Apple removes Baby Shaker from App Store


23 Apr 2009

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Following objections by children’s groups to an iPhone application that allows the user to virtually shake an onscreen image of a baby to stop its crying, Apple has removed the offending app from its iTunes Store.

In contrast to Apple’s usually stringent (apart from iFart of course) overview of acceptable applications, Baby Shaker was approved for sale on the App Store for 99c.

How this application works: the crying baby is silenced by shaking the iPhone several times, at which point two red X’s appear over the baby’s eyes.

The application from Sikalosoft states in the introduction: “On a plane, on the bus, in a theatre. Babies are everywhere you don’t want them to be! They’re always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker, there was nothing you could do about it.”

This macabre application was criticised by Patrick Donohue, founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, who wrote an open letter to Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs.

"As the father of a three-year-old who was shaken by her baby nurse when she was only five days old, breaking three ribs, both collarbones and causing a severe brain injury, words cannot describe my reaction.

“You have no idea the number of children your actions have put at risk by your careless, thoughtless and reckless behaviour,” he added.

While bad taste may not seem like a precursor to accepting an application into the App Store, according to TechTree India, a recent app developer had his Bailout Bucks novelty app rejected because it “ridiculed public figures”.

“Maybe the volume is so great that Apple simply can’t manage the flow, and thus is unable to provide the level of support that is necessary,” mused Bailout Bucks creator, The Codist on his blog.

By Marie Boran

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