Apple's awfully choosy about which iPhone applications get to join the 50,000 others already occupying the iTunes app store. There's a stringent list of Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) to be followed, and then there's the whims of those Applians who make such monumental decisions.
Never mind that an iPhone app can cost up to $50,000 to develop. Some iPhone apps just won't fly. The following list of the top 7 have either been tried and rejected from the App Store's persnickety purview, or just never quite made it through that sometimes impenetrable gauntlet. So if you have a hankering to develop or use any of the following iPhone apps, you're going to have to look elsewhere.
1. Cracked screen simulator
Apple does not like to have any appearance of failure, including cracked screens, simulated software errors, jokes that look like the blue screen of death — anything that might imply that the iPhone and iPod touch are anything less than perfect.
2. Baby Shaking , other murder scenarios
Violent concepts have been attempted by a few developers, where some murder and mayhem is okay, but other examples where users simulate killing people are another thing entirely. Case in point: Baby Shaker, an app abhorred by just about anyone who heard of it. Check out this pregnant prose that went along with the application that was first approved, and then rejected in the wake of intense public outcry:
"On a plane, on the bus, in a theater. Babies are everywhere you don't want them to be! They're always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker there was nothing you could do about it. ...See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!"
Apple's not about to compromise its negotiating power with Hollywood movie studios and music companies by making it easy for their content to be stolen. And yes, Drivetrain, the app pictured above, was one BitTorrent app that didn't make the cut.
Especially disappointing was the rejection of iBoobs, the delectable implementation of the iPhone's motion detection. But anything that's even remotely sexy is not going to find its way onto the iPhone. We were surprised when apps such as Bikini Poker and that iFloat Pen that would slowly undress lovely models to their bathing suits somehow elbowed their way into the app store. But those images still depicted clothed human beings. Sexy panties — not permitted. Farts? A-OK! Remember the iPhone apps golden rule:
"Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."Jeez, that could be almost anything.
Why would you ever want Firefox on your iPhone, with all of its plug-ins, speed, convenience and ease of use, when you can have "the word's fastest browser," Safari? Based on the open-source web browser engine WebKit (that's also on the Palm Pre), Safari works well enough. It must be doing something right -- Safari's the most popular mobile browser in the world. You don't like it? Tough. Anything that competes against it is not going to fly on the iPhone. Opera, Schmopera.
Getting into anti-religious territory is way too controversial for the iPhone, because someone could get offended. You wouldn't want that. Heck, Apple could have a fatwa declared on them. The Christian Nation of Amurrca could rise up, and never buy another iPhone again. Don't you realize people are using iPhones in church every Sunday all over the country? Somebody could get struck by lightning! The video above illustrates one hapless attempt at such sacrilege.
7. Anything running on Flash
Sure, you can watch YouTube videos on the iPhone and iPod touch, but any other implementation of Flash just fizzles. Where is Flash, container of all things video and frontpiece of overwrought websites the world over, on the iPhone? A year ago, when we talked with Flash developers from Adobe, they were saying a special lightweight version of Flash, called Flash Lite, was ready for the iPhone at any time. It's Apple that's holding this up. It seems to always be just around the corner, but then it doesn't happen. Steve Jobs doesn't want Flash? There will be no Flash. You want Flash? Tough. Never say never, though. Maybe someday. We'll be patiently waiting.