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Making an iOS app about Steve Jobs? Think different, Apple says

Philip Michaels | March 20, 2014
Apple reportedly won't OK Steve Jobs-themed offerings for its App Store, and the mobile world is a gloomier place because of that

steve jobs app

Bad news, developers: If you had planned on having a mobile app take you down the road to wealth and fame, don't expect to have Steve Jobs riding shotgun--at least not if you're looking to reach Apple's iOS App Store.

That's the word from both Re/code and Cult of Mac, which told the story of brothers John and Grant Gill, who had hoped to build an app that served up inspirational quotes from Apple's co-founder and former CEO. The app, dubbed Quoth Steve, would follow the quote-a-day model, meaning 365 reminders that real artists ship and that you should consider staying hungry and/or foolish.

There was just one thing standing between Quoth Steve and the top of the App Store download charts--Apple. The company allegedly told the Gills that it doesn't approve Steve Jobs-themed apps for sale in its iTunes store. (Books about Apple and Steve Jobs that the current CEO has dismissed as "nonsense?" Sure! But not apps.)

Stories about comprehensive bans on types of apps crop up all the time, but that doesn't necessarily mean they reflect a company's actual policy--just last month we heard reports that Apple and Google were cracking down on Flappy Bird clones and yet, you'll still find plenty of knockoffs littering the App Store. That said, Apple's app emporium does in fact seem free of Steve Jobs-themed fare, though the maker of Do You Know Steve Jobs may want to reveal how that trivia app made it past the App Store's gatekeepers.

At any rate, the Gills told Cult of Mac that there's no hard feelings toward Apple, and they've released Quoth Steve in Web form. So everyone--the app makers, Apple, anyone wanting 365 days worth of Steve Jobs's quotes in a convenient mobile format--got something out of this whole deal.

Still, you must understand how shocking Apple's "no Steve Jobs-themed" apps position is to technology reporters, many of whom make an entire living out of Steve Jobs-themed content. (Interesting fact: "Steve Jobs would never have done that" stories accounted for nearly a third of our industrial output in 2013. [We checked. This is not actually a fact.--Ed.]) And it's the app users who suffer the most--the poor, deprived iPhone and iPad owners who can choose from any one of a million or so apps for their iOS devices, but will never know the satisfaction of any of these Jobs-centric mobile delights.

TweetSteve: Post from Twitter with this mobile client that reduces the 140-character limit to 25 characters, so you can better replicate the Apple co-founder's straight-to-the-point replies. ("Yep." "No." "You're holding it wrong.")


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