Guns on the AppStore

Last week Apple suddenly didn't want guns on the AppStore, it was rather widely talked about.

It was quite a surprise for a lot of people, but it was really just a case of Apple enforcing a rule that is in no way new.

Apps with App icons, screenshots, and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected.

I'd argue it's a silly rule, I see the point of it, but I think it's silly. It'd be better to use the age in the users account to determine if they can view the app or simply prompt for for confirmation that they're over a certain age just like when you install an age restricted app like web browser.

One of the apps hit by the sudden enforcement of this rule last week was a game called Tempo. I don't know if it was featured on the AppStore last week but it is this week. Look at the screenshots and even the video and you'll find that they had to pixelate out all guns.

Tempo Screenshot 1

Tempo Screenshot 2

But that's all fine. The rule isn't new, can you really complain? Hmm, I wonder what else is featured on the AppStore this week. World Zombination, sounds interesting let's have a look.

World Zombination Screenshot 1

World Zombination Screenshot 2

Those guns don't look pixelated do they? The characters holding them are even aiming, ready to fire. In the Tempo screenshots the characters are merely holding the guns. Did someone just no see the guns in the screenshots for World Zombination? Both of these games are feature on the front page of the AppStore in the big banners so I somehow doubt no one looked at the screenshots.

Apple are of course free to have whatever rules they like on their AppStore, it's their store, but I don't think it's too much to ask for the rules to be consistently enforced. Inconsistent enforcement of AppStore rules isn't exactly new, that doesn't mean we shouldn't point it out. Apple need to step up their game with the AppStore and start working out some of the issues, this one should be fairly simply to get right.