Release 1.3.2 has been appstore rejected

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 | News

Just a quick note to let everyone know that 1.3.2 has been rejected from the appstore because it has the ability to define curse words.

It would appear that Apple doesn’t care that the current version already does (and has always done) that, and they don’t seem to mind that the dictionary application defines curse words – that application is ok in their eyes for some unknown reason.

I am not going to limit 小词典’s functionality for no reason. Words are words. Every dictionary that I’ve ever used has defined curse words as evident by the approved app.

It looks like 1.3 will have been the final version of this application, and to be frank, I am tired of the drama with Apple’s AppStore. I just want to write software, but this seems to be the wrong platform to do that on.

I had a lot of plans for this appliction, but I am throwing in the towel. There are several other Chinese dictionary apps on the app store, and I recommend you switch to using one of those.

Thank you for using 小词典 on the iPhone, and I am deeply sorry for the on again off again nature of this project. When I have actual control of my projects, they are managed far better than this.

21 Comments to Release 1.3.2 has been appstore rejected

randal Eastman
May 6, 2009

This is truly tragic news. I am in love with your application and tried to install it on my wife’s phone and could not do so – now I understand why – and she is very jealous and bitter because she thinks I have done something diabolical.

I do not want to use another application – as I love yours.

It just helped me survive a very boring two hour government presentation by allowing me to look up interesting characters…

This is the first time I have ever been disappointed by Apple.


May 12, 2009

Hope you can reconsider. I often use your 小词典 dictionary add-on for the Mac, and also like the iPhone 小词典 version better than competing products.

Surely Apple will be refining app store policy and its implementation. It has to have been a tough job for them to manage growth from zero apps to tens of thousands of apps in just a few months while trying to prevent a degradation of the user experience.

May 13, 2009

Hi StoneGroper,

Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them – and thank you for using my apps :)

There isn’t really anything for me to reconsider though. Apple rejected 小词典 not the other way around.

With my counter rejection I am simply saying that I am tired of their policies and them regulating content – as if they have some sort of moral high ground. Functionality I can understand – memory leaks, non API conformance – rejecting those kinds of things makes sense. But rejecting a dictionary for defining words just shows me how absolutely stupid their business model is with the AppStore, and I won’t likely participate in it.

They had a great idea, but like with the Mac back in the day, their pompous iron grip will cause them to loose whatever ground they had, and something else will win out. It’s just history repeating itself.

Had they not rejected me, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the path they were on, so I am actually quite glad. I can now focus my time making the app for other platforms like Android – or which ever phone I buy next.

Thanks again for using the apps StoneGroper, and I’ll continue to create the desktop ones, and the AppStore version should stay up there until they release iphone 3.0 then I think they’ll take it down – but in the meantime enjoy!


May 15, 2009

I’m disappointed but I can totally see your point of view. The App Store is become more capricious by the day. I hope that perhaps Apple will bow to pressure and loosed things up in future so developers have some certainty.

I dug this blog post in the hope these sorts of things will draw some attention to Apple’s bad policies.

May 15, 2009

Thanks coljac, I appreciate the shout out.

Anrey Wang
May 30, 2009

I agree with StoneGroper, and please do reconsider it Rob, maybe not now, but sometime in the future. Apple has really been unprofessional surely, and there is definitely no excuse, but I still think they lead in so many other ways that at least make their platform one that that should not be avoided. (Plus the iPhone is just so beautiful!)

I very much enjoy both your Mac and iPhone apps; nothing else on the market has met my needs more than yours.

With much sympathy and appreciation. Anrey

May 30, 2009

Thank you Anrey, it’s good to know people like the software ^^

However, it is apple that has rejected xiaocidian – I am simply learning a lesson. I’ve started to focus my efforts on an android version instead (the google phone – cmon google release one in Oz!). I’ve also been looking into windows mobile 6.5. Both of which allow you to distribute application without needing to get approval. It doesn’t make any sense for me to work a lot of hours on something and have a company be able to reject my work, and give no recourse. I will not develop on the iPhone anymore until they fix their broken policies (so probably never).

June 15, 2009

I’ve submitted a complaint about the app ;)

John Dowdell
June 16, 2009

Sorry to hear it, Rob, but hang in there… the current situation is not sustainable, and must eventually change.

(Windows Mobile ships with Flash Lite, as will some of the early Android and Pre, but over the next year we’ll be moving to distributions at parity with desktop Flash. HTML, SWF, native… three possibilities.)


AppStore needs fixes
July 15, 2009

[...] Release 1.3.2 has been appstore rejected [...]

Per Sundström
August 30, 2009

Hello, I think that this looks like a great app, and I would really like it for my android phone, and I have some chinese studying friends who are interested aswell. Is there some kind of mailing list that you can sign up to in order to get the good news of the android release first hand?

I would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for the app aswell if no free competition appears, but that option seems to only be available in the US, maybe you can sell it from your website for people to install it as an “non market app”?

Cheers, Per

August 31, 2009

Hi Per,

Thanks for your interest :) Currently, there isn’t a mailing list, but if you subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog I’ll post out information about the app as it moves along.

I haven’t looked into how the Android market works, but since my fiasco with the Apple appstore, I’ll be looking for ways to not use such a system. If that means just releasing the code here I’ll do that.

Anton Kashkin
November 9, 2009

Excellent website, excellent product. I don’t comment on many people’s websites, but I started using 小词典, and i love it.

November 10, 2009

Thank you Anton! It’s always nice to hear when people enjoy the work :-D

January 28, 2010

Hey !

I was using your dictionnary when I was in China, I am back and realize I can’t download it anymore ! Appstore’s policy just sucks. I have an idea though: could you release it (or send it to me by email) in .ipa form ? Indeed after facing this issue with other apps, I decided to JB and to have myself and not Apple decide what I could or could not install on my phone. Anyway let mw know what you think of this…

February 19, 2010

Hi Rob, where I can download your latest version. I keep hearing good thing about this app and I would like to use it on my itouch! I can’t find it on app store… thanks.

February 19, 2010

Hi Mike. Thanks for looking for 小词典 -I can’t tell if you are kidding or not, but as this post says, Apple rejected the app and it is no longer on the AppStore.

I’ll be getting a nexus one, and when I do I’ll finish the port of this to that device. I know that doesn’t help you though :-/

There is no other way to put apps on the iP[ad]hone other than the AppStore, and since it was rejected 小词典 won’t be available on itouch devices.

Check out “dianhua” – it is similar to 小词典 and last I saw it was still on the AppStore.


[...] Unlike a lot of massive companies Apple don't really support free speech. Political type apps and Apps that include swear words are a good example of what won't be accepted so if you think your app does contain objectionable [...]

December 27, 2010

It doesn’t work on WIN7 ,Adobe Air environment. When I start the application,nothing show. That’s all,thank you.

August 28, 2011

I’d just like to voice my support for you and your dictionary; it’s got me through a fair few situations in China and finally upgraded to the full version yesterday. Please don’t discontinue it for the iPhone! I don’t fancy using anyone else’s dictionary, Apple are just being ridiculous. Thanks for a great app!

[…] a collection of copyright-free e-books that included the dreaded, centuries-old Kama Sutra; and a Chinese-language dictionary that had the temerity to include curse […]

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