Just over a month ago Apple rejected Google Voice, a voice iPhone app that would allow international calling at reduced rates and free SMS text messaging. Apple claimed the rejection was not due to the voice functionality, but rather because the app replaced parts of the iPhone’s interface.
Now after controversy over whether the reaction was proper, Apple has approved a separate voice-over-IP (VoIP) app from Vonage. Apple gave Vonage the green light to begin beta testing the new app among a select group of its customers. The new app is available on the iPhone and iPod Touch to these testers.
Still, the approval process was not without its difficulties. Apple last week admitted that Vonage’s app approval was also hung up on technical issues (exact details were not specified), and the approval had been delayed. Apple promised that it was working with the developer to resolve these issues, and apparently it was good to its word.
Meanwhile, another app met a less fortunate fate. µMonitor, an app that would have allowed iPhone customers to control their home computer’s uTorrent client on the go, has been unceremoniously rejected.
Apple explains, “We’ve reviewed µMonitor and determined that we cannot post this version of your application to the App Store at this time because this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.”
Perhaps µMonitor’s makers should have known they had it coming. In May, a separate torrent monitor for Transmission BitTorrent client also was rejected. Interestingly, Apple allows Usenet related applications that serve a similar performance. MyNZB is one such application currently in the app store. Usenet is a distributed message scheme that is at times used to fileshare with uploaded binaries, made from disc images, being one kind of commonly shared content.
It appears, though, that when it comes to torrents, Apple not only opposes actual clients — apps that initiate the download and upload of content — but also apps that communicate with these clients in anyway. The developers of µMonitor have taken their rejected app to the growing underground app store Cydia. It is now available for jailbroken iPhones.
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