wal-Mart. My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any "indecent" material for sale - but you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film "Scarface" completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense? You can buy The Downward Fucking Spiral on iTunes, but you can't allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it. Geez, what if someone in the forum in our app says FUCK or CUNT? I suppose that also falls into indecent material. Hey Apple, I just got some SPAM about fucking hot asian teens THROUGH YOUR MAIL PROGRAM. I just saw two guys having explicit anal sex right there in Safari! On my iPhone!

    Come on Apple, think your policies through and for fuck's sake get your app approval scenario together.


    Later in the threaded discussion, Trent clarifies his position with this little gem:

    Everyone - let me be clear. I love Apple products and as goofy and out-of-touch as their app approval process / policy is, I will still use them because they work 1000X better than the competition. This is not a debate, it's a fact. The iPhone is THE most elegant, modern smartphone at this point in time and it's perfect for what we want to do with the NIN app - except for the ludicrous approval process, and that's what I want to draw attention to.

    Android is cool, but nobody has an Android phone. Blackberry is OK but the hardware is inconsistent and WinMo straight-up sucks balls. If Apple doesn't get it together, we will most certainly make it available to the jailbreak community. I didn't invest in this app to see it languish on the sidelines from an idiotic policy while this tour is in full swing.

    The nin.com [nin.com] front page currently has a link to download the app for those of you who are interested in it.
    Disclaimer: I'm not associated or affiliated with Engadget, the above quoting was simply convenient for posting purposes.

  • by Fahrvergnuugen (700293) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:16AM (#27876187) Homepage

    No, because unlike iPhone apps in OS 2.X, iTunes music & video content has parental controls.

    Parents can prevent their children from downloading objectionable music / video from iTMS, but there is currently no such provision for applications.

    Parental controls and ratings for apps are coming with iPhone OS 3.0.

  • by foo fighter (151863) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:22AM (#27876269) Homepage

    More likely the mod was trying to do you a favor. You don't get karma for funny mods, but you do for insightful and informative. The mod really liked your joke and gave you karma for it, and you've basically turned it down.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:03AM (#27877365)

    What is wrong with you? First you admit that you have to pay just to get your app on your phone. And then you turn around again and talk about "comercially deploy". It has absolutely nothing to do with any comercial interests beside that of Apple. It is just about deploying. As soon as you want to deploy your app to any phone you have to pay, even if it is your only own. You just can't even get it on your own phone without paying, and that can't possibly be called a "comercial deploy".

    I am personally not judging people very fast but I can't help but think that you are one of the first obvious astroturfers I see here. What other reason could a person have to use that sneaky language and try to weasel around the facts?

  • Re:I dont get it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Glove d'OJ (227281) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:32PM (#27878721) Homepage

    ALT+0105 on the keypad. Recreate any ASCII character with simple numbers.

  • by Fahrvergnuugen (700293) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:37PM (#27879799) Homepage

    Yes. If you actaully look in the store you'l see that its called S*********rs, Inc and the uncensored versions say Explicit in red letters next to them.

    There is a whole panel in the itunes prefs called "Parental" which contains a series of checkboxes and drop downs for building a content restriction matrix by rating.

  • Re:I dont get it (Score:2, Informative)

    by navyjeff (900138) on Monday May 11, 2009 @03:50PM (#27912895) Homepage Journal
    I don't want to trigger a flamewar, but there are two extensions for Firefox that enable keyboard commands to make it just like your favorite text editor/quasi operating system:

    Firemacs [mozilla.org]
    Vimperator [vimperator.org]

    or if you want to go the full monty: Conkeror [conkeror.org]
    (unrelated to a famous red squirrel)

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