Apple has gotten a lot of criticism over it policies on what apps are allowed onto their App Store. While I don’t agree with their reasoning on why certain apps aren’t allowed, they have every right to draw the line somewhere. If not, it would take approximately 24 hours before the App Store would basically just be called the Porn Store. So, where do you draw the line? Apple may draw the line a little more conservatively than most people do.
The apps that people get the most worked up about Apple turning down are almost always something that doesn’t make sense for Apple to carry. They are running a business. I’m guessing it wouldn’t help their bottom line (or more specifically, AT&T’s bottom line) if they allow you to use a Google Voice app that lets you make phone calls for free. While I wish I could use my iPhone to tether my laptop as much as anyone, I think we can all acknowledge that this would suck up a ton more data—data that AT&T has to deliver—and that it makes sense that AT&T requires that you pay an additional fee for that.
Aside from that, while it might seem like censorship, it is actually our freedom that allows us all (businesses included) to choose what we do and don’t want to do. Walmart doesn’t carry certain violent videogames. Blockbuster doesn’t rent pornos. Apple has every right to decide whether they want to be in the business of selling the “Pull My Finger” app or not. Should we be outraged that Apple doesn’t sell Dell computers at Apple Stores? They are allowed to sell whatever they want to sell, and not sell whatever they don’t want to sell. Where is all of the outrage that Android Market doesn’t have an iTunes app?
At risk of sounding right-wing, the truth is that the free market will solve all of this. If there are apps that Apple is turning down that there is a huge demand for, and the Android Market offers it, maybe people will opt for a Droid instead of renewing with AT&T once their contract is up.
For those still not convinced, I suggest you read this article about the Nazi theme that was available on the Android Market. Apparently people want to vilify Apple for censorship, and praise the openness of the Android Market, but when the true face of freedom of speech inevitably shows up people demand censorship. I think we can all agree that we need to draw the line somewhere. If you don’t like where Apple has drawn theirs, then put your money where your mouth is and go buy a Droid.