Apple sinks lower, approving Baby Shaker, Poop the World apps | iLounge News

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Apple sinks lower, approving Baby Shaker, Poop the World apps

Apple continued to lower its standards for acceptable App Store content this week with the approval of two new applications, one designed to simulate violent, life-threatening acts on an infant. The object of Baby Shaker from Sikalosoft is to stop the crying of a baby pictured on screen by shaking the iPhone or iPod touch, until the crying stops and two red “x” marks appear over its eyes. Jennipher Dickens, whose son Christopher was injured by being shaken by his father, told Cnet, “As a mother of a child who was violently shaken at 7 weeks old, causing a severe brain injury, and the founder of a national organization for Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention (as well as the communications director for a national organization helping children with brain injuries), I don’t have to tell you how much this horrifies me!!!”

Update: Baby Shaker was removed from the iTunes Store shortly following the publication of this story.

Meanwhile, the scatalogical Poop the World from SWS Digital is designed to let iPhone and iPod touch users share details of their bowel movements, including time, place, consistency, and smell, with other users across the globe. Users are encouraged to select from one of 20 shapes that best approximate their most recent output, then a scent from a long list of possible smells. Details, including location, are then uploaded to SWS’ servers, allowing other users to track the details. Promoted by the developer with toilet paper rolls that feature the App Store logo, the app even offers trophies to users who accomplish set “goals.” Poop the World and Baby Shaker are available now from the App Store and sell for $2 and $1, respectively.

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Comments

1

I can’t believe they are charging money for those!

I hope no one buys them…. sadly… this won’t happen :(

Posted by Korpil on April 22, 2009 at 4:49 PM (CDT)

2

Apple are probably letting more apps through in order to get a ‘1 billion apps in the store’ announcement. It’s getting ridiculous how bad the apps are becoming though, this being one such example.

Posted by Ryan on April 22, 2009 at 5:29 PM (CDT)

3

#1 - the developer’s are charging money for these apps, not Apple.
#2 - Letting more apps into the store does nothing for the 1 billion downloads announcement. There are no where near 1 billion apps in the store - downloads are different. Too bad there’s no IQ test for responding to articles, eh? :)

Posted by Mr. Simpson on April 22, 2009 at 7:21 PM (CDT)

4

A significant number of the apps reach below the lowest common denominator in terms of their benefit to the betterment of humanity. I wonder how Apple employees can approve apps that generate ‘farts’ and others of a similar demeaning ilk.

Surely Apple can raise the bar.

Whether it is the developers or Apple (who take their cut) who are charging for the apps is not an issue. A significant number of the apps reflect poorly on Apple in my opinion. In my opinion the fart, girlie and even a significant number of the games appear to be puerile and trite.

Mr Simpson, I felt you were a little ‘harsh’ on Ryan in your comment. Probably just an oversight on Ryan’s part as he responded to the article.

Perhaps our EQ should be tested prior to responding to an article, eh? Let’s team up and create an app that can test our IQ and our EQ. You never know, it may just make that one billion download mark.

Cheers, John

Posted by John Larkin on April 22, 2009 at 7:45 PM (CDT)

5

I think the biggest problem with the app store, is that unlike normal stores there is no market feedback to remove products from the store. IE, bad products don’t ever get removed if the consumer just plain doesn’t want it.
I think the easiest way to allow the marketplace to self-regulate in this manner would be to implement a market based removal system. X months after an app goes on sale, the app must have had at least Y number of downloads (maybe Y is dependent on app category) otherwise it gets removed, this removal process happens every X months so that apps that the market no longer deems worth a download are removed from the store. If a developer doesn’t want their app to be removed, they would need to find a way to continuously attract new users just like a normal marketplace.
Right now its easy for a developer to create a program and then hope that over the next several years they get enough $1 downloads to makeup for the development cost, if the apps were removed if they weren’t getting enough purchases, some of that residuals affect would be lessened
Apple could “archive” the apps so that they are removed from the iTunes storefront but could be redownloaded in case the user needs to restore it.

