App Store Director May Have Violated Store Rules

Contributing Writer
Updated

Apple's App Store is home to hundreds of thousands of applications. iPhone users will be the first to tell you that though there are some truly great applications available, you have to wade through an awful lot of farting apps to get to them. However, did you know that the man responsible for overseeing the App Store is responsible for a couple of farting apps of his own?

Image credit: WiredImage credit: Wired

Wired reports that Phillip Shoemaker, director of applications technology at Apple, also runs Gray Noodle, an application development company responsible several apps, including two about peeing and farting.  iWiz's description in the App Store invites users to, "Simulate the experience of urinating for a long time," while Animal Farts features a bunch of different cartoon animals and options to make them "Fart," "Poot," "Drop" or "Wiz."

The apps are childish, and not very well reviewed, but that's par for the course when it comes to these types of applications. However, the real story here is that the presence of these applications violates Apple policy, which stipulates that no employee is allowed sell applications in the App Store unless they get special permission. An Apple spokesperson told Wired that Mr. Shoemaker's apps were actually approved before he became an Apple employee, so the policy doesn't apply here.

"Phillip’s apps were written, submitted and approved before he became an Apple employee," Wired was told by a spokesperson.

"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."

Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case. Three of the seven applications developed by Gray Noodle were submitted and approved as much as a month after Phillip tweeted about joining the ranks at Apple. This includes the iWiz application. Phillip has since deleted his Twitter account.

Neither Apple nor Shoemaker have commented on why he was allowed to break the rules, but driving home the point that this is most definitely not allowed is Evan Doll, a former senior iPhone software engineer at Apple.

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

Read the full story here.