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Apple gave competing iOS web browsers NC17 ratings

Now this is a delicious story. I’ve written before that I don’t like the app store as a concept, and every so often Apple like to give me another example why app stores are a bad idea.

I awoke this morning to find a tweet waiting for me. A friend had bought the new Skyfire browser for the iPad, and before he downloaded it he had to confirm that he was over 18. Why? Becuase according to Apple, this app has: Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity. It’s a web browser, for crying out loud!

I did some digging, and all the web browsers in iTunes have ridiculous ratings. Opera got an NC17 for: Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes.  Terra was rated NC17 for Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity.

But the really good rating was stuck on the Atomic web browser. I wonder if Apple thought this one was better and decided to respond with a harsher slap? Here’s the warning label on the Atomic web browser:

  • Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes
  • Frequent/Intense Simulated Gambling
  • Frequent/Intense Profanity or Crude Humor
  • Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes
  • Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
  • Frequent/Intense Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
  • Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
  • Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity

I’m going to demonstrate Apple’s hypocrisy in one sentence: Safari didn’t get this rating, and it can access all the same websites.

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Robert December 27, 2010 um 9:30 am

That is awesome!
They should give Safari the same rating since I can surf porn on Safari as well as the other browsers 🙂

Come to think of it, I can read porn on the countless eBook readers also…

Nate the great December 27, 2010 um 9:37 am

I’m waiting for just that, yes.

Nathan December 27, 2010 um 10:03 am

Does apple make you pay for web browsers for the ipad?

If so, that seems like a complete rip-off. The ipad is already at minimum twice the price of the closest android tablet (which there are tons of free browsers for it) to it size wise that I know of, and apparently they like to control what people do and don’t put on the overpriced items in the first place.

So I guess what I am saying, is no thank you to any apple product, because even at those Hi-prices, you are just renting that item from the Apple store , since they try to have such complete control, and this story just goes to prove that even more so.

Maybe that statement is completely unjustified, but it seems to me that the kindle and anything apple is a little to big brothery to me. I also haven’t owned either (and don’t plan too), so maybe I just don’t know what I am talking about.

Scott G. Lewis December 27, 2010 um 1:04 pm

MobileSafari isn’t "rated" anything in the App Store, since it’s not part of the App Store, and is baked into the iOS itself. That said, it’s acknowledged as potentially dangerous, hence it’s inclusion in Parental Controls. Since third party apps AREN’T in Parental Controls, you are warned at download time what you can access with it.

Perhaps it’d make more sense to allow parental controls to control ALL third party apps, but instead, Apple protects it’s offerings (optionally), and warns you with third party apps that can also access such content, giving the parent a chance to decline installation.

It’s not a judgment on the app, but rather, an apropos warning on what the app can allow your minor to access. If your minor doesn’t use your iOS device and you are paying any attention at all to the warning, you are mistaking it’s purpose.

Scott G. Lewis December 27, 2010 um 1:06 pm

Also, Nathan, no, Apple doesn’t "make you pay for web browsers". You get theirs for free. The app store has many, many web browser offerings. Whether a third party developer offers an app for free, or for pay, is really, up to that author.

Nathan December 27, 2010 um 5:51 pm

I didn’t know, but I do know that the one mentioned in the post that the person purchased is free for android. So I was wondering if they were trying to solely get people to use their browser.
Also, I want to make a point that I am not fully sold on Android as an operating system, I am new to Android and isn’t horrible so far, but it isn’t great either.

So I am not just trying to pick on the Apple Os, as about the only good thing I can say about Apple in general is they make a pretty stable operating system. Granted I find the way the company acts pretty unsavory, the OS is much more reliable (at least when I still had apple products) than any other OS I had used.

Todd December 27, 2010 um 1:27 pm

"Safari didn’t get this rating, and it can access all the same websites."

How do you know the rating for Safari? It isn’t in the App Store at all. For all we know, Safari would get an 17+rating if it were in the App Store.

Ron December 29, 2010 um 1:09 pm

Who do they have testing these browser apps? When I use a browser I do not frequently see sexually intense content.

Todd R. Levy December 31, 2010 um 7:44 pm

Why are app stores bad?

I am Todd R. Levy and my company, BloomWorlds, is developing Android’s family friendly app store, to help Android parents discover safe, secure, and appropriate apps for their children by utilization our vetted submission process.

We help developers market/distribute their apps, and users discover/buy apps.

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