back to article iPhone App Store bars mention of Google Android

Apple has told a tiny mobile software developer that its application cannot be included in the iPhone App Store if it mentions Google Android. Flash of Genius offers a mobile app aimed at students preparing for their college entrance exams. "Flash of Genius: SAT Vocab" debuted on the iPhone, and at the end of last year, a …


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  1. Richard Boyce

    How very silly

    I wonder how many companies are now planning to advertise their app by gaming Apple into rejecting it temporarily, and then informing the media.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      I was thinking exactly the same. There were a few stories already, they knew damn well that they'll reject it (whatever that means).

      1. Richard 120


        Why do you think they'd reject it?

        If something's nominated for an award then it's worth advertising the fact.

        Let's take a game for example, it gets a nomination or an award in a trade publication. They include that fact on the box, do other trade publications stop reviewing the game?

        This is typical of Apple though, more anticompetitive than any other company I can think of, except maybe one.

  2. LinkOfHyrule


    Is Apple some sort of cult? Denying the existence of ones family members is often something done in real cults. Looks like Apple is running some sort of app cult! "You must not mention anyone or anything outside the family of Apple wa-ha-ha!"

    I bet saying that p*sses off a few fanbois! Don't be p*ssed off! Go seek help to escape the cult before its too late!

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    Yes, we have an app for that.

  4. Gulfie

    App Store turns into School Playground

    Petty and needless - Apple's actions, that is - like kids in a school playground. Time to grow up. And I have no problem with the actions of the developers here, they have a very good product, why should they not publicise their awards?

  5. Andy 40
    Jobs Horns

    and this is why I will never buy an iPhone

    ...because Apple has complete control over its App Store and it has complete power to decide whats allowed on MY phone and whats not.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Apple are getting a bit petty now. Why don't they just state that all apps must be have a white colour scheme and show the apple logo at all times. Opps, forgot, using an Apple icon is against the rules too!

  7. JBH
    Jobs Horns

    Who the hell do they think they are?

    This is why I'll never develop for the app store.

    Why, they make Google look positively saintly!

  8. Jimmy Floyd
    Jobs Horns

    Hail Steve, Supreme Comrade

    Am I the only one who feels a familiar sense of Soviet restrictiveness about the control Apple exerts on ... well, the world. Naturally if you don't remember the USSR this won't apply but the usual justification that "contradicting the party is to contradict the country" seems to have made a bizarre return.

    "Yes, Apple is restrictive," cry the fanbois. "But it's necessary to keep the products so erectile-inducingly fabulous!"

    The Soviets believed they had the best country in the world, as the North Koreans do now. Not that I'm comparing Kim Jong Il to Steve Jobs, of course. Steve Jobs wouldn't tolerate a puppet version of himself, for a start...

  9. Nathan 13
    Thumb Down

    Reminds me why I will never own an Apple product.

    My mate has an iphone and its lovely kit, better than my phone by miles, but I will not be "controlled" by Apple or anyone else telling me what I can and cant have on my, yes MY phone.

  10. DR

    am I the only one...

    who just doesn't care?

    one would assume that if I had an iphone, I probably would be using that iphone, and if I were downloading iphone apps from the iphone app store, that the fact that the application had ports on a different phone, running a different platform in a different store that I couldn't access, and even if I could somehow access these apps I couldn't even run them...

    I don't see anything wrong with apple wanting to keep the descriptions for apps clear and concise. in fact I wish that they were even more strict. about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Makes a kind of sense

      until you consider that you care enough to post. So you do care. You just don't care about being fitted with blinkers.

  11. DZ-Jay


    I think the article misses the point. I don't think it's a personal statement from Jobs against Google; I believe it's just as the rejection notice says: that mentioning an app's qualifications on another platform has no relevance to the description of its functionality. And I agree.

    I would imagine Apple reacting in the same way if the app's description said something like "Works great in Linux too!" or even "Soon to be available for Windows 7." How does that help users determine if the app will work for them?


