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Apple to developer: No, you pull MY finger

Another rejected iPhone application raises the question of just how Apple decides which applications are useful, if juvenile, and which aren't.

Apple apparently doesn't think fart jokes are very funny.

The developer of Pull My Finger, an iPhone application, told MacRumors that Apple decided to reject his application from the App Store because it was "of limited utility to the broad iPhone and iPod touch user community." Pull My Finger does pretty much what you would expect it to do, generating about five or six different sounds of flatulence from your iPhone depending on your preference.

Regardless of whether you think fart jokes are the linchpin of comedy (we're running roughly half and half right now in an informal internal poll), MacRumors poses the interesting question of what exactly it means for an iPhone application to have "utility."

Koi Pond, the top-selling iPhone application in the App Store, doesn't do much beyond letting you look at pretty waterscapes with colorful fish on your iPhone. And some of the applications on Josh Lowensohn's recent list of absurd iPhone applications aren't exactly searching for a cure for cancer or helping old ladies cross the street.

When Apple announced it would be vetting every application submitted for inclusion in the App Store, this was just the kind of question that entered many a mind: just how arbitrary would the company be in wielding that veto power? While the rejection of Pull My Finger isn't going to rattle people's cages the way that NetShare's execution did, it's still an interesting question that Apple hasn't exactly stepped forward to answer, though we've gotten a hint with the rejections of applications such as the "I am rich" application.