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Censorship Iphone Apple

Apple Bans Android Magazine App From App Store 574

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the every-day-a-little-more-evil dept.
recoiledsnake writes "Apple dialed its battle with Android up a notch today by banning an Android magazine app from its App Store, leaving no way for users to install the app on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches without jailbreaking. The reason for rejection, as given by an Apple rep, was: 'You know... your magazine...It's just about Android.... we can't have that in our App Store.' The bi-monthly publication — the Android counterpart to an iPhone magazine Dixon began putting out earlier this year — launched Nov. 11. 'It's funny really because I don't think we would sell many magazines on Android through Apple App Store,' Dixon told Media Watch. 'But the question is where this is going.' This comes on the heels of Jobs lashing out at Android, calling it fragmented, and its patent attacks on Android."
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Apple Bans Android Magazine App From App Store

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  • by yog (19073) * on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:29PM (#34376076) Homepage Journal

    This seems like an act of desperation. Is Apple that insecure that it can't allow a stupid app like this onto its platform? What, are people going to read about Android and immediately dump their iPhones? If the iPhone is that good, Apple has nothing to worry about. If it's not competitive with Android handsets, then Apple should fix the deficiencies.

    So far the main problem with iPhone is how closed and censored the app store is, from the point of view of an Android phone user anyway.

    • by nametaken (610866) * on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:31PM (#34376118)

      I don't think Apple remembers what desperation feels like. ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MoonBuggy (611105)

        You're right, I guess they are still selling a whole lot of iPhones, so it can't be damaging their credibility that much, but it's been enough to put me off buying one. For a company known for their good marketing this does seem like somewhat strange behaviour - it's pissing off some potential buyers and I honestly can't believe that it's doing that much good for Apple. I see their desire to exert some control (although I disagree with it), but they seem to be going about it in a rather unpleasant manner.

        Th

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          This epitomizes the reason I don't buy Apple any more. I've got an iPod Nano that is a couple years old and it is the last Apple product I will ever buy. I didn't even want to buy it at the time, but it was the best music player I could find - that isn't enough to sway me any more.

          It's a damn magazine. There is no reason to deny it other than spite.

          Apple can have the best hardware in the world, but that company and the man who runs it are pure ego, and I refuse to buy Apple products on principle.

        • IPhone is a huge chunk of their cashflow and their stock is now pumped up to the limits. In order to maintain price of their shares they need constant growth. I suppose they can't afford even a moderate margin loss on iPhone sales and Android has potential to cut quite deeply into their sales.
    • This seems like an act of desperation.

      No - it seems like someone with a business degree or someone in marketting simply made this decision. It's not about insecurities, or about desperation, or anything like "Oh noooeees!"

      Its a "We don't want our competitors to be advertising their stuff on our devices." Just like I don't see too many ways to sync iTunes with my Xbox, but hey theres a full suite for zune!

      It's just business as usual. Honestly I'm surprised it was allowed in the first place. Perhaps they managed to slip it past the approval stage

      • ... it seems like someone with a business degree or someone in marketting simply made this decision ...

        Probably, but the decision made by the marketing person was probably to create the app and use the expected ban for free publicity and guerilla marketing. IIRC apps promoting certain competing products or services have been banned from day 1 of the app store. The ban seems to be long standing policy not a recent decision. Developing and submitting such an app seems like a public relations stunt. The marketing folks at the Android magazine seem to have done a great job at leveraging Apple policy for publici

    • This seems like an act of desperation.

      Or is it merely long standing policy? Haven't apps promoting/offering certain competing products and services been banned from day 1 of app store development? Whether this policy is right or wrong is a different question, but this app rejection does not seem to be any sort of reaction to Android's recent successes.

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:15PM (#34376804)

        Or is it merely long standing policy? Haven't apps promoting/offering certain competing products and services been banned from day 1 of app store development? Whether this policy is right or wrong is a different question, but this app rejection does not seem to be any sort of reaction to Android's recent successes.

        Indeed it's longstanding policy.

        App rejected for menioning Android [slashdot.org] in the description (it was an Android Developer Contest finalist). Once that was removed the app got posted.

        Even on the app store guidelines [engadget.com] it mentions:

        "Apps with metadata that mentions the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected." We're guessing this means you can't advertise your app in the App Store by saying it's also available on Android, or has been ported from BlackBerry, or whatever.

        So the question is, how was it approved in the first place?

    • This seems like an act of desperation.

      And yet, in a competition, saying that you're going to win before the race is over is not looked at as odd or unusual. And I'm not aware of many national anthems that start with "We're Number Two!" Or it could just be the Jobs Reality Distortion Field exhibiting harmonic disturbances due to passing through the Droid Nebula and becoming ionized...

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      I don't think it's desperation. Sure they see the threat of Android, but they are doing so well it shouldn't make that much difference.

