Android isn’t really open. It’s just less closed than Apple.

What the iBoobs saga tells us about Google


Idiots worldwide rejoiced when news came that the iBoobs app, censored by Apple, had found a home in the Android Marketplace.

For those tragically unfamiliar with iBoobs—how can I describe it? It’s boobs. They jiggle. A settings screen lets you adjust things like “boob weight,” “stifness,” and “gravity factor.” If any of this turns you on, I’d like to introduce you to a killer app called porn.

iBoobs is a Freemium product. If you upgrade from the free “iBoobs light” app to the $2.10 paid app, you can toss the boobs around with the tip of your finger.  Or at least, you could last week. It seems that Google has since followed Apple’s lead (at least partially) and banned the paid version of the app.

What could possibly have been the problem?

The boobs themselves are still available.  Google is not anti-boob, per se. No statement has been issued, and so we must speculate: it seems Google’s official policy on boobs is that it’s okay to shake them around really hard, so long as you don’t poke, smoosh, flick or pull them.

Google is such a tease.

Perhaps it wasn’t the touching—maybe Google objected to iBoob’s extras—shake them boobs just right, and you get a peek of nipple.

This feature alone places iBoobs outside of the Android Marketplace’s prohibition on nudity and sexually explicit material.  This, you may remember, was not always the case.  The Android Marketplace was initially open to all apps—that was its defining attribute. But after Android surged in popularity (and after Steve Jobs sneered puritanically in Google’s direction) the porn was cut.  Google retreated to a middling position on sex apps designed to keep them just a bit more risque then Apple; hardcore was out, nudity too, but sexy apps could stay if they identified themselves as not for kids. As Google puts it: “Apps that focus on suggestive or sexual references must be rated ‘High maturity’.”

High maturity. iBoobs certainly doesn’t qualify for that.

The fact is, Google is supposed to be busy organizing the world’s information, not jiggling CGI jugs around to determine where they stand on their arbitrary porno-scale.  If Android is open, then let it be open. Open doesn’t mean “less closed than Apple,” it means open. Open to any dumb app that any dumb person wants to make or to use.

Kinda like the Internet.


Android isn’t really open. It’s just less closed than Apple.

  1. So it's not in the android market, unlike the i-products, Android is open, so you can install apps not in the market place. Are you oblivious to this?

    • Yes, there's a difference in not allowing an app in the market you run, and not allowing an app on the platform. You can install non-market apps and you don't need to jailbreak or root or anything.

  2. Somehow this is not what I expected from a tech section.

  3. Apple guys don't understand. Android advocating 'Open Source' isn't based on the 'openness' of what apps are allowed in the Market. Like everything else, there has to be regulations to protect users. Google still needs to be responsible by limiting apps like 'iBoobs' to 'Highly Mature'. Hell, 'Open Source' isn't even referring to apps in my opinion. Android's primary purpose in 'Open Source' is stated here: http://source.android.com/about/index.html

  4. Using the same logic as that in display in this article, Debian isn't really "open" either because they don't include every possible piece of software in the APT-GET repositories.

    People should learn about how computers actually work before they write articles about them.

  5. I've never used Google's Android Market. I get all my apps by downloading the .apk files directly, or using a different market app like Slide or APTDroid.

  6. How the heck do you get any work done with apps like this????

  7. I don't really get your point, Jesse. So Apple decides they don't want a childish and sexist app in their store. Google/Android says, 'We'll let this childish and sexist app in our store, but we'll warn people first.'

    Sounds fine to me. If I want to watch such silly crap I can fire up my laptop. I don't really need or want it on my Android.

    So again: what's your point?

  8. Yeah this writer is a tab bit ignorant. He chooses to talk about “open” when only talking about apps (really?) but yet fails to mention that besides at&t, if you have Android you can install ANY app you so choose rooted or not. Moot, moot, and more moot. DO MORE RESEARCH!

  9. Well this is embarrassing.

    To answer the first commenter- yes, I was indeed oblivious to this. I've had an Android phone since the summer, and have only used Marketplace apps.

    But help me understand- can developers charge for non-Marketplace apps? My understanding based on the iBoob developer's comments was that Google rejecting their paid app effectively put this app out of business.

    Correct, or am I oblivious still?

    • Sorry, still wrong. Many developers can (and do) charge for non-Marketplace apps. I have a few I have paid for separately. Many apps also have additional features you can pay for either through the app or the app's website as well. Android allows you to install any .apk if you enable non-Market apps by simply ticking the Unknown sources box in Application settings.

      • So why would a developer care if Google rejects their app? I'm guessing it's because perhaps the majority of Android app sales occur within the Android marketplace (because ignoramuses like me think that's the only game in town…?).

        • Okay, I think there's some confusion over the word "open" here. If you were refering to "Android" as a platform, then that is open source – i.e. you can download and modify the android source code it as you wish (within certain restrictions).

          But I think you're referring to the Android App Store. I'm not sure that this has ever been said to be "Open" – a little more liberal maybe, but not open – they have restrictions – just as Apple to – just different ones. If it were truely open, then surely Google shouldn't have removed all that malware last week! I mean, the internet is open – as you state – and I'm free to host malware, should I choose to!

          I think that if Google have ever referred to "Apps" as open, they're referring to the fact that anyone can create their own App store (or even host apps on their own website!) – and charge what they like for the apps too! Have you missed all the stories recently about the fact that Amazon are due to release their own Android app store very soon? Where have you been!?

          And finally yes: as developer would wish their App to be in Google's store because a lot of people don't know about anything else. But who knows – maybe Amazon will change that!

        • Yes, it's because the majority of users get their apps from Google's Android Market.

          It's like a musician being shut out of the iTunes store. The iTunes store isn't the only place to sell one's music, but it's a big marketplace and not many musicians would want to be banned from it.

    • Yes they can. In fact, iBoobs just found a home at MiKandi, a third party app market that distributes 18+ apps only. MiKandi uses virtual currency, and you can get iBoobs Uncensored there for roughly $2.00 USD.

  10. It might just be too difficult to sell such a juvenile app without the marketing support from being listed in the marketplace.

    There's nothing stopping them marketing their app independently, or a third party from opening an adult-themed market, in fact at least one appears to exist: http://phandroid.com/2009/11/27/android-porn-mark

  11. Of course they can charge for their app still. Many different ways. Slide and sptfroid are both market alternatives (as well as the future amazon app store). AND, the guy could certainly set up a website with paypal functionality and charge for his app all day long (ie. Gameloft style).

  12. Edit: aptdroid instead of sptfroid. Lol.

  13. 3D Boob Jiggle is slightly better

  14. apparently SOMEBODY is too good for iboobs

Sign in to comment.