I just don't know what to make of Apple anymore. I've always had an enormous amount of respect for them as a company, there's no doubt that they are one of the most innovative names in the tech industry. Apple's recent enormous success has just gone to further prove that they're an incredibly well-managed company with some of the best engineers in the world.
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And yet, I fear that Apple's recent victories may have driven them to the brink of madness. In recent months they've killed Google Voice for the iPhone, along with several other applications. Apple seems increasingly obsessed with becoming a mini-Microsoft and gaining complete and utter control of every facet of their media empire. I suppose I can understand them not wanting to allow anyone to release apps that compete with ones built by Apple, but that doesn't explain what they did to Ninjawords.
This 'Daring Fireball' blog entry details the whole messy situation. To sum it up simply, Apple has censored an English dictionary. Words that don't raise any eyebrows when they are included in dictionaries in schools across America, the Bible, or even other Dictionary apps on the iPhone were apparently raunchy enough to deny the Ninjawords dictionary admission into the app store. They had to censor quite a few definitions from their app in order to qualify as a '17+' app.
We're not just talking about explicit curse words like 'shit' either. Terms that have innocuous as well as lewd meanings, including 'snatch', 'ass', and 'screw' have also been cut out. There is absolutely no justification for behavior like this from Apple. They aren't protecting the children or themselves from legal action. This is an example of a power trip, pure and simple. My only hope is that this whole debacle is the fault of one crazy, prudish employee and not a sign of some malignant insanity that's begun to infect one of the finest tech companies in the world.