    1. DrunkenMessiah

      Re: Absurd

      Well maybe it doesn't exactly tell users that the app will work for them, but what it does do is let people know that it's a quality app that's been appreciated not just on one platform but two, three etc. That tells the user that the developer is serious about this app and that it has a good following on the wider market. What's the problem with that? It's not like someone's going to see the description and say, "Oh damn, this app is available on Android too, now I can ditch my iPhone."

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      "finalist in Google’s Android Developer Challenge"

      "finalist in Google’s Android Developer Challenge".

      Not "runs well in Android". "finalist in [a] Developper Challenge". The "Google Android" part hardly matters, only they have to include it because "finalist in a big-ass Developper Challenge, but we cannot tell you which one because Steve Jobs doesn't like the hosting company" sounds a bit silly don't you think? Actually it's on par with Apple's silliness on this case, so they might as well have tried the latter. They would probably have been banned for life from even looking at an Apple product again though.

  12. Bryan Anderson

    At least they keep the quality up....

    I have a T-Mobile G2 (HTC Hero) running 1.5 Android and wish that Google would take some lessons from Apple with their Market. Yes, Apple may have a little too much control over what goes on the App Store, but at least you know that what IS on there is generally finished, polished and will work on all iPhones.

    Android Market is full of unfinished crap, 100's of apps that are the same (soundboards, wallpaper collections, etc) and almost totally impossible to search or filter thanks ro Google's complete disregard for the end-user or the app developers.

  13. paulf

    I can't see whats wrong?

    Just change the App's description. Not that much of a problem. Steve.

    1. NoCo37

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      Read this before downranking paulf.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, We've all seen it...

        And yes, everyone knows Jobs can be a cock. But then again EVERYONE can be a cock (obviously excluding yours truly)! Well done for pointing out that Jobs can be a bit of a cock. Cock.

  14. Andy Christ
    Jobs Halo

    So What?

    I think this is a very reasonable move on Apple's part. I mean, not only would info on an Android port be irrelevant, it could also be confusing /disconcerting. Just like if you were on a regular Mac and you saw some application listed on MacUpdate, and it bragged about winning some award on Windows. Yikes!

  15. Randombard

    We should be allowd to do what we want with the product we own

    there is a petition against hardware manufacturers having control over what we can do with the product after we own it.

    its on

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Two Short Planks

      Dear Number Ten, I purchased this product so that I could communicate with people, listen to my music, and also download some cool apps that I saw on the telly.

      Whilst I can do all that, I feel vaguely dissatisfied because I am told that I am being held hostage by not being allowed to do stuff that I was not told that I would be able to do.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Four By Two

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Goddammit, I want to be able to store my knives in people's necks. It's my hardware after all - I should be able to do with it what I want!

      On a more serious note, you are asking the government to force companies to not artificially restrict the utility of their own products. Their answer will be swift and simple: stop buying things that you know don't do what you want.

  16. h 6
    Jobs Halo

    irrelevant platform information

    "irrelevant platform information"

    Ha! I like it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @irrelevant platform information

      Yes, Apple has always been in that category.

  17. Carter Cole

    woohoo competition

    man what a great company...

  18. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Up

    I love it!

    "Apple soon sent an email telling the startup that the description contained "inappropriate or irrelevant platform information."

    Such a refreshing change. It reminds me of the good old days when the rules were whatever the boss said rather than 'company policy' or procedure. I really like this from Apple, and hope it is the beginning of the end for preceduralisation and 'by the book thinking'.

  19. Richard Penna

    Just say it like it is Apple

    "Providing future platform compatibility plans or other general platform references are not relevant in the context of the iPhone App Store,"

    Quit f*cking around with words Steve, just say what you mean - you don't want anyone to notice there are products made by other companies. You're God. We get it.

    And yes, I think it's relevant - the mention means it's a good app that people will want to buy.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... it's called marketing and business ...

    Love it or Loath it, this is just marketing 101.

    Apple need to give the perception that their platform is the only one worth using or in fact, the only one you need.

    If an application mentions the product is available on another platform, that message is lost.

    Reality check folks - Apple is as much about money and control as it is about innovation and design. They are NOT a smiley happy bunch of open source hippies.

