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6/25/2009
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Apple Approves First iPhone Porn App

The "Hottest Girls" app was apparently approved because the iPhone 3.0 software includes age-verification controls for the App Store.

In what appears to be a shift from its strict guidelines, Apple has approved the first App Store program with nudity.

The "Hottest Girls" app shows iPhone and iPod Touch users pictures of scantily clad women, and some of the models are topless. There are many apps in the iPhone store that depict women in various states of undress, but this is the first official program that shows nudity.

In May Apple rejected an iPhone e-reader app because it would have enabled users to download the Kama Sutra. One observer called the move "a vivid demonstration that absurdity knows no bounds."

One of the main reasons the "Hottest Girls" app made it into the store is that the iPhone 3.0 software enables an age-verification process. When a user attempts to download the "Hottest Girls" app, an alert pops up asking if the user is over 17. A user who selects "no," will not be able to install the program. Parents will also have the ability to limit what type of apps their children can download if they share an iTunes account.

In greenlighting the app Apple may be signaling that it is changing its approval process for the App Store. The company has the final say on what gets into the App Store, and this means it has had to make calls on what content is objectionable or not. Some developers have called Apple's vetting unfair or arbitrary, as the company has denied South Park and Nine Inch Nails apps for explicit language. It briefly allowed a baby-shaking program, which stirred up some controversy.

By creating the age-verification process and putting more responsibility on the end user, Apple may be trying to avoid determining what is objectionable content. This could speed the application approval process. The 3.0 software, which enables in-app purchases, peer-to-peer gaming, and a push-notification system could potentially lead to another App Store gold rush. It


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