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Cellphones Businesses Handhelds Apple Hardware

Apple May Loosen Restrictions With iPhone 3.0 178

Posted by kdawson
from the minimallly-invasive dept.
mr100percent writes "Apple rejected the iPhone aggregator app Newspapers because of a topless photo in one of the app's subscribed-to papers. In the rejection message, Apple noted that Parental Controls have been announced for iPhone OS 3.0, adding that it 'would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available.' Rumor sites are speculating that Apple will relax their content restrictions once the 3.0 update puts parental controls in place. This may mean that apps like NIN will be allowed in the future."
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Apple May Loosen Restrictions With iPhone 3.0

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  • Right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:46AM (#27842249)

    I'll be over here using my blackberry to browse porn and run whatever the hell I want. Shame I can't make the copy/paste joke anymore though.

  • by Aurisor (932566) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:56AM (#27842307) Homepage

    Even if those changes are forthcoming, it's still ridiculous that an expensive piece of technology used primarily by adults has such puritanical restrictions on it. I realize it does reflect poorly on Apple to have apps that are in very poor taste (e.g. the one where you shake the baby...), but it's pretty obvious that mainstream bands like NIN are an acceptable part of American culture.

    I work in technology (but not a tech-only office) and this fiasco is definitely getting noticed and is clearly reflecting badly on Apple.

    I'm not sure whether the concept of a parental-controls setting was the product of a deliberate leak to address this issue or if it was just part of the plan all along, but I seriously doubt that a significant portion of the iPhone userbase is comprised of children who might have not been given the phone if the app store weren't policed. It seems pretty clear to me that Apple is more than happy to piss off their users and snub even Trent (who is considered rather avant-garde in the music biz) if there's any risk to their image.

  • Re:Right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davester666 (731373) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:07AM (#27842363) Journal

    Yeah, the application approval process Apple is using is totally fucked up. They seem to have a group of people doing it, most of whom are reasonable, but there are a couple of them with suspenders attached to their thongs, rejecting apps for all kinds of stupid reasons.

    But this whole 'objectionable content' thing is total crap, because the way Apple seems to be applying it, they should be rejecting all the 3rd party browsing applications (which just wrap WebKit in different ways), because they all permit viewing of porn (even the ones with so-called parental controls). Their rejection of a twitter app was particularly ludicrous. Apple rejected an update just because when the app was submitted, one of current Twitter TRENDS entries was 'FuckItList'.

  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:16AM (#27842401)

    The iPhone is a nice technology demonstrator, but it's things like this that make it useless. Complete control over content, no tethering, no background apps, no user space that mounts as a USB thumbdrive, severely restricted syncing options (you can only sync to one computer, so if you want to load some stuff from your laptop on to your iphone while on the road, you have to erase everything you put on it with your desktop, for example.) No apps allowed that 'duplicate existing functionality' on the iPhone - meaning you have to wait for apple to fix the ongoing bugs in the mail client and Safari - namely that the mail client doesn't properly download POP3 messages even when you ask it to ("0 bytes remaining" and never displays the message unless it connects to Wifi) and Safari still has that dumb bug where it re-loads pages when you switch between windows. Painful when you're not on 3G.

    There's a lot you can do with a hacked phone, but then you're missing out on everything else. It's kind of a lose-lose situation. It works well within its very limited scope, and if you're happy with that scope, it's a great product. If you want it to be more useful, it's deeply frustrating.

  • by Ender_Wiggin (180793) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:21AM (#27842425)

    Usless to who? Most people, including my mother, don't need those for their iPhone. The average user does not have those complaints. My sister's biggest complaint with the iPhone is that you can't use the keyboard in landscape mode for texting the way other touchscreen phones can (and that's why she eagerly wants the 3.0 update)

    Those features would all be nice, and I think 3.0 will fix many of those complaints like tethering and background notifications.

  • by enoz (1181117) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:24AM (#27842439)

    These restrictions should not be a surprise to anyone who hasn't been living under a rock. It is exactly the same type of restrictions that Apple applies to all their products; be it iPod, iPhone, OSX or whatever else you can think of.

    Apple controls the products and they control the distribution channels (iTunes, App Store, etc). Most people who buy iPhones are slaves to the App store, just as most people who buy iPods are slaves to iTunes, and most people who buy OSX are slaves to buying Apple Hardware.

  • by linhares (1241614) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:24AM (#27842441)
    Dear puritanical Apple overlords,

    I hereby submit my new app for app store approval. My app is aimed at teaching parts of the sacred bible to kid, most specifically Ezekiel 23:19-20.

    19 Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt and lusted after her paramours there, whose genitals were like those of donkeys, and whose emissions was like that of horses.

    Since the app is aimed at little kids, it graphically depicts the holiness and splendid beauty of this biblical moment with the Egyptians' donkey-sizes penises as ejaculating like horses.

    AMEN.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:39AM (#27842521)

    The iPhone is a nice technology demonstrator, but it's things like this that make it useless.

    The millions of people who bought one because of the functionality it offers may disagree.

    Complete control over content

    Except that anyone can jailbreak them if that bothers them.

    no tethering

    Again, jailbreaking if that is important to you.

    no background apps

    Well, no app store background apps. Some of the built in apps do in fact operate in the background.

    no user space that mounts as a USB thumbdrive

    As the saying goes, there's an app for that (uses WebDAV to load/unload files).

    you can only sync to one computer

    Again, if that matters to you there's a workaround [tinyfish.net]. To most people that doesn't matter. Also, even without that workaround you can still have a computer update video without disturbing the music on the device if you select video only (which would be the thing you'd care most about updating from a laptop).

    Safari still has that dumb bug where it re-loads pages when you switch between windows

    That's called "resource constraint", not a bug.

    There's a lot you can do with a hacked phone, but then you're missing out on everything else.

    Like what? You can still use the app store from a jailbroken phone.

    It works well within its very limited scope

    Pretty amusing considering that at this point any other phone has a more limited scope as to what you can actually do with it since they are just getting up to snuff with their own application solutions (even Android is behind on that one).

  • At Apples whim. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:46AM (#27842551)
    Restrictions wont be loosened because the restrictions are ambiguous and inconsistent. Racism (pocket god), violence (pick a shooter) and infanticide (baby shaker) are OK but a third party mail client is not?

    In simpler terms restrictions will remain the same, applications will be accepted or rejected entirely at Apples whim.
  • by maharb (1534501) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:47AM (#27842567)

    I know! Why does everyone have a problem with 'parental controls'. They allow people that want to use them to filter content and for those who don't care don't have to. I think it is quite useful actually. Without these controls you can't even do an image search for anything on Google without getting porn. So these content filtering features can even aid someone in finding useful information rather than just porn. (Even though we all know that is all the internet was made for.)

    Or is it that people can't stand to have what they look at labeled as 'explicit' or 'mature'?

    I am not sure but I just don't see how, as pointed out in the parent, allowing the USER to filter content doesn't anything other than help the user.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:10AM (#27842689)

    Two issues

    1)Parental controls presume that there's an adult mode- a mode where the owner (or their parent) can choose not to be censored
    2)There should be multiple groups doing the filtering, not just one. If one group makes all the decisions its ripe for abuse- it's too tempting to censor competitors, negative views of the company, or fold to interest groups. If multiple groups compete, you can choose one that does a good job of it without those worries, since at least 1 group is likely not to do so.

    Neither is the case with Apple. That makes it a bad thing.

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:36AM (#27842831)

    That's nothing:

    Exodus 12:29-30: And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

    Let's not forget:

    Isaiah 13:15-16: Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

    And:

    Samuel 15:2-3: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

    I would rather let my children read about Egyptians donkey penises than about mass murder of women and children being depicted as a good thing that god encourages and occasionally commits himself.

  • This is truly mad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Budenny (888916) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:49AM (#27842881)

    We have some company deciding that people should not be able to install an application which contains a graphic of ladies with no blouses. You can buy every day at a newstand in the UK two or three newspapers which have, on page 3, pictures of ladies with no blouses. Anyway, Apple does not want you to see these pictures as part of an application on the phone you have just bought.

    But then, after you've bought the phone, you can browse the web to the page 3 sites or others, and see those same pictures.

    So what on earth are they thinking? Do they really think there is something terrible that people should not be allowed to see in something as commonplace as ladies without blouses? What exactly is so terrible about it? Do they really think that banning this awful stuff from the apps makes any difference at all to what people look at and see on iPhones?

    These people are going completely mad in terms of an obsession with interference which they mistake for control. But worse than that, their values about what they want to control are all screwed up.

    Do you all still think this is "cool"?

  • by Kippesoep (712796) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:46AM (#27843093) Homepage
    I agree... It appears most Americans are more easily offended by even mild nudity than by horrible acts of violence. The Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" springs to mind. In this country such a thing would be pretty much completely ignored (maybe a small message on the third-to-last page of the papers). This behaviour has long puzzled me. We're all born naked. I can understand not wanting (ones kids to) see explicit porn, but nudity does not mean porn per se. I get the feeling Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" would be censored in the US. On the other hand it seems perfectly ok to show violence in cartoons and games to kids. The dichotomy is what's interesting. Maybe the whole 2nd amendment thing has something to do with it. Personally, I could care less about the effects of nudity and violence, but only if paid to do so. Well, actually, I prefer kids to grow up into people running around (semi-)naked than into people who think violence solves anything.
  • I am way above 18 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @05:30AM (#27843249) Homepage Journal

    Why do I need parental controls in any device of mine?

