Apple reportedly has a new policy for its iPhone app store in which any application with "overtly sexual content" will be removed from the App Store, according to an e-mail obtained by TechCrunch.
Many developers have received a statement from Apple, which said the company was refining the guidelines under which the App Store operates, and that content that it had "originally believed to be suitable for distribution" were now no longer deemed appropriate, following "numerous complaints from customers about this type of content".
But just like countless previous times, this latest tweak to Apple's app rejection policy will have app developers scratching their heads trying to figure out what's going on.
One app that has been removed from iTunes, called Wobble iBoobs, lets you take a selected image of a bikini model, add "wobble zones" to the photo, and then make those parts of the image move when you shake your iPhone. This app's function was apparently a little too hot for Apple, so the app's developer, Jon Atherton, received a removal notice from Apple, according to TechCrunch.
Referring to the Wobble iBoobs application, Apple reportedly wrote: "We have recently received numerous complaints from our customers about this type of content and have changed our guidelines appropriately. We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application."
Other sexual apps that have disappeared from the App Store include SlideHer: Tera Patrick and Dirty Fingers: Screen Wash; it's not clear whether those apps were removed voluntarily or also received takedown notices.
The strange part is at the time of this writing there were still numerous apps with "overtly sexual" content available for your iPhone. A search in iTunes for the term 'boobs,' for example, turned up a plethora of sexy apps including Tight Body Perky Boobs, Epic Boobs, College Boobs, Adult Tennis Boobs and even the questionably named AwesomeBOOBS: Babies (it's not what you think).
Also found was an interactive strip game available called Strip Simon, and even one app with similar functionality to Wobble iBoobs called Shake to WOBBLE - albeit without the overt references to making an image of a woman's breasts shake. It's also worth noting that all of these apps, with the exception of Shake to WOBBLE, had the same 17+ age rating that Wobble iBoobs did.
How Hot Is Too Hot?
So if Apple is still allowing sexual apps on the iTunes Store, what's all the fuss about Wobble iBoobs and other "overtly sexual" applications? One possibility is that Apple is in the process of cleaning house, and it will take some time before the company can clear out all the apps from its store that it doesn't like.
Then again, the takedown notice for Atherton's app mentioned "numerous complaints from our customers." Perhaps Apple's new policy has more to do with responding to customer grievances about a particular app, than policing the prurient interests of iPhone users.