Apple Called to Say Why They Removed My Tits&Boobies and Pussy Lovers iPhone AppsS

Just hours after we wrote about Tits & Boobies and Pussy Lovers, Apple removed the apps, and called the developer. Basically, if he wants to publish Tits & Boobies, he has to put real tits in it. Here's what happened:

I am the developer of Tits & Boobies and Pussy Lovers.

I received a call from someone at Apple and he said that the apps were being removed from the store as they were deemed inappropriate for the iTunes Store. Although I did not ask him if they received complaints, upon inquiring about what it was that was inappropriate about the apps, I was told that the title did not match the content and was asked to change the title and the "Education" category. I asked him if I could change the content instead, as there were other similarly named apps on the store, and got back something that equated to a maybe (though he did specifically say that they weren't asking me to put pictures of Vaginas in the Pussy Lovers app).

Essentially my understanding is that it is okay to sell an app on the store called Tits and Boobies as long as it has pictures of women's breasts (the more common meaning of those words) but it is not okay to sell a funny app called Tits and Boobies that has pictures of birds in it. Those apps are quite popular with combined over 300,000 downloads and most people we have shown them to get a laugh out of them and use them to play pranks on friends.

From a developer's perspective, we just want some consistency and more communication in the way the apps are reviewed and featured on the iTunes Store. Our Kamasutra application was initially rejected twice for containing inappropriate content even though it was rated 17+. Recently we discovered other similarly themed apps on Sexual Positions in the store and re-submitted and it was approved this time around. When where the policies in the store changed and why were we not informed so that we had an opportunity to resubmit our app.



Editor's note

This is a new twist to the old Apple iPhone app rejection story. This time it is not the content, but the "mismatch" between title and rated G content, even while the text is technically accurate. They have to change the content—although no vaginas would be ever allowed in the iPhone—or change the titles and categories. And there's no way around that.

I can see Apple's side of the story: The title and descriptions may be correct, but obviously designed to be misleading. Even while there is no real harm if someone makes the mistake—the applications were free—it sets a precedent.

But Samir has a point too. The apps are harmless, the descriptions are technically accurate, and the content is completely clean and apt for people of any age. Yet, other apps with the same descriptions, and full of potentially conflictive content—at the public relations level—are available for purchase in the store.

At the end, the fact is that the rules are still confusing. The apps were approved for the Education category after the titles were censored by Apple. So I guess that there was an active effort to test the app, understand what it does, and approve it according to whatever guidelines the iTunes Store people use. So why take it down? Just because it got published in Gizmodo and it was put under the spotlight? Was it just a mistake on the approval level? Or did Apple make this new rule after the article, to avoid a public relations problem?

Whatever it is, one thing is clear to me: Nobody is ever going to be happy with this process, which I'm afraid will remain imperfect forever.—Jesús Díaz