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Mobile App Stores Need Revamping

Posted by GNC at 2:12 PM on May 11, 2009

Closed, proprietary application stores for the mobile operating systems need to change.  Because my experience is with Apple, it will suffice as the example.  All mobile OS systems and companies should take note.  The Apple App Store recently hit the 1 Billion download mark.    Apple has taken great criticism for the closed nature of their store.  They reject apps that may be competitive with their own, frivolous, or objectionable.  Sometimes they recant, sometimes they do not.  Recently they took the wrath of Nine Inch Nails for rejecting the second version of their application.  Apple rejected it because of the offensive material the application could stream.  In response to the criticism, Cupertino hinted that after the release of software 3.0 they may accept the application.  Instead they caved to the pressure and accepted it a few days later.

I am very conservative in my personal  listening and viewing choices.  I have all the filters set to max on my computer, and use my iPod Touch to browse only to sites that I know are family friendly.  So for my preferences I appreciate the values Apple has attempted to follow in the app store so far.  And yet I want more.  I want apple to unlock the software possibilities so a 3rd party can create a content filter for my iPod web browser.  I want to follow my values and beliefs.  Believe it or not that is not just a rabbit trail or rant.

A closed, singular, marketplace cannot be what it needs to be.  Every company must follow a set of values and principles.  Apple cannot be all things to all people.  Reality check.  If Apple opens up the app store to any application regardless of content then it will lose most all of my casual shopping.  I already carefully craft the way I purchase music online in order to protect myself.   I will not go browse a store that can suddenly place something before me I do not want to see.  I want a place where I can browse family friendly.  I’m not sure that a closed marketplace ever can.  Could Apple and the others do more to offer truly safe browsing options?  Couldn’t they, at the very least, make the opening page of their stores family friendly?  I want a kids app store, an office app store, a sports app store . . . a thousand stores.  Listen carefully Apple, Google, RIM.  If not, a jailbreak may be in my future.

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