Someone at Apple really does need to take a closer look at how they choose the people who work as iPhone application approvers, either that or take a chainsaw to the approval process guidelines and start again but when sober this time.
Look, much has been written about the madness that is iPhone app approval. Remember the fuss about a bouncing Barack Obama or the South Park application which were banned in case they offended anyone, for example?
While these examples are enough to make you wonder if the app testers jump and scream when confronted by their own shadow, the strange case of Eucalyptus really does suggest they get someone to go through the daily newspaper with a magic marker to remove anything vaguely worrying before reading it each morning, such a state of permanent nervousness they must be in. Eucalyptus is an ebook reader app, pretty harmless you might think. Surely it would fly through the approval process as long as it actually worked according to the Apple developer guidelines? It did, work that is not get approval.
Why did this ebook reader client not get approval? Well according to reports it was because it could be used to view pornographic material. Not that it contained any porn, you understand, but because one of the ebooks you could download and view with it was the Kama Sutra. The client itself comes with no content, but it can download titles from the 100,000 strong Project Gutenberg database. And it was there that the Kama Sutra was to be found. Not that this stopped Apple, which requested the developer remove it from the downloadable content list, in desperation he added a filter to block users searching for it. Apple then presumably found someone wearing long trousers and who can be trusted with sharp objects and be app was approved.
Mind you, not all iPhone app approvers are easily offended, some are just a sandwich short of a picnic. Take the twit who thought that the shake a baby to death app was fine until the media got hold of the story and Apple changed its mind.
C'mon Apple, isn't it about time you got this process sorted? It really isn't rocker science after all.