Rejected! 10 iPhone apps that didn't make Apple's App Store

A 'throw shoes at Bush' app, a breast-jiggler, a naughty entry from the South Park guys--these are some of the iPhone apps for which Apple unceremoniously denied shelf space.

6. iBoobs


While a bodily function ended up getting approval, a bodily bounce did not. We're talking, of course, about iBoobs--the breast application Mystic Game Development ever created. (You can see a video demo here, if you're into that sort of thing.) The app lets you interactively jiggle a particular part of the female anatomy. Unfortunately, the only thing shaking on Apple's reviewer was his head. The program featured "inappropriate sexual content," Apple said, along with "obscene, pornographic, offensive, or defamatory content."

"Watching an episode of Baywatch on TV shows a lot more than iBoobs," counters MGD Development Director John van der Burg. "Besides that, iBoobs is just a 3-D model and not even real," he says.

Van der Burg's biggest beef was not being able to know in advance if the idea would fly. Had Apple answered his predevelopment inquiries, he says, it would have saved everybody some time.

7. Slasher

The same "offensive content" tag slashed Slasher's chances at App Store success. The simple program was cut from the catalog just one day after it was approved.

"In a word, I was upset," says Josef Wankerl, the app's creator. "I tried contacting Apple to see if there was any way to resolve their concerns, but they never answered my e-mail."

The seeming lack of consistency is what really twists the knife in Wankerl's side: Apps with comparable violence, he notes--such as one in which you use a broken beer bottle as a weapon--have been allowed into the store. Slasher, which only showed an image of a kitchen knife and sounded a scream when you shook it, was not.

8. Murderdrome


Non-kid-friendly content has been a contentious issue for Apple since the App Store's earliest days. Comic creator PJ Holden was one of the first to find this out when his Murderdrome digital comic was deemed too hot for the iPhone.

"Aside from a few random voices suggesting that the material deserved to be banned, most people took the same reasonable view we did," Holden says. "Apple should really extend their ratings system for games onto the other applications that the App Store has."

Holden has since used the engine built for the Murderdrome app to create more family-oriented comic applications. Still, he believes Apple isn't painting a picture of fairness with its current system--and that, he says, may be keeping talented artists from bringing their work into its platform.

"Apple's 'reasonable judgment' seems to depend largely on an individual reviewer's judgment rather than any simple-to-gauge metric," he says.

9. Podcaster


Sometimes, a rejection is issued for a simple reason: Apple doesn't want you competing with its own offerings. That's the exact scenario developer Alex Sokirynsky found himself in with his highly anticipated Podcaster application. Apple told Sokirynsky the app was too similar to iTunes and wasn't welcome on its virtual shelves.

"Although my app does allow you to listen to podcasts like iTunes, it also allows you to download them directly to device, and that is something Apple does not offer," Sokirynsky points out.

Sokirynsky ended up distributing his app to jailbroken phones via a backdoor distribution system. He also created a scaled-down version of the program called RssPlayer that got the App Store green light in late January.

10. Freedom Time


Ever wonder what Steve Jobs would have said about all the recent rebuffing? One developer did, and he decided to ask. Apple put the kibosh on Alec Vance's presidential countdown clock, Freedom Time, before the counting ever kicked off. Inspectors said that the app--designed to tick down the final moments of the outgoing administration--defamed or demeaned political figures.

"Defamation means making an untrue claim about someone in order to hurt their public standing," Vance wrote in a blog posting at the time. "This app makes no untrue claims whatsoever."

Vance went on to e-mail Jobs directly to express his concerns. A day later, he says, he received the following response: "Even though my personal political leanings are Democratic, I think this app will be offensive to roughly half our customers. What's the point?"

Vance got his answer, then, but he's one of many developers who feels it came a little too late. "By the time you get rejected, you've already wasted all the development time and expense," he says, "and there's no recourse to get [the application] accepted."

Propelled by bans of high-profile apps like NetShare and MailWrangler, a movement has been growing within the developer community to persuade Apple to use a more open and transparent application process for new iPhone apps. One programmer has suggested appointing an "App Store evangelist" who would coordinate with developers. Others have asked for a pre-approval process that could provide a tentative "yes" or "no" before any major investments are made.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iphone apps

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?