Apple shoots down drone strike tracking iPhone app

August 30, 2012
The maker of an application that would alert iPhone users to US military drone strikes said Thursday that Apple has repeatedly shot down his efforts to get it into the App Store.

The maker of an application that would alert iPhone users to US military drone strikes said Thursday that Apple has repeatedly shot down his efforts to get it into the App Store.

"I just wanted to make a simple app that would send a push notification every time there is a drone strike," Begley told AFP.

"I was thinking about how hidden the drone war is and about ways to play with what happens in the pockets of smartphone users," the New York continued.

Begley hunkered down and made his first iPhone app, Drones+, which tracks drone strikes by aggregating information from a Bureau of Investigative Journalism database.

Reports of drone strikes prompt notifications that arrive with pop-up text messages; showing locations, and the option of more detail.

Begley said that Drones+ was rejected twice by Apple on technical grounds since he first submitted it to the Cupertino, California-based maker of iPhones, , iPods and in July.

A third rejection came this week, according to Begley, with Apple informing him that Drones+ would not be allowed in the App Store because many people were likely to find the content objectionable.

The 27-year-old interactive communications student expressed dismay that an application crafted to aggregate news reports could be deemed objectionable.

"I didn't really expect anyone to download the app if it was in the App Store," Begley said. "That was the point; I don't think people want to know when a drone strikes."

He is considering going to work on a version of Drones+ for smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software.

"I would like for it to exist somewhere," Begley said."

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12 comments

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insignificant_fish
3.6 / 5 (7) Aug 30, 2012
apple is jerks.
LagomorphZero
4 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2012
Kudos to the app author for trying to raise awareness. I think Apple proved his point nicely. If such actions are objectionable, we probably should not be doing them.
kochevnik
2 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2012
Apple thinks bolstering peace is objectionable. They will perhaps reconsider once one of their own stores is droned. Drones are being commoditized it's only a question of when.
packrat
3 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2012
Can't he just set up his own website and sell it from there for people to download? If there are people that want his software they will find his site.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2012
Apple doesn't permit you to load software it doesn't want you to load onto it's devices.

It is a fine example of Corporate Fascism, Libertarian Style.

"Can't he just set up his own website and sell it from there for people to download?" = pacrat

Anda
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2012
As I say in the other article: fuck you Apple
alfie_null
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2012
It would be interesting if someone collected information regarding all the proposed apps rejected by Apple. Probably already being done. I'd take it one step further and see if I get an app that represented that information accepted by Apple.
madc02
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2012
There is only one explanation: Apple is secretly developing iDrones

But seriously, why would this guy write this app for iPhones in the first place? If your point is to disseminate information freely and openly, clearly Apple is not the home for your app.
Eric_Ramey
not rated yet Aug 31, 2012
How about modifying that drone app to let people know when drones are currently overhead. I think that may come in handy here in the US soon.
DarkHorse66
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2012
(Just being devil's advocate): If apple did sell app's like that, its best customers are most likely not going to be the American public. Anybody who is on the 'other side' in a war would much more likely be queuing up for it. E.g. the extremist insurgents might be banning music and dancing as un-islamic, but they are NOT technophobes. They might even use the app to be ready to shoot back and destroy said drones. (and not just save themselves) That could make a BIG difference as to who is likely to win such a war, especially with regard to otherwise rather inaccessible terrain.
Regards, DH66
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2012
Can't we just have an app which directs any drones in the vicinity to automatically target the guy using the iPhone? Preferrably with massive firepower? Please?

(I can dream, can't I)

That could make a BIG difference as to who is likely to win such a war, especially with regard to otherwise rather inaccessible terrain.

I think in inaccessible terrain (which usually means few mobile stations) you don't want to have an active smartphone. Might as wel put a giant "I am here" sign on your forehead.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2012
Apple is ridiculous... all the app does is forward public information to the user... just make it for Android, that's what he should have done in the first place.

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