Breaking down the walls of the Apple garden

app-store-25-billion-apps-tiff-e1340742295667My eyes are protected from viewing bad things when it comes to apps I can download onto my iPhone. Apple has a strict process in place to review apps before they can become available to the public via the App Store.

This is enforced by a walled garden, which could be considered a term used to describe the entire Apple iOS (operating system). A walled garden is another term for a closed platform where a service provider has control over the content, media, apps etc. I personally would like to delete the ‘stocks’ app, alas I can’t, thank you Apple for filling up my phone with an app I will never use.

For the most part, I choose what I want to view. I watch scary movies and confronting scenes whether it is be in the news or a television show. Unless something is classified as illegal, we have options for ourselves in regards to what we watch. So where does Apple stand when it comes to user choice? With the Apple iOS, apps which feature content that may be considered risky or inappropriate for users, are said to be rejected from the app store process.

With that being said, Apple came under fire in 2010 for the approval of an anti-gay’ app, which promoted homophobic behaviours. How did an app with such questionable morals slip through the cracks? The scary part was that it had been given a rating of 4+, which means it contained ‘no objectionable content’. Sorry, what? Luckily it was taken down shortly after.

So where does this leave the censorship and control of apps and the internet, Apple obviously have the system in place for users to have comfort in knowing they are downloading quality apps. Where do we draw the line between threatening or offensive and freedom? Some may argue that the anti-gay app should have been allowed, whereas I am glad it was taken down.

Trapping consumers into this walled garden results in restricted innovation. Highly respected online publications are continuously discussing Apple’s walled garden, with mostly disbelief. The Internet was founded on innovation, so when will the information be set free?


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