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Friday, February 19, 2010, 05:15 am PT (08:15 am ET)

Apple changes App Store policy on 'overtly sexual content'

Due to numerous complaints from customers, Apple has begun removing software from its App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch that has been deemed "overtly sexual."

This week, developer of the application "Wobble iBoobs" was sent a letter from Apple explaining that the company is "constantly refining" their guidelines as to what is acceptable on the App Store. According to TechCrunch, while the application was originally found to be suitable for distribution, "numerous complaints" inspired the Cupertino, Calif., company to change their guidelines.

"We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application," the letter from the iPhone App Review department reads. "Thank you for your understanding in this matter. If you believe you can make the necessary changes so that Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored) complies with our recent changes, we encourage you to do so and resubmit for review."

The report notes that the application in question allowed users to add "jiggle points" to photos, has been downloaded 970,000 times, and the developer hasn't changed the software in 6 to 8 months. The status for the application on the developer's Web site states "Removed From Sale."

Some similar applications with sexual content have also been removed from the App Store, though others remain. At this point it is not known what Apple deems to be an "overtly sexual" application, or if all similar applications will also be removed.

Apple's App Store policies came under fire last year, when a third-party dictionary program was asked to resubmit their application with a parental control rating of age 17 and up due to "offensive" words found on Wikitionary.org. Apple felt it was appropriate in its request because "urban slang" words found on the Web site were not in traditional dictionaries. The developer instead opted to censor the application, remove the offending words and not be subjected to the "mature" rating.

With more than 140,000 options on the App Store, iPhone and iPod touch users can access a variety of content with varying levels of quality. With so many options available, last year Apple debuted the Genius recommendation feature to help users sort through the plethora of options on the App Store, and the hardware maker also added keywords to software to allow for easier search.