Passions do get kooky over all things Apple and all things iPhone these days. Turns out we’ve got some further reporting from Jon Gruber of Daring Fireball that reveals info on that black list feature that many (including myself) followed down a trail that said Apple can use this to remove apps remotely.
First, the news from Mr. Gruber is that according to an “informed source” the code in the mysterious URL is for preventing listed apps from accessing the API’s Core Location. The Core Location API allows developers to access the location aware features of the iPhone and for privacy reasons Apple (or anyone I would guess) doesn’t want malicious tampering with that. Fair enough.
Second, keep in mind that with the launch of the App Store, Steve Jobs did suggest that Apple could possibly disable an app on iPhones if it behaved badly. I tie this to DRM issues. Remember, you don’t own this stuff you’ve downloaded, you license it. If the license keys get pulled so does your app, or song, or video. Both Yahoo Music and Microsoft’s MSN music ran into firestorms on this awhile back with angry consumers.
Third, in my little warped brain, the larger point of the earlier article I posted still remains. Clean up the testing process for apps going into the store so you don’t have these kind of issues in the first place. Of course some clear communication could only help that issue as well, and we all know that Apple loves secrecy.