Apple has landed in hot water with children's groups and angry parents after temporarily approving the Baby Shaker game in the iPhone App Store on Monday. Under pressure and criticism, Apple has now removed the application from its store.
The Baby Shaker iPhone app, developed by Sikalosoft, featured multiple drawings of a baby. The player had to stop the baby from crying by shaking the phone until red X marks showed up over the baby's eyes. Baby Shaker reportedly appeared in the App Store on Monday and cost 99 cents. The app was later removed on Wednesday night.
Child advocates were at the core of the app's removal, claiming the Baby Shaker game is saying that killing babies is acceptable. Apple caved in to requests to remove the app from its store. But the surprising thing is that Apple actually allowed this app to make it in the AppStore, while other less offending apps have been previously banned -- see South Park and many more.
However, there is another side to this story. Although Apple has been very strict in the past with what kind of applications make it into its App Store, the approval of Baby Shaker -- just black humor in some people's views, could be seen as a relaxation in those strict rules. But the app's removal might signal that these relaxed standards are not in the company's best interest.
Still, would we want Apple to be able to dictate which apps are ethical or too offensive for the public? In comparison, the iTunes Music Store sells music with both sexual content and strong language; of course, with a system in place for parents to control what their children can buy. Maybe a similar system for the App Store could be a good idea, and we would be able to judge for ourselves what is offensive and what is just sick humor . . .
Apple's App Store success has inspired other manufacturers and developers like Research In Motion, Nokia, Microsoft and Google to release their own version of the store. Meanwhile Apple's store is counting down to 1 billion application downloads.
And for the curious ones out there, here's a video of how Baby Shaker works:
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