Apple pulls AppGratis, App Store curation and promotion software

By , Apr 7, 2013

AppGratis (teaser)

Enough has been said about so-called Apple dictatorship and app rejections on iDB so far and although I, for one, am usually first to support Apple in its curation efforts because it keeps junk away from the App Store, sometimes the company rejects submissions for competing with its own software or over offering a feature Apple plans on introducing in the near future.

Now, Apple’s been after various app discovery apps for some time, even more so in this latest example involving AppGratis, a service which curates programs from the App Store and makes paid apps free for a day via revenue-sharing deals with their creators.

In fact, it’s the revenue-sharing scheme which appears to go against Apple’s rule which forbids software providing access to other third-party programs by using marketing tactics similar to Apple’s App Store promotions…

Apple last October amended its new Terms & Conditions with third-party developers by adding a clause saying that “apps that display apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected”.

By killing such cross-promotions, the iPhone maker hopes to protect the legitimacy of App Store charts and its own promotions. For instance, back in May 2012 Apple launched Free App of the Week and Editor’s Choice promotions on the App Store.

TechCrunch notes that Paris-based AppGratis has raised $13.5 million in January. And with its seven million users, AppGratis apparently has the ability to lead to up to 500,000 downloads for a single app.

The Cupertino firm also pulled the popular app discovery software AppShopper last December over a conflict with the new rules. AppShopper said it was working on a new version, but Apple still hasn’t approved it to date. Of course, even though it’s yet to make a comeback, current users can continue using AppShopper.

Notably, Apple had acquired discovery and recommendation engine Chomp in February 2012 and soon after killed the Android build. Some thought the acquisition would result in better app discovery on the App Store but Apple only tweaked the search algorithm and introduced other minor changes since.

I understand Apple’s position, but these rules seem stupid.

AppShopper is where I go to discover notable new items, price drops and other deals. Now that anyone who hasn’t been lucky enough to download it prior to the rejection is out of luck, that just doesn’t seem fair.

What app/service do you use to research price drops, app deals and new arrivals on the App Store?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/linton.findlay Linton Findlay

    Appgratis was great, able to find some useful apps and good alternatives to mainstream apps

  • Justin Hay

    This is just ridiculous. I’ve had it with Apple now. Gonna buy and Android Device this is just getting ridiculous.

    • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

      Considering your avatar is Android related I assume you already own an Android device and are just trolling at this point.

      • coderdroid

        I have an android tablet and yes I have an android avatar but this means nothing other than I like this avatar. Sheesh people like you make me hate the internet.

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

        Ok, so you just made my point for me. Thanks.

      • Arian Avini

        you somehow conveniently forgot to mention, that his avatar is also apple-related…
        btw. using mac and ios myself

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

        He changed his avatar. Obviously because he realized that he looked like an Android fanboy with his Android avatar, bad mouthing Apple. I don’t care one way or the other. Just saying.

      • coderdroid

        I change my avatar regularly Do you get a kick out of trying to start arguments on the web? And your calling me a troll. Settle down.

        My main point was that I am just sick of Apple killing off decent applications for no reason or because they become to popular. I love apple and their technology and most of their methods but they have got to chill out when it comes to things like this.

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

        I don’t think Apples strategy is to kill off apps that get too popular. They want popular apps, its how they make money.

        As for AppGratis getting pulled. Apples rules are stated clearly. However uncool they may be. I am actually surprised AppGratis survived this long. Unfortunate. I used the app regularly.

    • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

      Get appsfire, it’s way better than any app, I’m not being sponsored, it’s just that is a very veery awsome app! :)

      • coderdroid

        Thanks Ill give it a try. Though maybe this app will be headed the same way too?

      • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

        I will be very pissed off at Apple if they do, I use it every day more than once and it’s personally the best free app on the AppStore!
        Sure, devs could build an HTML5 version if the app get pulled, but wouldn’t work so well.

      • coderdroid

        yeah that’s very true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520320075 Aaron B. Utter

    Appgratis here!

  • http://twitter.com/AwesomeTech2000 AwesomeTech2000

    I’m using AppsGoneFree and AppAdvice. Both great apps!

  • alfonso hall

    Follow macmixing on twitter. He does free and discounted apps everyday

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000061961790 Ian Jackson

    AppGratis got me some good apps. I wonder if it will continue working after being pulled…

    • Timothy

      It should keep working, because the AppGratis server should be completely unreliant on the App Store. In fact, I doubt I lot of current users will realize its gone. Let’s hope so, anyway…

      • http://www.facebook.com/siggen Sigurd Bøe

        Anyone have the Appgratis ipa file and can post it?
        Don’t care if its cracked or not, its same same for me.
        I don’t see how anyone could protest the posting of a free app that is pulled from the appstore. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000061961790 Ian Jackson

        I sent a link, but it’s waiting approval. You can send me a message on Facebook to my “other” and I’ll send it that way if you’re impatient or my link doesn’t get approved.

