What the hell is wrong with Apple?

I don’t get it all you Apple fans, really I don’t. Sure I can understand your faithfulness to the company vision because they give you some great hardware and ya, okay, some good software but at the same time they are proving time and time again that you play the way they want you to or else. It is just like the ongoing mess with the AppStore and the totally screwed up way that their approval system works – or doesn’t work.

If the whole AT&T and Google Voice mess wasn’t bad enough we find out that it takes 900 plus totally questionable apps before the author and his company has their apps pulled along with his Apple developer license. Now add to this the fact that whoever is manning the AppStore has decided that it’s okay to censor a dictionary and rate it at 17+

The story as being reported by John Gruber over at Daring Fireball tells of a company called Matchstick Software and their recently released Ninjawords dictionary. The description of the app goes like this

Ninjas are three things:

  1. They’re smart
  2. They’re quick
  3. They’re deadly accurate

Ninjawords is a dictionary for the iPhone built on these principles. We made it because we saw that the low-cost dictionaries on the App Store are slow, cluttered, and all use the same bad data source (WordNet) for their definitions.

Ninjawords takes a different approach. We use awesome, fresh, high quality data with more words and synonyms than you can throw a ninja star at. And best of all, when you look up your words, they all stay on the page. No need to flip back and forth between different pages as you look up multiple words.

Source: John Gruber – Daring Fireball

The only problem is that throughout the arduous approval process Apple has been consistently censoring words out of the – dictionary. WTF! .. censoring a dictionary?

So it would seem as Phil Crosby explained to John Gruber

The App Store approval process for Ninjawords took two months. Matchstick submitted the first build on May 13; it was rejected two days later. Says Crosby, “Our app was crashing on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0. We quickly fixed this issue and resubmitted.”

Matchstick did not hear back from Apple until May 30. Then, says Crosby: “We were rejected for objectionable content. They provided screenshots of the words ‘shit’ and ‘fuck’ showing up in our dictionary’s search results. What’s interesting is that we spent a good deal of time making it so that you must type vulgar words in their entirety, and only then will we show you suggestions in the search results. For instance, if you type ‘fuc’, you will not see ‘fuck’ as a suggestion. This is in contrast to all other dictionaries we’re aware of on the App Store (including Dictionary.com’s application), which will show you ‘fuck’ in the search results for ‘fuc’, ‘motherfucker’ for ‘mother’, etc.

In other words, the App Store reviewer(s) explicitly searched for curse words they already knew, and found them.

Source: John Gruber – Daring Fireball

Why are Apple users even putting up with this kind of shit? Seriously folks for all you might like to smack Microsoft around if they did anything like this all hell would break loose – literally. You would hear the wails and cries of outrage echoing throughout the blogosphere and beyond. You’d see calls for the DoJ to step in and ask for explanations.

And yet Apple does this and the users sit passively by as hard working developers try to bring you the best apps they can for your hunk of electronics. Why are you willing to stand for this kind of crap? Is the cool factor of being a Mac or iPod or iPhone user so important that you are willing to let a company trample all over stuff this way?

Does paying the Apple tax also take away your balls to stand up to the company and tell them that this kind of thing just isn’t acceptable.

Sorry but this kind of thing just pisses me off and it galls me that people are so willing to let it all go by the wayside for some status piece of plastic.

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