    It's their marketplace, it's their shop front - they call the shots - if you don't like it, pack up your wares and sell them in another marketplace. Apple have never pretended to be any different (unlike Google)

    Nice? No, it's not nice, it's ruthless, but this is business and it's ALWAYS been this way, since time immemorial.

    You and I may cry foul. Some of us may vow to shun Apple. Apple don't care, because 99.9% of punters will never hear about Apples tactics and if they did, they won't understand, or care, or will just shrug and say "that's business"

    Remember - it's all about choice - nobody is holding a gun to anyone's head.

    When you submit your Application to Apples store, you do so understanding there's a hefty barrier of T&C's to wade through and one of those terms is bound to say "we can change these T&C's without notice"

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple? Google? Microsoft?

    Pfft... I have a Palm Pre!

  22. sleepy

    Please note . . .

    This is Apple's store (like Tesco). Apple's not objecting to the same App being sold elsewhere, with the same name, or winning prizes elsewhere, they're just saying "stay on topic in our iPhone App store with your merchandising materials".

    Just like Tesco saying "sell as many packets of Macvities digestive as you like at Sainsbury's, but please don't place merchandising materials in Tesco stores that say how good your digestives are when bought from Sainsbury's."

    Part of the problem is that people are bringing platform presumptions across from the PC market (instead of, for example, the games console market or traditional retailing), and part of the problem is that no other company has made the sustained commitment required to replicate Apple's setup. It's like a Tesco with no Sainsbury's, Asda or Morrisons to compare against. The most obvious candidates with the appropriate resources were Microsoft and Nokia, but (a) they don't get it and (b) they don't sustain any initiative for long enough to be trusted and (c) they are actually greedier than Apple with their attempts at content distribution and lazier in fighting the consumer's corner against big content publishers.

    Apple must be constantly dumbfounded by the incompetence of their competition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What Utter Bullshit

      Apple IS objecting to the same app being sold elsewhere...because you CAN'T buy it elsewhere.

      The fact is that the supermarkets acknowledge each others existance and that, even in their own adverts, they admit that some of their competitors stock is cheap.

      Does this mean that you can't have, for example, a software review app on the app store that doesn't rate Apple as the top? Hitlar used to do that as well...

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Tin Foil hate

    Steve Jobs must have a tin foil hat to avoid all those sources of "inappropriate or irrelevant platform information." It's clear he's on a planet of his f*cking own.

  24. OrsonX
    Jobs Halo

    And in other censorship news...

    Engadget comments bars mention of ANYTHING negative about Apple.

    Halo Jobs, because I have to.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    If Microsoft had done this...

    If Microsoft had done something like this, everyone would be in agonized hysterics, but since it's Apple...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It may of escaped your myopic notice...

      at least half of the post are "in agonized hysterics"! "If Microsoft had done something like this..." Could you think of a less hackneyed meme next time? Is there a "Godwin's Law" equivalent for this? I propose a unilateral ban on phrases like; "If Microsoft had done something like this..." or "Cue the double standards" or "Cue legions of fanboi/ys" or "It's a [insert product] killer". They are fucking unimaginative and retarded.

  26. Ramazan

    irrelevant platforms

    Asassin's Creed app - no mention of PC platform

    NFS: Undercoiver app - no mention of PC either

    GTA: Chinatown Wars app - no mention of PS(2? 3? oh, whatever) console

    Frogger - no mention of Atari

    The! Flash! of! Genius! - Finalist! in! Camelstan/Mukhosransk/insert/your/favourite/here! Developer’s! Challenge!

  27. DrJaymansLoveCookie

    And lo, the Lord Jobs did say...

    1. You shall have no other platforms before mine.

  28. David 34

    It's annoying -- but try it in Tesco!

    I think we need to chillax a bit and look at how this would operate in a bricks n' mortar shop.

    If you were shopping at Tesco do you think that they'd take kindly to a product that said "Ariel selected by Sainsbury's as washing powder of the year 2010"

    Or, for a US equivalent ... shopping at Wal-Mart and you get "Tide, more Costco shoppers love us!"

    It's tough, but that's just the reality of retail, e-tail really no different.

    A supermarket would be threatening to delist any product that did that too.

  29. blackworx
    Jobs Horns

    Paging Jim Jones

    That is all

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