Controversy erupted when the Apple App Store put up an app called Baby Shaker, a simple app that requires one to shake a digital baby dead to stop it from crying. After sparking outrage from various parties, the app was immediately taken down from the site, followed by an apology from Apple. The app's developer, Sikalosoft, also issued an apology, if you could call it that.
Macworld was able to get in touch with an Apple spokesperson, who issued this statement:
This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store. When we learned of this mistake, the app was removed immediately. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and thank our customers for bringing this to our attention.
On the other hand, Sikalosoft didn't make such a formal statement. Instead, they put up what appears to be an apology of sorts on their site:
Yes, the Baby Shaker iPhone app was a bad idea. You should never shake a baby! Even on an Apple iPhone Baby Shaking application. In case you are unaware Baby Shaker was an Apple iPhone application that was greatly lacking in taste. It was approved by Apple for download upon the iPhone. However, it was later taken down because it was a baby shaking video game! While GTA is a video game that pushes the limits, it is still yet to have a baby shaking mini game in it.
There are currently over 30000 iPhone applications out there. So, there are many other iPhone applications you could be better spending your time and money on.
Patrick Donohue, founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, which is dedicated to children suffering from Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury, was so upset that he wrote a letter to Steve Jobs and other Apple execs:
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.
You have no idea the number of children your actions have put at risk by your careless, thoughtless and reckless behavior!
If you're still wondering what the app really does, here's a quick run-down. You have the picture of a sleeping baby, it wakes up, cries, makes a lot of noise. Now to stop the baby from crying, you have to shake your iPhone, and in essence, the baby, until it's dead and unable to cry. While some may argue that it was all in humor, fact remains that Baby Shaker is one very tasteless app.
This is what they're supposed to be bringing to the iPhone: