Apple rejects app that tracks U.S. drone strikes

A new iPhone app that would send text messages to users each time a U.S. drone strikes has been repeatedly blocked and deemed “not useful” by the Apple app store.

Drone iphone app
The app would tally drone strikes in a given area accompanied with a small news blurb.

Calling it “objectionable and crude,” Apple will not allow the program’s developer to offer the app to iPhone users, stating it violates the “objectionable content” guideline pertaining to developers that submit new programs.

Josh Begley, the New York-based programmer that created the Drones+ app, says there’s absolutely nothing offensive about his app. “If the content is found to be objectionable, and it’s literally just an aggregation of news, I don’t know how to change that,” Begley told Wired Magazine.

The app would effectively report drone strikes conducted around the world, sending a map with the strike location, an optional push notification and a short report from the UK’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism to users. It also tallies up recent strikes showing the most affected regions in the Middle-east.

Begley told Wired that his intention was not to bring about a controversial application, but rather to bring drone awareness into mainstream public consciousness, allowing app-owners to decide what to do with the information, hopefully contributing an engaging conversation topic.

In their last rejection on August 27th, Apple denied Begley’s app, telling him by email, “We found that your app contains content that many audiences would find objectionable, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.”

According to, if Apple strikes down Begley’s app a fourth time, he will consider configuring the app for Android users instead.

It’s obvious Apple is trying to save face for the very nation conducting the strikes, where, in Pakistan, it is believed that more than 1,000 innocents have been killed from drone strikes since 2004.

Watch a short a video on the very plain, limited capabilities of the Drone+ app, featuring material very few users would find “crude.”

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