Apple App Director Guilty of Hypocrisy, Conflict of Interest…and not to mention Poor Programming

by Matt Klassen on August 23, 2010

It’s one thing that Apple employees like the Director of Applications Technology, Philip Shoemaker, police the company’s popular App store with an iron fist, rejecting low-brow applications because they don’t meet Apple’s discerning standards; it’s quite another to maintain such draconian control while at the same time filling the App store with your own unique brand of low-brow crap.

While it’s no secret that finding quality apps within the App store is a bit of a crapshoot, like finding the veritable diamond amidst a giant steaming pile of garbage, Apple has made a concerted effort of late to arbitrarily remove apps it considered inane, useless, or made in bad taste; a move that has had many up-in-arms.

So when you discover that Shoemaker, one of the people responsible for quality control within the App store, is developing a line of apps specializing in making noises better left in the washroom, it begs the question, is this merely another case of corporate hypocrisy—a mere slap on the wrist for Shoemaker—or is this a serious case of Conflict of Interest—something that certainly should cost Shoemaker his job?

What do you think?

For several months now it has seemed to me that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has a very particular technological vision for the future; one completely devoid of content he finds objectionable, one completely whitewashed of anything controversial, and one without anything that his own Applications Technology Director is currently producing.

In an investigative report published on popular gadget site Wired, it was discovered that Shoemaker, under the company  name Gray Noodle LLC, has been developing such “high” quality applications as iWiz, which, as the description concisely explains, is intended to, “Simulate the experience of urinating for a long time…Convince your friends that you’ll never stop. iWiz allows you to simulate urination: faster, slower or just a trickle.” Just the app I’ve been looking for!

Beyond this, unfortunately for everyone on earth, Shoemakers mobile application endeavours don’t stop there, with another entry focusing on fart and poop jokes; none of which are particularly funny.

But with bad taste aside, the real disconcerting thing for me is that these apps are really poorly made. I mean, this is the guy that is responsible for quality control—quality!—and this is what he’s capable of doing?! For shame Shoemaker, for shame! All this and I still haven’t mentioned that Apple restricts its own employees from producing their own applications for the App store.

The story deepens, however, as, upon discovering that Wired was onto his little game, Shoemaker attempted in vain to cover his tracks, demonstrating–at the very least– that he understands that what he’s doing is wrong and may, in fact, cost him his job.

While I have no doubt that such hypocrisy is rife within the technology sectors, when someone is in a position to police content available to the public, that person, I would think, needs to be above reproach; and with the fact that Shoemaker is not only a liar and hypocrite but a really poor programmer as well, it makes me wonder if he should have ever got this job in the first place.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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