Apple purges DUI checkpoint apps

Apple no longer wants apps that warn drivers about nearby police checkpoints.

Assumedly, the only reason a users would be interested in such an app is that he plans to drive while under the influence and doesn’t want to get caught.

That kind of focus doesn’t sit well with Apple, which has a storied history of app censorship.

The change came right in the middle of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the company’s largest annual event. In the terms and conditions for app submitters, the following text now appears: “Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected.”

Over the years, Apple has stirred a lot of controversy over which apps it will accept into the iTunes App Store. For example, it deleted every app that it considered to be sexually provocative, but still allowed publishers like Playboy and Sports Illustrated to flaunt their sexy apps.

It has also notably rejected an app from a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist. The app was a collection of his political cartoons.

However, rejecting apps that promote drunk driving probably won’t strike as much controversy. As some critics point out, though, apps that warn users about the location of speed cameras, red light cameras, and school zones are still perfectly fine.

Android, meanwhile, prides itself on being an open platform and allows any app to go on the Android Market…well, with some exceptions. Malicious or misleading apps will be removed, as will video game emulators. The question is, as Android becomes a more and more viable operating system, will more restrictions be put in place?

Regardless, Apple remains by far the strictest when it comes to rejecting mobile apps.