    • bloodshed

      try appsgonefree, around 10 paid apps gone free, daily.
      it is great.

  • WatchTheThrone

    Dam I just got the app last week and its been great. Hopefully they still offer good promotions even after being pulled.

  • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

    AppsFire is the best app belive me! I have more than 100 apps on my “alert me” list. Every time an app drop prize or is free it sends me a push notification.
    It’s fast, good looking, and works very awesome, with a good and fast search!
    I saved so much $$$ with this app and I’m very grateful to the developers.
    This is the best app ever, never lag, never freeze, and it’s freee!
    GET IT NOoOW!

  • http://www.meetc3.com Praj

    AppGratis was awesome. I got quite a few good recommendations from them, most recently Solar (yesterday). This is ridiculous from Apple, but I’m sure diehard Apple fans will see this as something natural.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Shame on Apple. first AppShopper, and now AppGratis. Apple made one thing very clear… they don’t want the user getting free or reduced priced apps. Shame on these dictatorial rules.

  • Issam Chabaa

    Been using Appgratis for months and the apps listed were all great and well handpicked. Just don’t see what could be wrong with it. Anyway, the same concept can easily be translated onto a webpage. So, Apple is not doing itself a favor here by beeing so mean.

  • Timothy

    AppGratis was one of the highest quality free-app services in my opinion, and largely because of the developer’s personal input. His daily comments and commentary on the app often included personal experiences and stories, and for me, that made the app what it was. I certainly hope the developer can/will continue offering these deals in spite of it all.

    • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

      Try out appsfire, the interface is awsome, and it alerts you when an app you like is on sale/free via push! You can also see and filter(by price, category and device compatibility) all app that are on sale right now.

  • http://twitter.com/rick5up Ricky

    Luckily i downloaded it! Well FYI: the word Gratis actually means free in indonesian language. Coincidence?

    • http://twitter.com/Cabelodefogo5 Yuri Medeiros

      In portuguese too :)

      • Josué Arteaga Díaz

        In Spanish too! :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/barry.peeters.9 Barry Peeters

        Dutch too!

      • josteinliverod

        Norwegian too!

      • Guest

        Romanian too!

    • s0me

      in romanian too

    • blawbair

      In Swedish too! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/tamer.zengin.3 Tamer Zengin

      German, too

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    I use FreeMyApps com and so far, received $50 worth of gift cards for trying new apps.

    Glad Crapple can’t remove it from the AppStore, because its not on the AppStore; its a WebApp.

  • Latrese

    This is stupid,but it’s business. Though I think it’s bad business for apple. Along with free apps AppGratis listed price drops,apple has made some money off me because of that,and apple sure has no problem counting every download when bragging how many people use the App Store regardless of how we found the app.
    It’s just great I’ve been downloaded it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    Is App of the Day next?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ravendotnet Michael Perillo

    app-o-day is another one…

  • Kurt

    Appshopper is great. It is so useful. Especially for seeing the app history. Knowing if they ever go free and how often has saved me some cash a few times

  • s0me

    I use Appsgonefree I never liked AppGratis.

  • Mark

    AppGoneFree is another alternative, but I’m not sure if it still on the appstore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ecarraud Emmanuel Carraud

    Sorry to here that about AppGratis. I am using FreeAppMagic, it is available and it works very well to get paid app for free!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shelshock Dave Bell

    I’m using Gnome Escape. It’s a website (not an app) where you can find lots of great hand picked apps and earn credits that can be cashed in for anything you want in the App Store.

  • seyss

    then we pissedly pirate apps and they ask “why????”

  • josteinliverod

    Gonna buy Appadvice before they take that down too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tamer.zengin.3 Tamer Zengin

    Appticker is an alternative i use.

  • Appletiser

    AppGratis was the first type of these services i tried, i then discovered AppsGoneFree and never went back. the one app a day feature was useless by comparison to AGF’s multiple and on numerous occasions the app of the day being offered for free had always been free in the App Store. sad to see it go but i hardly used it toward the end.

  • AMB_07

    The pulling of Appshopper is an absolute low-blow to consummers, I still can’t believe they actually did it…

  • http://twitter.com/AlanRoberts1971 Alan Roberts

    “apps that display apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected” Surely the Facebook app should be pulled as well. My timeline is full of app adverts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/siggen Sigurd Bøe

    Thank you very much!
    Gonna sign it when I get home from work :P

  • rut_

    AppsGoneFree – the best!

  • Tartooob .

    Thanks alot for this, much appreciated

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000061961790 Ian Jackson

      Glad to help. I thought I would keep it up for anyone else that wanted to download it. I mean, it’s a decent app. There are better ones but AppGratis is pretty good on how it presents the apps, and the quality of the apps are good. Some days better than some.