This Week's Sponsor:

Listen Later

Listen to Articles as Podcasts

Even The App Store Director Sells Fart Apps

This is a good one. Really, could you imagine that App Store director Phillip Shoemaker, the guy who’s in charge of accepting and rejecting apps, sells his own fart and urination simulator apps in the App Store?

Indeed Mr. Schoemaker has his own apps under the name GrayNoodle in the App Store: iWiz, for instance, “simulates the experience of urination for a long time” while Animal Farts “helps us understand farts from an animal point of view.” Geez, I’ve always wanted that!

In fact, the apps have been in the App Store for quite a while now - more than a year, actually. But wait, can an Apple employee sell apps in Apple’s Store? Isn’t it some kind of conflict of interests? Wired reports:

“An Apple spokeswoman said Shoemaker was hired partly because of his background as a developer.

“Phillip’s apps were written, submitted and approved before he became an Apple employee,” an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement. “His experience and perspective as a developer is one of the valuable things he brings to Apple’s developer relations team. Apple’s policy allows for employees to have apps on the App Store if they’re developed and published prior to their start at Apple.”

Typically, Apple employees are prohibited from selling apps in the App Store unless they gain special permission from an executive as part of a policy to avoid conflicts of interest, according to Evan Doll, a former senior iPhone software engineer at Apple. Doll left Apple about a year ago to start his own company, which now produces the popular Flipboard iPad app for reading news content.

“Apple employees are generally prohibited,” Doll told “You have to get a special exception from a VP. Otherwise, big no-no.”

My guess is that Shoemaker was hired and forgot to tell everyone about his previous “development adventures”. It’s pretty difficult to forget about something like that, though, so I really don’t know what to think. I wish Phillip well, and hope Steve won’t get mad at him. Maybe he could give away some promo codes for the apps at Cupertino.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.