Apple Rejects Healthcare Reform App


iSinglePayer, an iPhone application that advocates for single-payer health care reform was rejected from the App Store by Apple because it is “politically charged.” The application displays charts and bullet points about single-payer health care systems, and it allows users to call members of congress. iSinglePayer even calculates your local congressperson using GPS, and displays the amount of money donated to each congressperson from the health sector.

Fine, but then why does the App Store include apps such as the Drudge Reader and Conservative Talking Points?

Ninjawords Dictionary: Censored by Apple

John Gruber from Daring Fireball writes about the ridiculous process Ninjawords had to go through to get their dictionary app approved on the AppStore.

Ninjawords for iPhone suffers one humiliating flaw: it omits all the words deemed “objectionable” by Apple’s App Store reviewers, despite the fact that Ninjawords carries a 17+ rating.

Apple censored an English dictionary.

If At First You Don’t Succeed

Then try and try again, at least with submitting your iPhone application to Apple’s App Store.

NetShare Added Then Removed

Nullriver released their NetShare application onto the iTunes App Store last night, only to have it removed only a few hours later.

It’s surprising that this app was approved in the first place, since AT&T typically charge an extra $30 per month to allow tethering use in the US. Upon investigating the terms set out by other telecos, O2 UK say:

You may not use your SIM Card in any other device, or use your SIM Card or iPhone to allow the continuous streaming of any audio / video content, enable Voice over Internet (Voip), P2P or file sharing or use them in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other customers of O2 or The Cloud.

Which seems to restrict the use of streaming audio and video content, something which the built-in YouTube app allows you to do, along with radio streaming app. However what it doesn’t explicitly forbid is the use of a tethering application to allow you to access the internet through another device, as long as the SIM card is still in your iPhone, so with O2 UK there is nothing to stop you using NetShare.

If, like me, have your iPhone unlocked and on another network such as T-Mobile UK, they may have even less restrictions. From T-Mobile’s web’n’walk fair use policy:

This plan comes with a fair use policy of 1GB a month. We’ll monitor how much you send and receive each calendar month so that we can protect our network for all our web’n’walk customers. If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won’t charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much.

Which seems to allow everything, as long as you keep within the 1GB fair use policy. As Apple has exclusive contracts with one teleco for each country the iPhone is being sold, it is possible for them to restrict NetShare to only countries that allow tethering apps. The chance of the app appearing back on the App Store is small though, which begs the question, why was it approved in the first place?

PwnageTool Unlocks iPhone 2.0

If you’ve been using an original, unlocked iPhone with a SIM from an “unofficial” provider, then you haven’t been able to upgrade to the new 2.0 firmware because, well, it would lock your phone. You’ve had to sit by twiddling with the old 1.1.4 firmware while been reading reviews of the fantastic new applications and all the new things you can do with them.

The new firmware has been out for over a week now without a released unlock tool, although videos of a proof of concept unlock have been floating around the internet.

This week, the iphone-dev team finally released their long anticipated PwnageTool that’s capable of unlocking the original iPhone with 2.0 firmware. Infact it’s quite clever in that it takes the official firmware, and transforms it into a jailbroken and unlocked version that you restore with iTunes!

The process is pretty straightforward, but still not without pitfalls which could be hard to dig yourself out, so I’ve made some notes of problems I’ve had during the unlock, so you don’t have to:

  • You’ll need three other files along with PwnageTool to unlock your phone, the two bootloaders and the original firmware. PwnageTool should be able to find those automatically after you download them.
  • If Safari extracts the original firmware to a folder, drag the iPhone1, file from the trash to your desktop and remove the .zip from the end of the filename.
  • PwnageTool might fail when it tries to enter DFU mode (also known as recovery mode). Don’t worry, manually put your phone in recovery mode by having the iPhone plugged into your computer, holding the home and power button for seven seconds, and then releasing the power button (but still holding the home button) and wait for iTunes to report that your iPhone is in recovery mode.
  • I would use Expert mode to stop PwnageTool from replacing the Apple boot logo with their stupid pineapple.
  • To restore your cracked firmware, hold alt/option when clicking the Restore button (shift in Windows) and then you can browse to the file you want.

PwnageTool is for Mac users only, but if you look hard enough, you can find a pre-cracked firmware that you can just restore with iTunes on Windows.

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