Apple now rejecting apps with ‘flappy’ in their title

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2014

Following Flappy Bird’s removal from the App Store, Apple is now reportedly rejecting third-party applications that have ‘flappy’ in their title. One developer has found his app rejected during the iTunes authorisation process because it’s attempted to “leverage a popular app”.

Apple is obviously referring to Flappy Bird, which raked in $50,000 in daily ad revenue and got removed by its developer Dong Nguyen after the game, in his own words, has “become an addictive product”. Other developers are reporting their apps are being removed over branding issues as well… Read More

 

Apple pulls Bitcoin wallet app Blockchain from App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 6, 2014

Apple on Thursday pulled from its App Store the last remaining Bitcoin wallet app that allowed transactions. Blockchain, the only Bitcoin trading and storage iOS app, has been downloaded 120,000 times. It can no longer be found on the App Store following the removal over an “unresolved issue”.

Nicolas Cary, the CEO of London-based Blockchain.info which developed the app, told Bloomberg he didn’t understand Apple’s reasoning as his app’s been on the App Store for two years.

Apple previously pulled Bitcoin-compatible apps from the App Store or asked their developers to remove the transfer feature because it’s illegal in some countries… Read More

 

Apple rejects Send Me To Heaven game over smartphone recklessness

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 6, 2013

In today’s app rejection news, Apple has shown the door to a free game called Send Me To Heaven by Carrot Pop as it promotes smartphone recklessness. The game taps the iPhone’s accelerometer sensor to track how high it flies when thrown up in the air.

Apple’s App Store review team rejected the software on the basis of “encouraging behavior that could result in damage to the user’s device,” in spite of an appropriate disclaimer showing up prominently upon launching the app. Indeed, what was Carrot Pop thinking? Read More

 

French government takes issue with Apple’s AppGratis removal

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2013

The AppGratis app curation software is no longer available on the App Store but the controversy is far from being over. After AppGratis CEO Simon Dawalt lambasted Apple on a company blog for kicking his app out of the App Store, a move he called “an absolutely crazy situation to deal with,” a French minister today slagged the iPhone maker over the ouster. Fleur Pellerin, France’s junior minister for digital economy, publicly described Apple’s decision to pull AppGratis as “extremely brutal and unilateral.”

She urged European regulators to “think about legislation” because Apple is not “behaving ethically” in its dealings with small startups like AppGratis… Read More

 

Apple pulls AppGratis, App Store curation and promotion software

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2013

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… Read More

 

Apple pulls 500px app over nude photos (update: it’s back)

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2013

I’ve grown to love the 500px photography service. Unlike filtered shots of people’s food and pets, snaps served on 500px are of high quality and the built-in store means I can offer some of my best photos and earn 70 percent of the revenue from sales. The company released its iOS app last November and said more than half of its 1.5 million registered users are using 500px on their iPad. Moreover, 93 percent of return users and session times stood at 40+ minutes.

Unfortunately, looks like Apple’s review team has an issue with the latest update because the search feature might produce some candid shots of naked men and women. This was apparently enough for the puritan Apple police to remove the 500px app from the App Store.

UPDATE [January 29, 2013 at 8:50am Pacific]: the 500px app has returned to the App Store following pornography removal. Read More

 

After Being Rejected by Apple, Developers Turn to Cydia

By Sébastien Page on Jan 31, 2012

You might remember a few weeks ago when we told you about Tribute Calendar, an application that paid tribute to Steve Jobs in the form of a calendar application that had been rejected by Apple.

The developers of the app didn’t want to take “no” for an answer and did exactly what more developers should do: they turned to Cydia to release their app without the need of Apple’s benediction… Read More

 

Steve Jobs Tribute Calendar Rejected by Apple’s App Store Police

By Oliver Haslam on Dec 31, 2011

When Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs passed away in October, people around the world felt like they had lost someone they knew, if only through the devices they own that bear the Apple brand. Many took to Apple Stores as a way of paying their respects, leaving messages and Apple products when they left.

