Remember the App Store Review Guidelines Apple published a few months ago? They’re available for you to read here, although an Apple Developer account is needed. Basically, Apple opened up to many more kinds of apps and frameworks with the publicly available Review Guidelines, but took a clear position on some kinds of apps as well. Namely, fart apps:
We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.
Now, it seems like single-station radio apps – apps whose only functionality is to enable streaming of a single radio station – may share the same fate of long-debated fart apps. According to The Register, Apple has started banning single-station radio apps on November 10, and won’t change its mind about them. “We made our decision”, that’s what Steve Jobs allegedly told Jim Barcus, president of DJB Radio Apps – a development studio that helps radio stations release their own apps in the App Store.
According to Barcus, Apple began rejecting single-station radio apps on November 10, declaring that it “will no longer approve any more radio station apps unless there are hundreds of stations on the same app.” Barcus can’t see the logic. “[Apple doesn’t] understand that radio stations are in fierce competition,” he tells The Reg. “[Apple] just wants all radio stations to be on one big fat app, and that’s just not going to happen.
We can speculate about Apple’s decision to ban such apps with this theory: Apple is building its own FM radio app – and perhaps a FM receiver built-in the next iPhone – and wants as less alternatives as possible in the App Store. But then again, even without single-station radio apps, the App Store is chock-full of multi-station radio apps, such as FireRocker, Ether Radio or Snowtape. I don’t think this ban has anything to do with Apple’s future plans for a native radio app or an FM-capable iPhone.
More than that, I simply think those apps are going the way of the dodo and fart apps: Apple doesn’t want them in the App Store anymore. With more than 300,000 apps available, Apple is increasing control, curation and introducing new filters.