      No, this is hubris, plain and simple. They won't allow apps relating to Android because Android is not Apple and so they don't like Android. It's like the mean girls in high school who won't let the new girl sit with them. The new girl may be smart and pretty, but she's also a little awkward, so they make fun of her instead. They are popular, egotistical, and too full o

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HappyPsycho (1724746)

      Nope, this is them playing dirty.

      Real desperation is banning the CNET / GSMArena / Consumer reports apps if one of them posts a negative review. Oh wait, they did... http://www.cultofmac.com/apple-censoring-discussion-forums-ref-consumer-reports/50597 [cultofmac.com]

  • Open Source FTW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rubypossum (693765) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:39PM (#34376212)
    This level of anti-competitive and just... asshole behavior has probably never been seen before, not even with Microsoft. How can Apple ever hope to become a serious part of community infrastructure when they display this level of disrespect for their customers? Is the fear that some bumbling iPhone user might accidentally install the Android magazine app and have a sudden flash of inspiration that iPhone is inferior? Why do we, as customers, take this? Not even Microsoft had the greedy foolishness to prohibit its competitor's software from running on their platform. Why don't we demand control of the devices that we have purchased? Lets hope that MeeGo can deliver a genuinely open phone experience. Ubuntu and Linux Mint both show how an app store could be done.
    • Re:Open Source FTW (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pr100 (653298) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:45PM (#34376294)

      Why do we, as customers, take this?

      Who's "we"? I don't have any apple products...

    • Step 1: Profit!!!
      Step 2: ????
      Step 3: block apps that mention your competitor
      Step 4: block the iOS browser from viewing android blogs and news postings.

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:54PM (#34376450) Homepage Journal

      and Apple has no reason to be part of it, you can become a "useful" member of "their" community provided you follow the rules.

      After all, all the cool kids will do so. See if you get any respect sitting in Starbucks without an Apple product, hell, see if they will serve you.

      Yes, the above line was a bit of sarcasm, however Apple doesn't really care, they really don't think they have too.

    • by D Ninja (825055)

      How can Apple ever hope to become a serious part of community infrastructure

      News Flash: They already are.

      Just because you don't particularly like what Apple is doing, doesn't mean it's not part (a huge part) of the technical community at large.

    • by somaTh (1154199)
      Where did you get the idea that Apple wants to be a part of the community? I thought the bulk of their selling point was that everything "just works." Sometimes, that means saying "suck it" to Flash. Sometimes that means building a walled garden and ignoring the people who just want to replace a battery. In this particular instance, I don't have a problem with removing an item from THEIR store that is just there to serve their COMPETITOR. From here, it sounds like whining that a Chevy dealership remove
      • Re:Open Source FTW (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rubypossum (693765) on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:49PM (#34377282)
        It would be more like designing Chevy vehicles to drive only on roads that Chevy approves of. Then banning all roads that go near Ford dealerships.

        What Apple is doing is unconscionable. I have always been anti-Microsoft, in this regard I was always pulling for Apple. But it's important to realize WHY I was anti-Microsoft. Namely because of their anti-competitive and asshole behavior. A set of behavior that Apple has perfected and made even more grotesquely anti-consumer, anti-choice and ultimately insulting to all intelligent customers of their products. At least Microsoft had enough respect for you to give you a choice. Now you have nanny-Apple deciding what you can and cannot install on the device you purchased and now legally own.
  • Success (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:40PM (#34376226) Homepage

    You know you've achieved success in the market place when your major competitor lashes out at you in anger. Nice going Google, keep up the good work :)

    • If you actually read [macworld.com] or listened to the earnings call it would be hard to describe what Jobs did as "lashing out". Really the poster just repeated another news story that described it as "lashing" out. In reality, Jobs stated his opinion on Android and Google. He has some points in there and some of which people would disagree with, but he didn't raise his voice or throw a chair or anything like that.
  • Later on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:44PM (#34376284)

    And a little down the line, some other magazine app gets removed. The reason for rejection, as given by an Apple rep is "You know... your magazine...It had a negative review of the iPad.... we can't have that in our App Store."

    Same principle.

    Apple certainly can do this sort of thing, but it shows a lack of integrity and a lack of self-confidence. It's the behaviour of a small, petty person. It's short-sighted and it will push people to Android tablets all the more.

    It seems like the aim is to keep all the passive people on Apple and to let the people who think independently go. That may be a winning business strategy, but I find it horrifying.

    • Re:Later on... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:03PM (#34376566)

      It's the behaviour of a small, petty person.

      Small petty people who gain power tend to become bullies.

      This describes Apple perfectly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by recoiledsnake (879048)

      And a little down the line, some other magazine app gets removed. The reason for rejection, as given by an Apple rep is "You know... your magazine...It had a negative review of the iPad.... we can't have that in our App Store."

      Same principle.

      Apple certainly can do this sort of thing, but it shows a lack of integrity and a lack of self-confidence. It's the behaviour of a small, petty person. It's short-sighted and it will push people to Android tablets all the more.

