Apple forces removal of Android mention from App Store | iLounge News

Apple forces removal of Android mention from App Store

Apple has demanded the removal of promotional text mentioning Google’s Android platform from an application’s App Store description. Mobile development house Flash of Genius has reprinted part of Apple’s email discussing the description text for the company’s Flash of Genius: SAT Vocab app, in which it requests removal of the text. The e-mail reads, “During our review of your application, we found that your application contains inappropriate or irrelevant platform information in the Application Description and/or Release Notes sections. Providing future platform compatibility plans or other general platform references are not relevant in the context of the iPhone App Store.  While your application has not been rejected, it would be appropriate to remove ‘Finalist in Google’s Android Developer’s Challenge!’  from the Application Description.” In addition, the e-mail recommends the developer make the changes to the description “to avoid an interruption” in the app’s availability. For its part, Flash of Genius believes the text is relevant and helps to boost sales, and is considering e-mailing Apple to try and find an acceptable way to reincorporate the text.

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How is it not relevant that you were a finalist in an arguably major mobile platform’s development challenge? In the long run, the truly successful apps are going to be cross platform, just like they are today for personal computer software. Would Apple even exist today if the Mac hadn’t limped along for most of the past 15+ years on the basis that it did most of what the other platforms did, just a bit differently? When the day comes, as it probably will, that Android winds up with a larger install base than the iPhone OS, will Apple be changing their tune with in-store promotion?

Myself, I appreciate knowing that sort of thing. There are apps that I use that started out Macintosh focused, there are apps that I use that started out Linux focused. It was their success on another platform that helped spur them to success on Windows. The developer is correct here and Apple needs to get over their insane belief they’ll ever gain longterm success through the China model of controlling technology.

Posted by Code Monkey on February 5, 2010 at 11:21 AM (CST)


I wouldn’t expect a game I download from the Playstation Network to advertise “Also available on Wiiware and XBox 360!” right on Sony’s PSN page. Why the heck should Apple allow the same thing?

If the developer wants to proclaim it high and low on their own website like every OTHER developer does, cool. But why expect Apple to help them promote the same app on ANOTHER platform?

Its just silly.

Posted by Daniel S. on February 5, 2010 at 1:46 PM (CST)


@2: Read much? They weren’t promoting that it was available on another platform, they were pointing out their app had placed as a finalist in a developer competition. Something tells me if the same dev had wanted to say their app took first place in CNet reader vote or the desktop version had received a MacWorld editor’s choice Apple wouldn’t care, it’s just because the iPhone is losing market share to Android and Nokia based consumer smartphones and they somehow think pretending it doesn’t exist is going to help them. Personally, I think their attitude toward customers and developers is why they’re losing market share.

Posted by Code Monkey on February 5, 2010 at 3:25 PM (CST)


Apple lost all respect with me in 2007, and it just continues.

Only reason I even stick to apple right now is because of all my purchases that I foolishly did when the store was mostly DRM.

They will do anything it takes to dominate the market even if it means doing something this petty.

Posted by paranoidxe on February 6, 2010 at 5:46 PM (CST)


@3: Pay attention much? MENTIONING Android at all is free advertising (it’s making people aware that another platform exists).

CNET isn’t trying to sell a competing product by awarding an Apple developer anything, nor is MacWorld. The only reason to mention Android is for bragging rights and free advertising, neither of which are at all relevant for a description of the app in the App Store.

Posted by D. Nicholls on February 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM (CST)


@5: You are lacking in anything I would call intelligence if you see mentioning placing in an Android developer’s competition as advertising. That such a platform exists should not be news to anyone capable of using the iTunes App store, and if it is, they need to find the nearest suicide booth and use it, stat. Since Android apps don’t run on the iPhone, Android doesn’t run on the iPhone, the iPhone OS doesn’t run on Android based phones, and iPhone OS apps don’t run on Android, there is no difference in mentioning the Android competition and a CNet competition. It cannot possibly be construed as advertising except by the mentally challenged since there is no product to sell. If the ad is for the Android platform, which seems to be your and Daniel’s ignorant claim, that would have to be one hell of an app to, even though it is now available on the iPhone OS still convinces people to ditch their expensive iPhone OS device and break locked down contracts just to switch.

Posted by Code Monkey on February 8, 2010 at 9:49 AM (CST)


Consider that there is no guarantee that the iPhone version of this application performs identically to the Android version, or even includes the same features.  Promoting the iPhone version of the application based on how well a different version of the application did is at best irrelevant and at worst potentially a “bait-and-switch” tactic—what’s to stop a developer from producing a great Android app and a scaled-down iPhone version and then convincing people to buy the iPhone version because the Android version is so awesome?

If the developer were simply mentioning that their app were available on alternate platforms, then I’d agree completely that Apple is being draconian here, but in this case the developer is promoting the iPhone version of the app based on an award a different version received on a completely different platform.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on February 8, 2010 at 11:02 AM (CST)


@ #3

‘Finalist in Google’s Android Developer’s Challenge!’

How is that not promoting a competing platform. #2 is dead on. Would XBOX Live allow a game to advertise that it won a Nintendo or Playstation award? I think not. Had this award been a CNET or other independent award you may have a point. But in this case you are being a bit naive.

Just like #2 said, they can harp this award all over their own page and, I assume, across the Google universe. It is no less an accomplishment either way.

Posted by Mitch on February 8, 2010 at 11:32 AM (CST)


@ #6

Sorry I missed your follow up. Had I seen this it would have changed my opinion 0%. Saying that this is not advertising is absolutely moronic. As soon as a movie is NOMINATED for an Academy Award it is printed on all subsequent DVD shipments (and if that film WINS, the covers are again reprinted). That, my friend, IS advertisement. Just like plastering all of these top game site/mag reviews across the front of the XBOX, Wii and PS3 games on the shelf. I just read an article on the DVD sales boosts for Oscar nominated films. So splashing this “accomplishment” on the product attracts consumers. Which is EXACTLY what advertisement is. Otherwise, why even put it in a product description. It generates sales.

Posted by Mitch on February 8, 2010 at 11:42 AM (CST)


Ooo, I’m on iLounge’s front page! I’m honored. *takes a bow*

And yeah, I guess I’m ignorant..because I actually agree with Apple that, on their service that they own (and emphasis on OWN) they wouldn’t want to even obliquely promote their competitors. Why would they? It’d be like RIM promoting an app on their own marketplace shouting “FROM THE FOLKS WHO WON THE IPHONE DEVELOPER’S DOOHICKEY!” Somehow I really don’t see anything like THAT making it past RIM’s gatekeepers either. Or any mention of the iPhone whatsoever.

But I guess I’m just ignorant. And 100% right. Oh, and modest too.

Posted by Daniel S. on February 8, 2010 at 6:40 PM (CST)


I thank you for the petty name calling but I am neither ‘lacking in anything I would call intelligence’ or ‘mentally challenged’.

The fact that you say that anyone who doesn’t know about Android and uses the App Store should ‘find the nearest suicide booth and use it’ proves that you cannot see this from another persons perspective.

Think for one minute before typing out such a knee-jerk reaction…if Apple let’s this one mention slide, everyone will be doing it. And yes, it IS advertising Android. I don’t think that the developer intended it that way but it is certainly acting as advertising. See the posts above and around yours. You may disagree and that’s fine, but you’re wrong on this one. Best example is #9 and the Oscars/DVD example. Well said!

Posted by D. Nicholls on February 8, 2010 at 6:58 PM (CST)

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