Apple maintaining app blacklist for the iPhone?

By Justin Mann on August 6, 2008, 8:45 PM
While originally more draconian rules were planned for the iPhone's App Store, the current rules seem to be friendly enough that the store is becoming fairly populated with content. However, according to a recent report, Apple still has buried inside the iPhone the ability to blacklist any application they choose, including the ability to "deauthorize" already-installed programs on people's phones.

On the surface it would seem the idea would be to prevent a malicious program from terrorizing the devices. But what would happen if things go sour between Apple and an iPhone app developer, Apple may decide to pull the plug on them, both at the store and on people's individual phones. According to the author of iPhone Forensics, the iPhone “phones home” to retrieve a list of blacklist applications.

Removing a given application from the store is quite understandable and should be left at Apple's discretion, but the other possibility not at all. Also given the amount of publicity that such a move would draw I don't see it as likely, but some people are protesting its mere existence - if the report is true.

User Comments: 6

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nirkon said:
I think its rather shameful that they can 'deactivate' any software they wish on user's iphones...
nazartp said:
Just added another entry to my Big Book of Grudges against Apple.
kingdingdong said:
wth apple. why dont you give everyone another reason to hate you. jeez.
Counsel said:
Anyone besides me waiting for NetShare to disappear from their iPhone? Anyone know if anything is on this list?
siiix said:
one more reason i just wait for the cheaper and more user friendly Chinese knockoffs, i would never buy anything big brand name as far as digital electronics
Randy Singer said:
[b]Originally posted by nirkon:[/b][quote]I think its rather shameful that they can 'deactivate' any software they wish on user's iphones...[/quote]This article, and the associated comments, are ludicrous. Apple has no interest in "blacklisting" applications from developers that they don't like, or being big brother.This is very similar to a feature in OS X's Dashboard. For both Dashboard (which enables the use of widgets) and the iPhone, Apple wanted to make the process of installing third party applications quick and easy for users. The problem was that this also made it easy for sociopaths to sneak in malware. Apple solved the problem, unobtrusively and without added cost for the user, by making it possible for Apple to remove malicious software from all user's computers once identified.So, you can think of this as a "feature." That is, it is sort of an anti-virus scheme.Note that Google's Android has the same exact feature. (And that TechSpot didn't posit any conspiracies concerning Google when reporting about the same feature in Android.)
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