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 Wired.com. “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.