Posted by Ryan on April 22, 2009 at 11:10 PM (CDT)

6

@Mr. Simpson
Apple gets 30% of all proceeds from apps sold through the App Store. They don’t publish paid apps as a favour to developers. “Too bad there‚Äôs no IQ test for responding to articles, eh?” Yup

Posted by Robin on April 23, 2009 at 2:54 AM (CDT)

7

@Ryan - I totally agree. That’s the problem with the digital marketplace as a whole. In the real world, products like these would never even make it to store shelves. And on the off chance that one made it through, it would be pulled - or at the very least never ordered again - because of poor sales.

Now the digital marketplace is more like an archive of every idea anyone’s ever had. Perhaps Apple should consider an “App Graveyard” of apps that don’t perform well, based on some level of criteria.

All these kinds of apps do is get in the way when I’m trying to browse through a bazillion others.

Posted by thelottery on April 23, 2009 at 8:40 AM (CDT)

8

Well, Apple has now removed Baby Shaker from the app store. Commonsense, dignity and decency prevails.

Posted by John Larkin on April 23, 2009 at 9:19 AM (CDT)

9

I’m amazed at how many people want to censor the app store. (This means you, John Larkin)  How exactly is a fart app “demeaning?” Since when do YOU get to decide for EVERYONE how much value an app has for “the betterment of humanity?”  You are entitled to your opinion, but nobody is forcing you to download these apps.

Seems to me that if you don’t like an app, DON"T DOWNLOAD IT!!!!  I mean come on…as much as I hate the “puerile and trite” American Idol, I would never say that it should not be allowed to be shown on tv.  I show my disapproval by not watching it.

The issue of searching for apps in an increasingly cluttered app store is a legitimate one.  However,  I think it is a problem that could be better resolved through improved search parameters, instead of “I think that is in poor taste, so it must be removed to suit my own particular bias.”  They used to have a link for the newest paid and free apps added to the store.  I wish they hadn’t removed it.

For the record, I think the baby shaker app is lame, but that doesn’t mean it should be censored.  In a free society, we must tolerate unpopular opinions (or in this case, apps)...

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by Danstigator on April 23, 2009 at 12:42 PM (CDT)

10

The bottom line for me is that the proliferation of meaningless apps have soured me on even looking at the App Store on iTunes—there are simply too many senseless apps to wade through. I bought lots of apps in the beginning, but have given up at this point.

Posted by Jimmy Y on April 23, 2009 at 1:49 PM (CDT)

11

Jimmy Y has part of the issue - the overabundance of useless, pointless, DUMB apps cluttering the App Store makes it irritating to use.  I don’t have tons of time to find good, useful apps or good games, and am tired of wading through piles of ridiculous crap like Poop The World, iFart, etc.  If Apple could create a “Useless App Store” and shuffle those off there, I’d be happy.  They can exist and I can ignore them.  I rely on app-sites to direct me to the good ones.  That’s annoying and sad.

The other part of the problem is that these apps make the Iphone/Touch look like a joke.  They get a lot of attention in the media and make it look like what most people do with the Iphone/Touch is pointless and ridiculous.  This, I am sure, is not the way Apple wants the world to see these devices, especially given the tone of the commercials showing very good apps.  We all know incredible apps are out there, but for those who don’t have either device, and may be on the fence, seeing all this attention devoted to Baby Shaker, Poop The World, and a ton of fart-related apps makes it look like it may be a very immature device.  The Iphone and Touch come across as oriented toward simple-minded, childish idiots.

Posted by Tom on April 23, 2009 at 2:03 PM (CDT)

12

Guns don’t kill people…people kill people!

