After seven years and more than fifty million installs globally, the app discovery service AppGratis announced it’s shutting down today. Founded in 2010 by French engineer Simon Dawlat, AppGratis curators found and recommended apps that were featured to download for free or at a significantly reduced price.

As some of you will recall, Apple in a controversial move nuked the app from orbit back in April 2013 over a violation of App Store rules regarding third-party app promotion and marketing. After it was dumped from App Store, AppGratis launched an Android version of the app.

The discontinuation of the service has nothing to do with Apple, however, or its broader crackdown on apps which might be similar to or confusing with App Store.

According to the blog post, the team has simply come to the terms with the realities of running a startup. They discovered that startups are hard and take a big chunk of one’s life, with no guarantees of success.

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

AppGratis lived, AppGratis died. It was an OK product with a strong first-mover’s advantage in a time of novelty. Some people liked it, some didn’t, but that doesn’t matter anymore. The world evolved and so have we. We had ups and downs, we were a passionate bunch, we had fun and we were very, very lucky—until we weren’t so lucky anymore, but we didn’t quit.

I would say that AppGratis has actually realized that the popularity of their service has slowly but surely diminished over the years due to the spectacular rise of the freemium software distribution model and other app promotion services and websites.

The AppGratis team says they ultimately made it through to a new project that’s now reportedly “taking off nicely.” Going forward, the team will be pouring all their collective energies into this unknown new project.

Are you saddened that AppGratis was shut down and discontinued?

Source: AppGratis

  • Ray Mazur

    It was great while it lasted. Used to read their daily mail at breakfast to find out the funny things they had to say and also check out the apps they were promoting.

  • Aman kapoor

    The offered free apps that were actually worth downloading
    I miss the service

  • SimonDawlat

    Aman, Ray – you brothers are in my heart for ever with those two comments 🙂

    • igobythisname

      Wow, the man himself!! What an honor it is; thank you for your genius! Although I only used App Gratis for a short period of time, it will always be a memorable and pleasurable experience! Pleased to know you and your team will continue your hard work. Best wishes for your next project!

  • Igor Engelen

    i’m using the Appshopper website. I think it does something similar.

  • burge

    Too right I’ll miss it, my daily email at 6am from these guys will be missed. I’ve been getting them practically since AppGratis started.

  • Fardeen Beharry

    i got so much great apps with that

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    I too used this app even from the days when it was still on the App Store and continued using it after it’s removal. I even had the Safari bookmark on my home screen up until a year and a half ago simply because I got a new phone. But I do fondly look back at it as I did manage to get some rather nice apps over the years either for free or at a reduced price since I found the App Store’s discovery to be awful and still think so. Sad to see it go. Farewell, AppGratis.

  • Javier Gore

    Why are you mourning the death of this app when you can get the exact same thing with Apps Gone Free ?

  • MacServiceGuy

    I’ve had my moments with this website where the brown nosing in favor of apple (while simultaneously ignoring facts and truth) can be vomit inducing. the level of apple fanboyism around here is nauseating, yet i’ve learned to live with it given the quality of the content.

    But this one absolutely takes the cake… I needed a full on vomit bag because with this post you move from implying apple’s innocence to actually declaring it “The discontinuation of the service has nothing to do with Apple…”

    The app gratis story has been the poster story since day 1 regarding apple’s insane and uncontrolled/unreserved nazi like tactics and techniques. It is the quintessential definition of anti capitalism and anti free market tactics. Instead of allowing the market to decide what will succeed and what will not, apple takes it upon themselves to decide.

    How do fanboys not see that most times when apple says “that’s against our policy” what they are really saying is “we can’t compete with what you’re doing, and you’re making us look bad so we’re going to kill your product” or just as bad: “we provide that service already and we don’t want competition”, which is exactly what happened in this scenario.

    And the very idea that a site like this, that is centered around promoting jailbreaking, the very heart of which is to publicly defy apple the opportunity to control our choices, would re-color the truth like this so as to favor apple in such a way as to rewrite history is disgusting on its face.

    For whatever app gratis suffered/learned/grew/died from post-apple deployment, it does not change the fact that their major troubles and eventual death can be traced back to the moment when apple stuck a sword in the heart of their company for no other reason than “we don’t like what you’re doing”

    who the hell does apple think they are? these are people… human beings… with lives, families and children. They left their jobs, risked their fortunes and gave up the security of other interests to focus their efforts on an app…

    had *WE* all decided we didn’t like what they were doing (by not downloading/using their app) that’s one thing. that’s the free market and that’s the way life goes. THAT is the risk to which they hooked their wagons. but for apple to arbitrarily decide that they would no longer have the ability to produce their app… it’s sickening. and for you to recolor this in that regard is utterly disgusting.

    • Anonymouse

      Be thankful your comment made it through, when I’ve expressed similar views my comment disappeared. Your point is true however and more and more this site is ‘pandering’ towards Apple. Perhaps their app listed on the apple store is a significant factor.