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Apple rejects app that reveals unmanned drone attacks

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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Apple rejects app that reveals unmanned drone attacks
Three times in one month, developer Josh Begley has tried to get Apple to include his Drones+ app in the App Store and each time he has been, well, shot down. The app shows a map of drone strikes and also sends out a notification each time one of the unmanned drones used by the U.S. military exterminates a bad guy in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Apple's latest rejection letter characterizes the app as being "objectionable and crude." That is just the latest reason given by Cupertino for rejecting Drones+. First, Apple called the app "not useful" and the second rejection was based on a hidden corporate logo.
For those worried about the content of the app, there are no pictures of the remains of a target, with a body smoldering in the desert. All Drones+ shows is a map with pointers showing the location of strikes. And the information is public knowledge as it comes from the U.K.’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Clicking on one the pointers reveals information about the strike, including who the media believed was the target of the strike. At the same time, a notification is sent to your phone to alert you of the drone strike.

This mock-up shows the push notification used in Drones+
Begley, who is a student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, originally submitted a barebones version of the app in July. On July 23rd, Apple told him in an email, "The features and/or content of your app were not useful or entertaining enough, or your app did not appeal to a broad enough audience." That led the developer to believe that it was the way he presented the information that was the problem. However, after his latest attempt to get his work included in the App Store failed, it appeared that it really was the content that bothered Apple after all. "We found that your app contains content that many audiences would find objectionable, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines," read the August 27th rejection email from Cupertino.

You would think that three rejection slips inside of a month would wear down the developer and just force him to give up. Begley's goal was to get iOS users more interested in what is going on overseas, and after all, there are many news apps in the App Store where you can read about the latest drone strike. But Begley also has another option. He's seriously thinking of submitting the app to the Google Play Store.

source: Wired via Gizmodo

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