Is that not in the same vane? The admittedly idiotic apps do not make the iPhone/Touch look idiotic. Computers have had senseless dribble for years. It doesn’t make them a less productive machine. The internet is littered with pure crap. Does that mean the general populace thinks it is completely crap? No. Most reasonable people know that these are useful tools if that is what you are looking for. If you are looking for mindless fart jokes…well, there is plenty of that to be had as well. Let the downloading public decide what is worthy. If it is truly worthless, people will stop downloading it. In time, Apple will start weeding out the garbage apps. You have to realize that the App Store is still new. It is growing at an alarming rate, but it is still in it’s infancy. Changes will be made as numbers are solidified.

Posted by Mitch on April 23, 2009 at 2:33 PM (CDT)

13

Danstigator:

Look- I’m all about free speech, but come on… that Baby Shaking App is ridiculous. Not just ‘cause I’m a (relatively) new Father, but because it’s sick. Developer wants to make a baby-shaking game? Then with their own money and financial resources (not the App Store’s SDK) get some dolls made in China that stop crying when you shake them too hard and then die. They won’t sell, the developer will have lost all their investment money, but freedom of expression will have played out. Don’t clog the store with this garbage. It’s not like fart apps - I have no problem with those, and in fact would buy one if they could just make them sound convincing - I like playing jokes. But ANY app that essentially condones the forcible shaking, and eventual silencing (by death) of a baby is plain sick. What’s next - drag the Negro behind the car? Slap the turrets syndrome child in the head till they stop? Pin the feather on the Indian? All are equally as offensive and have NO place on a “professional” company’s web store. Exercise freedom of speech elsewhere.

Posted by Warren Piece on April 23, 2009 at 2:37 PM (CDT)

14

I object to all of these people saying that apps should be removed from the App Store because they are “useless.”  “Useless” is a relative term, Tom.  The $119.00 “Anesthesiology Constellation All-in-one” App is absolutely “USELESS” to ME because I am not in the medical field.  Does that mean I have a right to demand that it be removed from the App Store because it doesn’t suit MY needs?

I also don’t see how crappy apps (and there are plenty) make the iphone/touch look like a joke.  Does anyone blame Sony televisions because most of the programming on TV is garbage? Device and content exist independently of each other even if Apple does host the content store.

The iphone and touch are NOT childish devices regardless of how an individual chooses to use them.  The fact that they are flexible enough to fulfill the needs of a wide range of people is testament to the greatness of these devices.  Personally. I couldn’t care less what other people think about my iphone and the apps I have on it.  It is a brilliant device and I love it for how I can customize it to fit my life and personality. If I choose to act immaturely by making my iphone fart, then that is my right. If I choose to use my iphone to conduct business, or learn something, then that is also my right.

Why do so many people (wrongly) believe that they have the right to decide what is best for “everybody?”

Posted by Danstigator on April 23, 2009 at 3:07 PM (CDT)

15

Warren Piece
was gives you the right so say what is and was is not offensive, what also gives you the right to say what people should think. While I don’t like the baby shaking app, I would show my dislike by not downloading it.

Posted by Sparks on April 23, 2009 at 3:10 PM (CDT)

16

Warren-

I completely agree with you that the Baby-Shaking app is “sick” and I most certainly would never be “entertained” by something like this. I don’t want anyone to think that by defending free speech, I am condoning or approving the content of that app in any way.

However, there is a serious problem when you start saying things like, “I’m all for free speech, just not yours.”  Now, I’m not accusing you of trying to stifle my speech, but clearly you have a problem with free speech (in the form of an app) you don’t agree with.  There are a lot of tasteless and offensive things in this world, (many of them much worse than that app), but tolerating unpopular or unpleasant ideas is the cost of freedom.

I’m sorry, but with all due respect, “Exercise freedom of speech elsewhere” is anti-American, plain and simple.

Posted by Danstigator on April 23, 2009 at 3:35 PM (CDT)

17

Apple is a “professional” company… they can make there devices any way they like as long as its legal.

