Flatulence applications are one thing, but sometimes you really have to scratch your head and wonder how certain apps could possibly make it through Apple’s approval process. The release (and subsequent removal) of an iPhone app called Baby Shaker this week has Apple in hot water with angry parents and children’s groups, who are demanding answers from Apple.
Developed by Sikalosoft, Baby Shaker features a crude drawing of a baby, and the object of the game is to stop the baby from crying by shaking the iPhone until red X’s appear over the baby’s eyes. The description of Baby Shaker read: “On a plane, on the bus, in a theater. Babies are everywhere you don’t want them to be! They’re always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker there was nothing you could do about it.”
Patrick Donohue, founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation (dedicated to children suffering from Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury) was so upset with the app, he wrote a letter to Steve Jobs and other Apple executives.
“As the father of a three-year-old who was shaken by her baby nurse when she was only five days old, breaking three ribs, both collarbones and causing a severe brain injury, words cannot describe my reaction,” said Donohue. “You have no idea the number of children your actions have put at risk by your careless, thoughtless and reckless behavior!”
Macworld spoke with Jennipher Dickens, the communications director for the Sarah Jane Brain Project, about the app being removed from the App Store.
“I’m very relieved that it’s been taken down,” said Dickens. “I would still like clarification from Apple on how it got up there in the first place. It’s horrifying that they were selling it.”
Dickens is well aware of the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Her son Christopher was shaken by his biological father when he was only seven weeks old. Her son, now 2, has irreversible brain damage.
We tried to contact Sikalosoft, but the company’s Web site is currently offline.
Representatives from Apple confirmed that the app had been removed today.
We’ve openly wondered at Macworld how some iPhone apps make it through the approval process at Apple while others have been rejected. In this case, common sense lost.