Update: Cooler heads appear to have prevailed, and Loren reports that Tweetie 1.3 has cleared the App Store bluenose barrier and should be showing up later tonight.
We saw this hit the fan early today, hot on the tail of the AMBER Alert post. Apparently the 1.3 update to Tweetie, a popular Twitter client for iPhone we've covered before, has been denied release in the App Store because the app could potentially show "offensive language."
As you may know, blatantly offensive apps (like really "adult" content) are verboten on Apple's store. Unfortunately, that rule was probably intended to keep X-rated content (maybe hard R as well) off the store, not inadvertently prevent an update to a popular Twitter client. In this case, the offensive material could pop up in Twitter trend searches -- never mind that you can find much worse using Google's search app or mobile Safari itself.
This latest episode plus the Amber Alert app's delay and many other examples continue to shine a light on what is clearly a broken approval process. As Engadget's Nilay Patel says, "It's time to drop the seemingly-random black-box approach... and actually work with innovative developers like Tweetie's Loren Brichter to push your platform forward in the face of newly-stiff competition."
That last point is important, because hardware companies are working hard to avoid an iPod-like market lead for the iPhone. Last night's demo of the Palm Pre had my eyebrows raised, to be sure. If Apple can't quit shooting the feet of some of the best developers out there, it'll be all too easy for them to switch to a platform that provides less restrictions, less doubt and less uncertainty.
[Via The iPhone Blog]