Apple asks developer to remove Android mention from App Store

Apple has asked one mobile app developer to refrain from mentioning Google's Android mobile operating system in its iTunes App store descriptions, or face rejection.

The description of the 99¢ "Flash of Genius" flash card app included the text: "Finalist in Google's Android Developer's Challenge!"

Apple contacted Flash of Genius, LLC and asked it to change the description.

"During our review of your application, we found that your application contains inappropriate or irrelevant platform information in the Application Description and/or Release Notes sections," the message from Apple said.

"Providing future platform compatibility plans or other general platform references are not relevant in the context of the iPhone App Store. While your application has not been rejected, it would be appropriate to remove 'Finalist in Google's Android Developer's Challenge!' from the Application Description," Apple's review team said. (The entire message can be found in Flash of Genius blog.)

Flash of Genius' Tim Novikoff willingly changed the description and said, "I suppose it's logical, and I'm not complaining; Apple is a wonderful company to work with."

Silicon Alley Insider's Jay Yarow agreed with the sentiment today, "It sounds harsh, but makes sense. It doesn't matter if it's a great Android application, this is a different platform."

But is it logical?

Yes, the Android Developer Challenge concerns a different platform, but the nomination still carries weight as an honorific. When an actor is nominated for an Oscar, don't we frequently hear that the actor is an "X-time nominee?" Those nominations were for different roles, so it has no impact on the current nomination, but it speaks to the overall quality of the performer. This is a similar case. The Android platform is different, but when a product excels somewhere, it is worthwhile to let potential buyers know.

For example, on the back of the box of the PlayStation 3 version of Bethesda Softworks' Fallout 3, it says "Best of E3 2008 Winner" for Best RPG. When it got this award, the game did not even exist on PlayStation 3 yet...it was shown on an Xbox 360. Now, it would have been closer to the Flash of Genius situation if "Best Xbox 360 RPG," was printed on the game box, but ultimately, an award is an award and helps the customer actualize the quality of a product.

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