There are certain well known tech-web sites who are NOT happy about Apple's decision to restrict certain iDevice applications. A good example is TechCrunch - calling the new rules "pretty ridiculous".
According to the ChilliFresh developer blog, there are now a set of new rules in play.
To sum it up: No more boobs.
I think this move is excellent.
I am a prude? Absolutely not. Living in this part of the world, looking at boobs are absolutely ok. Seeing skin or bikinis - no one lifts an eyebrow in most parts of Europe. It's only in certain over developed countries that violence are more accepted than sex.
Enough with the politics.
TechCrunch argues that "...these moves are pretty ridiculous given the fact that the offers iPhone a full set of parental controls...". The point is not parental control - the point is, as I see it, quality.
Repeat after me: Quality can not be achieved with 5000 applications showing boobs.
There are already too many applications in the AppStore. Who really care if there are 80 000 apps available, if the real gems are hidden in the noise of boobs and farts?
If the iDevice platform is known for it's low quality with regards to the type of applications available - this will hurt the platform. The only sane move for Apple is to put on some restrictions on what kind of applications they will allow.
Even the argument about the poor developers who are now loosing their income is extremely thin. It's thinner than a well known brand of sanitary napkins with wings. Seriously, if your income was USD 750,- a day on an app showing more or less some skin - I do not feel sorry for you loosing that income. Grow up and create some real usable software - or even better: Start your own porn-empire outside the AppStore. My guess is, that there is more money to be made the traditional way regarding boobs, than a few apps on the AppStore.
Sometime in Q2 2009 I stopped looking for interesting apps in the AppStore. Too many boobs. Too many farts. Too many non-interesting or overlapping applications. I have no problem with the occasional boob-app - or the occasional mortgage app - or the occasional calculator app. I use the platform for entertainment as much as the next guy or girl, but when the sheer number of shitty little apps overwhelm the comparatively few high-quality apps, then something is wrong. Seriously wrong.
What I would like to see is a better screening process - a better rating process. If we had this - the "real top-20" list would consist of quality, not which app that sold the most over a given period of time. We would then have the "top-20 best sexual content apps" around. I am fine with that. What we have now, is the "top-5000-of-the-same-bad-apps-no-matter-what-content".
There are other problems with the AppStore than removing boobs and banning sexual related materials. The most problematic part of the AppStore seen from a developer point of view is the lack of published guide-lines. In this repesct, I do feel sorry for hard working developers creating real, usable, applications - which is suddenly banned from the AppStore because Apple upgraded it's own applications. Even using the word Android in your application description will get you into trouble.
From the customer's point of view, I did outline the lack of access to ready made directories of "the best of breed" applications. This is a huge hole in their offering. The closest thing we have today is "Staff Favourites" with today's offering of saying I Love You in 50 languages, The Perfect Egg Timer, one RPN calculator, South West Airlines, several travel related apps - several excellent games - and a few others. But no "best of calculators". Even if the AppStore I interact with, is "geared towards the Norwegian users" - I still get Staff Pics for apps most Norwegian does not need. What I would like to see is the ability to switch over to a "world wide" AppStore. There are no easy way to switch even to the US version of the AppStore.
Another very big issue is the number of so called Bulk Apps. If a developer creates 900 "localized apps" with "local content", where the content is mostly pulled from Wikipedia and other public sources - does this constitute quality? Good for Apple - boasting that they have several thousand "travel apps with local content" - but it's not quality. It's noise. A lot of noise. I have no problem with a list of travel apps with local content - what I have problem with is 1000 apps with the same local content. If you look up (on the web) for "Perfect Acumen", you'll see that this single developer had over 900 apps on the AppStore - more or less pushing the same type of content.
Lastly; Every time I actually need a given iDevice app, I spend an obscene amount of time finding the right app. This does not encourage me to go out and seek new and exciting applications - my experience is that there is far between good and usable apps - and too easy to find all the crap.
Disclaimer: My company is currently developing a next-to-free iDevice app on behalf of a customer (unfortunatly, this app is not very sexy, but very usable ;-)