Baby Shaker: App Store Mistake of the Week

I've been an iPhone owner for 2 1/2 weeks. I love it, and I don't even miss my Samsung Epix, which sits on my desk with the battery removed. Prior to my iPhone, I had an iPod Touch for over a year. My wife now has the iPod Touch. I spent the $10 to upgrade to the 2.0 firmware last summer, and joined the ranks of the App Store. I've written my own criticism over what I consider the silliness of other platforms jumping on the app store concept, especially when those other platforms have always had a more open development model.

I don't mind the Apple App Store. It has some difficulties, for sure, but for the most part it works as intended. That said, there are some flaws built into the system. Every now and again, something slips through, while perfectly legitimate applications sit in limbo. Remember "I Am Rich" last year? I honestly had no problem with I Am Rich. I happily downloaded the freeware Windows Mobile port when it was available.

Recently, a fairly disturbing game slipped through called "Baby Shaker". I'm not going to comment on the game. I'll just say it's not in any of the application genres that I would be likely to use. It's an interesting use of the iPhone's accelerometer, but still disturbing. The game was pulled within hours of release, and the developer apparently has no other apps listed in the App Store.

The thing is, it leaves us wondering, how does Baby Shaker slip through with apparent ease, when a bug fix to Pocket Informant takes weeks to get through, or when other applications get kicked back for obscure reasons? Other applications, like Sling Player and Hulu languish in the approval process.

I'd like to give Apple the benefit of the doubt here. The App Store is a fairly new concept, and maybe they're just fleshing it out. I don't think the concept is fundamentally flawed, at least, no more flawed than any process with people making decisions can be.

Still, I have to wonder again, why Baby Shaker gets through and a bug fix to Pocket Informant doesn't.


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