Therefore if they feel they need to remove an app because people are unhappy, they may.

we are talking about “free speech” in a different sense. Is it legal to swear at work or say offensive things to anyone? Yes, but think about this for a second… apple wants to make money and do whatever is possible for there best interest. they can design how the apps will work because well, they created the app concept/store for the iphone. this has nothing to do with free speech. It’s not like they’re regulating the internet. they’re regulating there OWN PRIVATE app store that they make available for the public to purchase from. PRIVATE though

in this scenario, warren, while blunt is correct. ppl can take their freedom of speech elsewhere. they can propose apps to apple all they want though (by free speech).

and in my own opinion i think the poop and fart apps are fine. the baby shake one is questionable to me just because it opens the door to other app makers to think its okay to make those type of apps. if it would ever get to THAT point, apple would be hurting anyway and not receiving much consumer acceptance.

Posted by Yuniesky on April 23, 2009 at 7:38 PM (CDT)

18

Danstigator, how are you? I believe in free speech and freedom of expression but I also believe in the dignity and positive growth of humanity. Freedom of speech comes with responsibilities. Does freedom of speech equate with the freedom to offend and the freedom to insult? What does being American or otherwise have to do with it? Freedom of speech is not an exclusive construct of any single culture.

Perhaps I should have written that apps such as “Baby Shaker” and the various fart apps and the like dehumanise. Why are valuable human resources being wasted developing such apps?

Jimmy Y and Tom are right. There are a significant number of useless apps and they do clutter the App store and they do inflict harm on the Apple brand and the iPhone brand itself. Apple has always equated with high quality. Many of the apps do not equate with high quality. It is annoying to trawl through the app store and be surprised by the frivolous apps and the poor human-computer interface design of many.

Danstigator, have you tried the Relax with Andrew Johnson ~ Deep Relaxation app?

Posted by John Larkin on April 23, 2009 at 9:22 PM (CDT)

19

Why do people not understand that the all-too-sacred freedom of speech does NOT apply to a private corporation that can freely determine the parameters of its software offerings? We are not talking about a state actor here, folks. Apple made a decision many months ago to remove certain reggae songs from the music store due to bigoted, anti-homosexual content. It was met with the same plaintive whining about censorship, which has no merit in the context of this kind of debate. What is “un-American” is failing to understand the limitations and applications of the First Amendment, and then caterwauling about it being breached by the likes of Apple.

I have no quarrel with the decision to remove Baby Shaker. One man’s erroneous view of this as censorship is another man’s correct view of it as being socially responsible. Apple hasn’t built its generally excellent reputation on shirking social responsibility.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on April 23, 2009 at 9:33 PM (CDT)

20

Hello John,

  I agree that freedom of speech comes with responsibility.  The Supreme court established the “Clear and Present Danger” test to ensure that an individual exercising his/her freedom of speech does not pose substantial risk of harm to others.  The court has also determined that the freedom to insult others is protected under free speech (People v. Larry Flint).

My main point was that if you don’t like it, don’t download it.  Human dignity will not suffer because some developer made a stupid app that nobody will buy anyway. 

The ‘anti-american’ comment was aimed at Warren’s statement to “exercise freedom of speech elsewhere”.  Of course other cultures have freedom of speech, I was just saying that his statement goes against the Constitution.

Now on to Mr. Flippy…

Sir, I think you need to read the post more carefully before you comment on things like ‘plaintive whining’ and call me ‘un-american’.

I NEVER said anything about Apple pulling the app from the store.  That is NOT what the free speech debate was about AT ALL.  My complaint was with posters claiming that THEIR sense of ‘decency’ should be applied to everybody.  I never made any comments or complaints at all about Apple and I don’t begrudge their decision to remove the app (from a business perspective).  What I don’t like is people telling me that I have to conform to what THEY think is ‘acceptable’ or ‘decent’.

Next time, try to pay attention, ok?

By the way, FWIW, the last time I checked, Apple was a publicly traded corporation, not a private one.

Posted by Danstigator on April 23, 2009 at 11:58 PM (CDT)

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