Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh, Look at All the Decent People

I'm glad I'm not the only one having a problem with this.

Fraser Speirs, a computer teacher, school IT officer and software developer is concerned that Apple's App Store, while allowing parents to block the downloading of mature-rated apps, does nothing to screen such apps from the store itself -- leaving his students exposed -- pardon the pun -- to the apps' icons, descriptions and other such nonsense that he'd rather not his students see.

I wrote about my similar concerns about the app store and these undesirable apps earlier this year. I think Speirs and I see eye to eye -- neither one of us are asking that the apps be banned. I think we're both on the same line in saying that the iPod Touch's ability to block downloading such apps also include filtering them out of the store, or at least preventing their icons and descriptions from being shown on devices where the controls are in place.

Speirs brings up another good point: The only way you can block such apps completely is to block the app store completely, which reduces teh functionality and desirability of the Apple devices in the first place.

I'd like to see Apple reprogram the parental blocking feature to screen out the apps that are blocked. If we don't want them downloaded onto our devices, it should go without saying that we don't want them displayed when we browse the app store. Surely Apple's developers are intelligent enough to figure this out. This is a solution that satisfies both worlds: Those who want or don't mind the apps don't have to lift a finger. Those who don't have the option of blocking the browsing as well as the downloading.

No comments: