Apple widens net on discovery app crackdown

By , May 7, 2013

app store iphone

Apple’s removal of AppGratis last month sent a clear message to developers that it’s going to start clamping down on app discovery apps. That was the second time in the past six months that it had pulled such an app from the App Store.

And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop with just app discovery apps either. According to a new report, Apple has begun rejecting third-party applications that allow you to filter, bookmark, search for, or share App Store apps as well…

PocketGamer reports:

“We’ve been contacted by one developer whose app discovery tool has recently been blocked by Apple because it includes such features, with App Store regulation 2.25 – which restricts apps that could be confused by consumers as app stores in their own right – cited within the reasoning.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the App Store regulation 2.25, it says that apps that display other iOS apps for purchase or promotions in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected. But this case was different:

“I have not seen this rejection notice before and believe that it is a new one. We thought that basing our recommendations on sharing was suitable for Apple, as it had previously stated that if you bake in social or local into your app discovery, you would be fine…”

…either we are not social enough, or Apple is going back on its position.”

Sure, the wording in the 2.25 rule is pretty general. But Apple appears to be really widening its net here in what seems to be part of a bigger plan. Maybe it’s working on revamping its own app discovery tools—after all, it did just acquire Chomp.

Regardless, I think Apple is traveling down a dangerous road here. Imagine how many downloads promotional apps like AppGratis have been responsible for over the years. What does the company hope to gain from getting rid of them?

What do you make of all of this?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/pete.witty Pete Woodcock

    free apps!!! Apple cant make money from that!

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.bo.790 Chris Bö

      They can, even from free game … IAP !!??

      • Gorgonphone

        i hate that

  • http://twitter.com/ItsDidrick Didrick Namtvedt

    I have tried various app discovery apps over the years and if anything, they have in most cases helped me find relevant and useful apps in the jungle of apps out there, in better ways than the default App Store on my idevices. Often times, I feel that Apple’s own app store can seem too overwhelming and not very organized but many of the app discovery apps made it easier to find just what I was looking for, as well as related apps the discovery app thought I might find interesting as well. If Apple removes every app discovery app that is out there, I hope they will become available on Cydia instead and continue being useful for jailbreakers.

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

      Are you kidding me? All the games and apps that I want, over 100 now, AppsFire sends me a notification when they go free/on sale, I saved so much money with this app I could buy an iPod! Tons of 1/3/5$ great apps and games, I got all for free!
      In conclusion this discovery app is the best thing I ever downloaded, if Apple removes it, I’m gonna rage so hard I’ll rape Tim Cook! lol

      • Adam Bowman

        AppsFire is a solid app, even for something as common as browsing. It is customizable to your interests. What a shameful loss it would be if it got pulled from the App Store.

      • Gorgonphone

        better download it now while you can but in actuality all the pulled apps are always still available in other places..

      • Gorgonphone

        i just got it … and only knew about it cause of your post..lol but am guessing that apple will kill it soon enough though

      • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

        Tim Cook will most definitely like that.

      • Altaykai Yamada

        Are you gay to rape him? I head somewhere that hes gay too. Perfect iCouple lmfao.

  • iospixel

    I believe they want people using the App Store to find apps. They just redesigned it for iOS 6 maybe they want people to actually use it! Perhaps a redesigned ‘social’ App Store in iOS7 oO

    • Gorgonphone

      it suuucks .. its very hard to find apps in there and its slow as hell… i find apps by luck..

  • http://twitter.com/rick5up Ricky

    Cant imagine how terrible tge old appstore look like

  • disk Latvia

    The future does not look bright in the app store is there a developers union or something because this is getting ridiculous

  • http://www.facebook.com/Makavelli.1 Joseph A. Ahmad

    The search funtionality on the App Store has become less than par. I’d like to see them revamp that with iOS 7 if they’re going to start pulling discovery apps and so on. Sometimes I can spend an hour looking for a good app that I could actually find useful when I’m cleaning out the apps that I don’t use. Most of the time I can find good stuff in the categories section, but when I want to be precise, the search function needs to be provided with a better process.

  • Dylfo

    What is the reasoning for not allowing these discovery apps… I don’t get it