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Apple to let naughty words flow on Tweetie 1.3

Popular Twitter app for iPhone and iPod touch wins Apple's approval after it was apparently rejected because it sometimes displayed questionable language.

Apple has apparently had a change of heart about a Twitter iPhone app that sometimes presents users with language some might find objectionable.

The popular Twitter app for iPhone and iPod touch--called Tweetie 1.3--was apparently rejected because it gives users access to the Twitter Trends section, which displays the most frequent topics or words on Twitter at any given moment. This section sometimes lists swear words--including a particular four-letter word that begins with the letter F--that apparently raised Apple's disdain.

Naughty words aside, the iPhone Tweetie app wins Apple's approval in an apparent reversal. twitpic

In an e-mail earlier Tuesday, app developer Loren Brichter said Apple quoted this part of the company's guidelines as a reason for the decision:

Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive, or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod Touch users.

However, Apple relented Tuesday, according Brichter.

"Great news! 1.3 has now been approved! Alright Apple!," Brichter tweeted late this afternoon.

It's not the first time Apple has washed an app maker's mouth with a bar of soap. In February, the company rejected--for a second time--an application designed to let iPhone owners watch clips featuring the exploits of Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny on the often-irreverent TV show "South Park."

In the past, the company has also banned a book from the App Store for using dirty language, yet approved a fast-growing category of fart-related applications, leaving many to wonder exactly what sort of standards are used to evaluate iPhone applications.

However, even before the reversal, Tweetie's developer seemed to be willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt.

"This could have been just a goof on Apple's part," Brichter told my colleague Dong Ngo earlier Tuesday. "The App Store is still very young, they're working out the kinks."