All Things Upwork

Developing an iPhone App?  Here’s what not to do:


1. Baby Shaker

Without a doubt, it may be the most tasteless, most ban-worthy banned iPhone app of all time. It involved a badly drawn crying infant, a lot of shaking, and (eventually) a quiet–but mostly dead–little tike. Tech Crunch’s MG Siegler called it horrifying and eventually Apple did too.

2. I Am Rich

It didn’t last, but German developer Armin Heinrich did get 8 buyers before Apple shut down his $999.99 application, which was nothing more than a shiny red gem glimmering in the middle of your iPhone screen.  The pricey app would, Heinrich proposed, prove to all your friends that you really are that rich. And stupid.

3. Podcaster

Alex Sokirynsky’s podcast application was banned by iPhone, not for being obscene or otherwise offensive, but for seeming a little too much like competition–i.e. Podcasts on iTunes.  Sokirynsky’s iPhone version of Podcaster allows users to download podcasts via Wi-Fi or EDGE. (Read a defense of Apple’s decision here.) Sokirynsky–with a lot of techies rooting for him–has found a way around the ban though, by sending potential buyers here.

4. NetShare

Before it was unceremoniously banned, a tethering application called NetShare from Nullriver allowed iPhone users’ 3G access to extend to their laptops and get them on line. This ban can’t be blamed entirely on Apple, however. It was all about AT&T, money and territory.

5. iBoobs

Well, folks, it was exactly what it’s name implied, and demonstrations are still available. These almost life-like boobies/breasts/hooters would jiggle just for fun, until Apple gave them a proper bra and sent them home. Since iBoobs’ banning, an app called Wobble has allowed users to simulate an almost identical scenario on real pictures, however Apple has been up in Wobble’s grill since day one. Its jiggling days may also be numbered.

6. SlingPlayer

Using your 3G iPhone to get television from your SlingBox would be uber-convenient. However, AT&T was ultimately terrified of the bandwidth, congestion, etc. that could have resulted when untold masses tried to watch television on their iPhones at the same time via 3G. For now, its 3G banning is a bummer, but the Wi-Fi use is still available.


7. Murderdrome

One of the oddest iPhone app bannings was that of Murderdrome, a graphic novel app from Infurious. The banning was due to the content of the specific Murderdrome series, however the app itself would’ve allowed other–less offensive–Infurious graphic novel releases via iPhone. Never fear, in the end Infurious got their app back in the store for a different comic: EyeCandy.

8. Prohibition 2: Dope Wars

This iPhone game from Hardy Macia at Catamount Software had all the drug fun that made John E. Dell’s ’80s version (Drug Wars) such an addictive–no pun intended–success. Apple didn’t see the irony or the fun, so Macia had to go with a candy prohibition game instead.


9. Obama Trampoline

Swamiware was simply not ready to back down when its iPhone app was banned due to cartoon graphics of politicians jumping up and down on a trampoline in the Oval Office. So, they stuck to their guns … sort of. You can now get the app from the iPhone store, but you’ll have to play it with paper bags over the politicians’ heads. (Let’s face it, Apple, we all know who’s in the tight red skirt.)

10. Freedom Time

This last app–banned for reasons similar to #9–makes the list for one reason and one reason only: Steve Jobs himself took the time to give creators Alec Vance and Court Batson a response. This app was meant to give those anxious to get Bush out of office a fun way to count the days in 2008; but in the end, even Democrat-leaning Steve Jobs didn’t see the point in firing up the potential controversy.

Tamara Rice

Freelance Writer and Editor

Tamara Rice is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. She joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, after more than six years on staff at an award-winning national magazine.