Friday, 16 April 2010

Apple is afraid of competition

     Apparently "Android" is a four-letter word in Cupertino. The flash card app Flash of Genius was a finalist in Google's Android Developer Challenge, and the developers thought that was worth mentioning in the description of the iPhone version of their app. Apple didn't agree, and sent the developers an email asking them to remove the Android line from their app description, under threat of an "interruption" in Flash of Genius' availability on the app store.

      I like Apple, but does anyone else think this seems a bit like a movie gangster cliché? It's just shy of showing up in a dark pinstripe suit, carrying a baseball bat and saying "It would be a shame if anything happened to your ... availability in the app store." There's no official ban on mentioning Android, as far as we know, so the email said that the description "contains inappropriate or irrelevant information." Apple mentioned the Android award specifically, though, without referring to Flash of Genius' other boasts about mentions in books and newspapers.

     What's the deal, Apple? Is this a one-time fluke that deserves an apology, or are we going to see all Android mentions consistently removed in the future? For Flash of Genius' part, they're contacting Apple to find out if there's any acceptable way to mention their award without getting their app booted from the store.