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Apple To Allow Explicit Content After All?

Earlier, Cult of Mac reported that Apple added an "explicit" category for application developers to use when submitting their programs. The new category has since disappeared, but it's fairly unlikely this was just a glitch. How do you accidentally create an "explicit" category? Its temporary presence could indicate that Apple is preparing to allow overly sexual apps for its iPhone and iPod Touches after all. If that's the case, then it speaks directly to what I wrote this morning, when I pondered why the company would just ban explicit content, instead of developing a system for allowing parental controls. It may be doing exactly that.

Cult of Mac received this information from an app developer who provided them with the following screenshot:

explicit app.jpg

It's worth noting, however, that there are currently no applications with this category designation in the app store.

Despite the fact the category has since disappeared, its earlier presence may show that Apple actually does intend to allow users of its devices to download adult-oriented apps eventually -- just not yet. As I mentioned earlier, it really has to if it wants to maintain its app market position. As other mobile phone platforms allow developers more freedom, Apple will risk its dominance if it's overly restrictive.

If Apple does allow explicit content, I'd be shocked if it did so without creating parental controls. Otherwise, why ban it in the first place? So the company may also be working on giving parents the ability to forbid their child's iPhone from downloading "explicit" apps. That would give Apple an edge if its parental controls are more powerful than what other mobile platforms offer. Those controls would also allow that the company to capitalize on all apps -- no matter how explicit -- without angering parents.

Presented by

Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.

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