Ten Apps That Break Apple’s App Store Guidelines

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Apple released its rulebook for what can and can’t exist in the iTunes App Store and, believe it or not, there are plenty of apps already in the store that break multiple rules. Here are just a few.

Nothing: $0.99

mzl.uwcwqghq.320x480-75-240That’s the app. "Nothing." Guess what it does? Nothing. Guess which rule from Apple’s "App Store Review Guidelines" it breaks?

Rule 2..12:

"Apps that are not very useful or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected."

The use of the word "may" might be the key there.

Whatever the case, nothing never hurt anybody (except that this Nothing costs money).

Ringr Roulette for Drunk Dialing: $0.99

mzl.jedtfxnm.320x480-75-240Ringr Roulette encourages drunk dialing. You shake your phone, it spins through a list of your contacts, and dials whomever it lands on.

It potentially breaks two rules.

Rule 2.18:

"Apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances, or encourage minors to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes, will be rejected."

And (possibly) Rule 15.5:

"Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected."


Sexy Touch #: Free

mzl.mifpqtmm.320x480-75-240Nice. This one breaks the pornography rule and seems to break the false advertising rule.

According to the description: "Sexy Touch # is a sexy game where you uncover and discover gorgeous girls only with your finger and your puzzle skills."

Rule 18.1:

"Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster’s Dictionary as ‘explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings’, will be rejected."

See also: Sex Positions Game, Adult Sex Trick, Cosmopolitan’s Sex Position of the Day, Sex Engine App, Playboy, and countless others.

A customer review of the app states that "instead of being rewarded with pictures, all I received was little quotes and other such bull. There are NO pictures in this app anymore and that alone is false advertisement."

Which breaks Rule 2.3:

"Apps that do not perform as advertised by the developer will be rejected."

And just for good measure, Rule 3.6:

"Apps with app icons and screenshots that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected."


Anything with "Lite" in the title

liteThe iTunes App Store is overrun—overrun!—with "lite" apps. Will they ever stop? Yo, I don’t know. But they all seem to be in violation of…

Rule 2.9:

"Apps that are "beta", "demo", "trial", or "test" versions will be rejected."

I’m guessing there’s a reason Apple didn’t add "lite" to the list, since it’d mean wiping out half the App Store. But if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably some sort of water bird.


The Jerky Boys Prank Caller: $1.99


"I’ll bring all my shoes and my glasses with me so I have them." Funny, no?

What’s not funny is that The Jerky Boys Prank Caller is out of bounds, per Apple’s rule sheet.

Rule 22.6:

"Apps that enable anonymous or prank phone calls or SMS/MMS messaging will be rejected."


Opera Mini: Free

mzl.ncthnsfy.320x480-75-240Apple’s had a long history of not allowing alternate web browsers on the iPhone, but it let Opera Mini slide through earlier this year.

Rule 2.17:

"Apps that browse the web must use the iOS WebKit framework and WebKit Javascript."

According to an Opera Mini developers article, "Opera Mini 5 identifies as Opera/9.80" and "JavaScript won’t run client-side… once the page has finished loading."


Battery Box 3-in-1: Free

mzl.tsyeyjkj.320x480-75-240Per the description, "Battery Box 3-in-1 uses an advanced algorithm to efficiently drain your battery quickly and easily."

Granted, the end result is to condition your battery for longer life, but Apple says quick battery drains are a no-no.

Rule 13.2:

"Apps that rapidly drain the device’s battery or generate excessive heat will be rejected."


Call of Duty – Black Ops Preview: $0.99

mzl.zjgyalwm.320x480-75-240There are likely plenty of other apps just like this one that are basically just big advertisements.

It’s possible that this was simply put together by a fan who can’t wait for the game to come out but, hey, he’s charging people for a list of specs and some game trailers.

Rule 2.13:

"Apps that are primarily marketing materials or advertisements will be rejected."


Brothers in Arms 2 – Global Front: $4.99


Looking for some realistic combat? "The stunning graphics and authentic settings are inspired by real life battlefields from WWII and created in detailed 3D," says the description. I’m guessing there’s probably some shooting, stabbing, and maiming involved. That man in the photo appears to be on fire!

Tsk, tsk. Rule 15.1:

"Apps portraying realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured will be rejected."


Widgets Box HD: $9.99


Cool! Widgets on your iPad! It’s almost like Widgets Box HD creates an alternate desktop/home screen environment and simulates a multi-app widget experience. Awww…

Rule 10.4:

"Apps that create alternate desktop/home screen environments or simulate multi-app widget experiences will be rejected."

It also appears to break the no crashing rule, judging by the comments.

Rule 2.1:

"Apps that crash will be rejected."

That’s actually the first rule in the rule book. The Golden Rule of App Store development, as it were.

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