    Parental controls just give lazy parents the feeling of doing something when in reality they are doing nothing about the education of their offspring.

    I can decide myself if an application is tasteful or not and if I want it in any device of mine.

    Which is why I don't have an iPhone, but all the rest of you that feel compelled to be treated like an audience of captive putative children, enjoy your poison (and to think people actually pay for the privilege ....).

  • by prockcore (543967) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @05:52AM (#27843335)

    You need to be 18 to get a cellphone in your name.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @07:21AM (#27843623)

    I know! Why does everyone have a problem with 'parental controls'. They allow people that want to use them to filter content and for those who don't care don't have to

    Because "parental control" is always about porn? It's never about filtering offensive material, if you want to do that, you'll have to make your own filter. Where is the parental control that allows me to filter Christian propaganda, politicians (aka. professional liars), the MAFIAA, Microsoft and Apple? Without blocking porn, of course. Porn doesn't hurt anyone.

    (Yes, I do live in Europe).

  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @07:22AM (#27843627) Journal

    There's lots of alternatives. Even in Soviet USia.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @07:44AM (#27843709) Homepage Journal

    Suggesting jailbreaking is a stupid answer to legitimate complaints about failings of the device. The average user is not going to do it.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:33AM (#27844021) Homepage

    My opinion is easily summed up by this quote:

    If man were meant to be naked he would have been born that way.
    -Oscar Wilde

  • by Thing 1 (178996) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:41AM (#27844077) Journal
    Okay, and THE ENTIRE POINT OF COMPLAINING is because every iPhone is currently a "child's phone" until Apple gets around to adding the self-censorship module.
  • by NatasRevol (731260) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:48AM (#27844141) Journal

    It's a controversy for us Americans.

    We're prudes, and are sure you should be too.

  • by NatasRevol (731260) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:50AM (#27844175) Journal

    The "average user" won't need to do most of what the GP was whining about either, so I think it's a draw.

  • by NatasRevol (731260) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:29AM (#27844643) Journal

    No, most users will not be doing
      - tethering - generally only heavy travelers, with laptops.
      - USB thumbdrive - most users don't have thumbdrives.
      - syncing options - most people with an iPhone have most of their media in one place, iTunes.
      - bugs - yeah, waiting for vendor fixes is unique to Apple.

    Just because your mom does some of these things, doesn't mean MOST people do. Respectfully, your mom is an edge case.

    I'm not saying these wouldn't be nice options, they would be. And they'd increase the appeal for the iPhone. But most people already find enough functionality to purchase an iPhone without these additional functions.

    Just because you & your friends, and everyone you know, are doing these things, does not mean MOST people need to do them. So, unless you can quote actual numbers of how many people need to do these things, I'd say there is no productive argument here.

  • by sean.peters (568334) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:31PM (#27847261) Homepage

    Newspaper app: allows a user to see an image of a topless woman. Status: denied.
    Mobile Safari: allows a user to see as much hard-core porn as he/she wants. Status: open for all users, baby!

    NIN app: allows a user to hear disturbing lyrics from one of the band's albums. Status: denied.
    Mobile Safari: allows access to Nazi hate sites, al Qaeda recruiting sites, any other hateful site you can think of, and oh, by the way - the same song lyrics that appear in the NIN application. Status: all systems go!

    If there's a clearer example of how fucked up Apple's App Store approval policies are, I can't think of what it could be.

  • by Builder (103701) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:57PM (#27848695)

    Let me rephrase this for you...

    I will *never* publish anything for possibly the most profitable platform for developers, as long as there is something about it that I don't like. I don't care, even if I lose most of my potential clients because of it.

    And you think people who _buy_ the iPhone are dumb?

    You're saying flat out that you don't care if you lose most of your business? Ethical standpoints are nice and all, but not when there are people who would like to give you money!

  • by ameyer17 (935373) <slashdot@ameyer17.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @06:14PM (#27852325) Homepage

    As Trent Reznor said...

    You can buy 'The Downward Fucking Spiral' on iTunes," he continued, "but you can't allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it... Hey Apple, I just got some spam about fucking hot Asian teens through your e-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.

    I'd also like to point out all the urine/feces/flatulence-themed apps on the app store.

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