Apple’s rejection of fart-joke iPhone app highlights serious problem

“MacRumors has a story on Pull My Finger, an iPhone App that plays a variety of fart sounds,” Daring Fireball reports. “The demo video shows that the app is clearly well done for what it is — it even vibrates the phone while it toots — but Apple rejected it:”

We’ve reviewed your application Pull My Finger. We have determined that this application is of limited utility to the broad iPhone and iPod touch user community, and will not be published to the App Store.

Daring Fireball reports, “I’ve already heard from a top-tier developer this morning who, in response to this story, is dropping an idea for a very cool iPhone app out of fear that the work to create it would be for naught as Apple might reject it.”

“Apple really, REALLY needs to get its act together here,” Former Apple employee Chuq Von Rospach writes.

“I actually don’t have a problem with them rejecting this app, but that’s somewhat irrelevant to the larger picture. The larger picture is a lack of communication and feedback, and a lack of any published policies and standards on what is and isn’t acceptable,” Von Rospach writes.

“The App Store needs a developer evangelist. Someone who interacts with the developers, tells them what to expect, listens to them bitch and moan and carry their arguments back into Apple (hopefully to be dealt with, not blown off), and who can act as a ‘pre-flight’ checker. If this person exists, they’re hiding really, really well, and that’s bad,” Von Rospach writes.

“That developer who killed a project — that’s a real problem. The best way to kill development on the iPhone, to nuke the chance of really out-there, innovative solutions, is to force a developer to do the development and finish the product without knowing if they’ll actually be able to sell it,” Von Rospach writes.

Full article here.


  1. So on one side, you have market control and censorship, and on the other, you have apps like GetRichQuick. It’s time for this concept to leave beta. Post guidelines. Remove the SDK NDA. Let’s bring this to a professional level.

  2. “I’ve already heard from a top-tier developer this morning who, in response to this story, is dropping an idea for a very cool iPhone app out of fear that the work to create it would be for naught as Apple might reject it.”

    Hearsay… FUD?

    It seems unlikely to me that a “top-tier” developer would summarily “drop” their “very cool iPhone app”, solely as the result of this one joke app being rejected.

    Not denying the legitimate concern here – I just don’t like this kind of unverifiable, fear-based “reporting”.

  3. Unreported by Daring Fireball, the app the Top Tier developer was working on was a game called “Rover’s Red Rocket”.

    It had a picture/video of a dog, made use of the iPhone’s multi touch UI as well as the accelerometer and vibrated to accommodate certain sound effects.

    “And now you know… the rest of the story.” -Paul Harvey

  4. My boys would think this is the funniest app ever created. Assuming the story is true, what could be better than iFarting with your friends? Have some sliders so you can create your own farts, and even record really good farts. Just think of the practical jokes you can pull by having your iPhone throw a fart at your mother-in-law when she bends over . . . .

    Come on, Apple – limited utility? Certainly more utility than Moo, Jared, and other novelty apps. Just create a novelty category and let it live or die on its own.

    The real truth is that Apple is afraid their servers wouldn’t be able to handle the download requests.

  5. Possible headline:

    “14 year old commits suicide after being made fun of with farting iPhone at school”

    This is extreme but not out of the realm of possibility as a headline. We know how the media spins things.

    Apple needs to be very careful with apps that are Apple iPhone branded. Some apps could be used to emotionally hurt or belittle others.

  6. Well, it’s kind of like with Widgets, their is some that are of esteem limited use, yet, they are out their.

    Even if this application is considered crass and of little use, it could still be funny in certain settings. Apple needs to step down from it’s high horse and worry about quality of the coding not the quality of the content, the user needs to worry about the content.

    This big brother attitude can be a problem.

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