Sunday 25 October 2009

iPhone-crazy? Not so kid-friendly apps in Apple's online store

Everyone seems to be a little iPhone-crazy these days.

When M1 announced two weeks ago that it will be the second telco to sell the hot Apple gizmo in Singapore, it was big news.

When I mentioned to a colleague that I was succumbing to the hype and considering getting the iPhone, she went into a rage. She threatened that if I set my iPhone to have the same ringtone as hers, she would take my iPhone and pee on it.

When I said I haven't even decided to get the iPhone, much less what the ringtone would be, she said she couldn't care less and reiterated her urination threat. She was that possessive about her ringtone.

Like I said, iPhone-crazy.

But even precluding the fear of my telecommunication device being doused with my colleague's DNA, it is unlikely that I will get the iPhone anytime soon.

For one thing, I've recently already recontracted with my mobile carrier. Plus I have little desire to pay data charges.

Actually, all I really wanted was to replace my old second-gen iPod Nano that I lost a while ago.

So what I did do?

I decided to get the closest thing to an iPhone I could get without a contract - the iPod Touch.

Why I chose it over the new iPod Classic or Nano, which now comes with a video camera, can be summarised in one word: games.

I figured when I'm not using the iPod Touch, I could let my children download free games onto it after their exams.

So to try it out, I went online to see what's available in Apple's Singapore Apps Store. I browsed my way to the "Entertainment" category and my eyes popped out of my head.

Mixed in together with such kiddy apps like Kitty BubbleWrap and Burping Pillow were somewhat more adult titles, specifically Bikini World, Blonde Bikini Girls, Asian Boobs, A+ Japan Busty, 1001 Sex Life Stories, Alexis Texas Strip Tease, Body Sushi - Sexy Match-Up Game, Naughty Hotties: Video To Go, Asian Hot Sexy Model Premium Series #1 Free and Pocket Girlfriend.

What if I hadn't found this out before I let my kids log on?

Where was the parental warning? It was only after I clicked on the adult app that I got the message: "You must be at least 17 years old to download this application."

By then, my children would've been exposed to more semi-clad oversized chest than I was comfortable with. They have already been traumatised enough by my moobs.

Why can't the adult apps be segregated into a "Mature" category that I can tell my kids to avoid?

That was when it hit me - I should've bought my kids a PSP instead. For sure, there would be no danger of my colleague going No 1 on it.

- Published in The New Paper, 25 October 2009

UPDATE: Apple Removes Some Adult Apps (23 February 2010)