April 23, 2009

Apple Strangles Baby Shaker App In Crib

Apple just wanted the screaming to stop, is that so wrong?

The iPhone review site Krapps.com set off a media tweetstorm yesterday when it publicized Baby Shaker, an iPhone app where a baby cries until you shake it real hard. [see a demo above].

Now Apple has removed the Baby Shaker app from the App Store, but nerds are still up in arms over the screwed up App Store approval process that let a child abuse simulator in in the first place.

I finally got an iPod Touch this week because I've been hearing about new apps this and new apps that, but so far the iTunes App Store seems like a confusing train wreck that reminds me of all the stuff I don't want to have at my fingertips 24/7.

UPDATE: OK, does it matter at all that this Baby Shaker app controversy flared during Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week? Or that the source cited by CNET is the communications director for an SBS non-profit and an affiliate of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, which sponsors the Awareness Week?

I had my revulsion earlier, so I'll be honest: the first thing I thought when I saw the app demo above was, "a couple of line drawings and some pop-up X's? That's a pretty slapdash app."

The NY Times reports that the app went on sale on Monday, and that "the issue [of the app] was raised by The Sarah Jane Brain Project," another SBS awareness organization. If releasing an amateurishly controversial iPhone App is the Twitter Generation's idea of a publicity stunt, it's working. Someone just twitted hearing about Baby Shaker on Howard Stern.

update update: No, I think it was a coincidence, and if there's any connection to SBS Awareness Week, it's only because the SBS advocacy groups took immediate, public action to have the app removed. I spoke to several people familiar with the App Store launching process who say it's "virtually impossible" to time the appearance of an app. And I also spoke to Alex at Krapps, who first reported the app's existence; he was not tipped off by anyone; he found it himself because he looks at every single app released every night. Amazing. Anyway, PR coup, no PR stunt.

Krapps.com's original review of Sikalosoft's Baby Shaker app [krapps.com via cnet, thanks dt reader jan]
Krapps.com's update, with timeline of Apple's response [krapps.com]

1 Comment

That makes my heart hurt.

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