      It seems like the aim is to keep all the passive people on Apple and to let the people who think independently go. That may be a winning business strategy, but I find it horrifying.

      That has already happened http://www.newser.com/off-the-grid/post/451/creepy-steve-jobs-may-not-want-you-to-read-this-or-will-break-down-your-door.html?utm_source=otg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20100427 [newser.com]

      in a column that dealt with Jobs’ recently announced intention to police apps for violations of Apple’s new (and undisclosed) rules against porn. I suggested that Jobs was overreaching—and, maybe too, a little messianic and off his nut. (I did not know then that his cop mentality would soon enough involve actual police action.)

      The stated reason for the rejection of my free app is that Apple requires "sufficient amounts of content to appeal to a broad audience." Putting aside the fact that this pretty much makes specialty content ineligible for iPhone or iPad apps, it’s also a pretty fudgy standard. For instance, I get a bigger readership for my online columns than I do for my Vanity Fair columns—so Vanity Fair shouldn’t make the cut?

      Truth is stranger than fiction.

    • Re:Later on... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:22PM (#34376940) Journal

      so don't buy iPhone and don't worry about Apple's shenanigans. It really is that simple folks. Apple will learn one way or another, and either adapt or die.

      If sufficient number of people take issue with Apple's App Store policies, they will lose market share to Android and the others. We still have a choice, so choose.

  • I see it as kind of funny, really.
    Most Iphone users are very happy with their phones and I don't see them likely to switch- not due to a magazine app, anyway
    The main thing I see this doing is again emphasizing how tightly Apple restricts content on the Iphone, and how limiting that is.

    I DO know a few people who have chosen to get a different phone because of this.
    I also know a couple of people who have switched from Iphone to Android because of this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bennomatic (691188)
      More likely, it was a mistake, or a poor judgement call of one user. It's happened before, and lots of rejections have been re-instated without much fuss. Dollars to donuts, I'll bet this one gets approved just fine, and probably would have even without this level of outrage.
  • Where's the EU? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:50PM (#34376364)
    Microsoft gets sued for simply including it's own browser in it's OS, meanwhile Apple literally trys to prevent its users from even know a competing product exists by limiting their access to actual journalism. Where's the EU now? Where are the antitrust lawsuits? Imagine if Microsoft wouldn't allow you to go to Apples website?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman (671371)

      Doubt it's going to ever happen. EU is full of socialites. Apple caters to that kind of culture.

  • by Arkham (10779) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:52PM (#34376396)

    This is a non-story.

    1) Developer submits an app intentionally to get it rejected.
    2) App gets rejected.
    3) ???
    4) Profit!

    The funny thing is, this is actually happening here. 3 seems to be getting the "press" to cover you so people hear about your other apps.

    • I heartily agree. Gee, let's make the Dallas Cowboys sell Philadelphia Eagles jerseys in their fan shop. C'mon Cowboys, not selling the competitors wares just smacks of desperation.

      Must be an incredibly slow news day...
  • The sooner Apple signs up other carriers besides AT&T (or just completely OPENS the damn thing) the better for their sales. The major thing driving Droid phone sales is that you can have one WITHOUT the AT&T albertross around your neck. Consumer reports and others have rated wireless networks, Tmobile and Verizon rated much better than you know who. Many people have said they will buy an iPhone when they can use ANYONE BUT AT&T.

  • how many times will apple learn this lesson? If you try to control every thing and all the software you open the door and eventually the Developers will go to a platform they can actually develop on (Android).
  • by Dan East (318230) on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:07PM (#34376636) Homepage Journal

    Can someone enlighten me as to why a dedicated piece of standalone software is required to display words and some pictures? I thought HTML had that covered. Ohhh, or is this all about DRM? Are we Slashdot readers lamenting the fact that a piece of proprietary DRM-riddled software was rejected?

  • by sootman (158191) on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:14PM (#34376794) Homepage Journal

    ... I bet this was just one of those dumb little things and will probably get overturned very soon. I know Apple has denied some things in the past for questionable reasons but something like this--a harmless little magazine--sounds to me more like it belongs in the "Never attribute to malice..." category.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday November 29, 2010 @02:55PM (#34377378)

    I am so tired of these individuals and groups trying to replace already-long-solved problems with their own private apps. Why do I need an NPR podcast app, or an ESPN app, or a Digital Story app? I can already access all their content easily through a web browser. I can already subscribe to, and automatically download, their podcasts. There is no real benefit to me as an end user from using these apps - it actually makes the process of accessing their content more difficult, and even the most casual observer can see any purported added value content being offered is of little interest or value.

    So now these publishers want us to read their magazines and newspapers through their individual app? How is this different than a web paywall, exactly? I personally have nothing against subscriber-only web content - but if that model isn't working, why do these guys think doing the exact same thing but calling it an "app" is going to change anything?

    Why would anyone think replacing one web browser and one general program for listening to podcasts with 50+ separate apps is a good thing?

    Okay, back on topic. This rejection is wrong, and Apple should correct it ASAP.

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