One iOS app developer decided that the best way to honor Jobs was to release a free calendar app on Apple’s App Store honoring the late industry titan, but according to MacNN, Apple was not so keen on the idea. Apple’s App Store review team decided to reject the app, meaning we will never get to see the tribute ourselves…

Read More

 

SkyFire Pulled From the App Store

By Sébastien Page on Nov 3, 2010

It took Apple 2 months to approve SkyFire but it only took them a few hours to pull the plug on this app that converts Flash content to HTML5. SkyFire was released this morning in the App Store but it’s already been taken down, for unknown reason.

If you look for SkyFire in the App Store right now, you’re probably going to get the same result as the screenshot above.

Why do you think SkyFire was taken down?

UPDATE: We now know why SkyFire is not available anymore…  Read More

 

Hey Apple, Lighten Up on Camera+ [Rant]

By Guest Author on Aug 13, 2010

It’s Friday, and (as usual), I feel like ranting before the weekend. On Wednesday we reported that Camera+ had “snuck” in a feature in its application, allowing the user to shutter using the volume buttons. This ability has been atop of the request list of many iPhone owners, in regards to Apple’s native camera app. As we predicted, Apple put the kibosh on the useful addition, less than a day after it was made public by various outlets. Apparently Apple took offense to the developers at Taptaptap for actually listening to what the consumer has to say.

More often than not I usually side with the way Apple handles its business. Some have even *gasp*, called me a fanboy of sorts. I’m cool with that. What I’m not cool with is the disregard of public opinion about not only a harmless feature, but a very useful one added to a magnificent application.

Camera+ is no fly-by night app. In fact, it recently reported earnings of over $500,000.00, after Apple’s 30% cut, in 60 days! Not a bad chunk of change for 2 months worth of exposure. I’m not suggesting Apple should change its policy because an app is making lots of money, as much I’m asking them what the big friggin deal is? It seems that those in charge got their panties in a bunch because Camera+ had previously tried to include the feature legitimately, but were denied because it was claimed the feature “was too confusing”. Thanks for identifying (and in turn, insulting) our level of intelligence, Apple.

I understand that there has to be guidelines and enforcement surrounding the entries into the App Store I can even understand hidden circumvention that undermine policies, such as Handylight (which allowed users to tether for free), needing to be dealt with. Camera+’s “easter egg” wasn’t included in the app itself. Those wishing to implement the volume button shuttering had to type an address in their Safari URL, and could also remove the ability doing the same. It was optional, until Apple decided to play enforcer.

There have to be rules, and I get that. But just because a rule exists doesn’t mean it isn’t a silly rule. Camera+ only “broke” policy because Apple told them their feature wasn’t easily enough understood. Ironically enough, its Safari-based addition was easy enough to understand by enough people for Apple to kick the app out of the store.

So lighten up, Apple. Camera+ is and was one of the better applications out there. It enhanced the brilliant ability of both the iPhone 4’s camera, and Retina Display. Go hassle some of the developers who promise to “find your friend’s phone”, or the fortune tellers. In fact, stop the hassling of non-abrasive implementations, and then there won’t be these silly rules to break in the first place. Otherwise, be prepared to lose millions to Cydia, who I imagine would welcome such revenue. Just sayin’…

 

Enough With Apple Dictatorship

By Sébastien Page on Jul 28, 2009

I am growing tired of Apple’s ridiculous app approval process. There is not one day going by without Apple making the headlines of tech blogs for their absurd abuse of power over developers. At first, I covered these nonsensical rejections, but there’s been so many that I stopped reporting them.

The latest grotesque rejection from the App Store is GV Mobile, a Google Voice application that was approved last April by Phil Schiller himself, Apple’s senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing… Fast forward 3 months later and the app is rejected because it is “duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc)”. What a nonsense!

Last month, Apple rejected iLaugh Lite for no reason at all, saying that it reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject an application for any reason. If this doesn’t sound like a pure dictatorship, I don’t know what it is…

What really annoys me is that people don’t seem to care much and just deal with it. If it was Microsoft doing the same thing, people would be ranting all over the web. But it’s Apple, the great innovative, customer oriented company so that makes it ok… To me it doesn’t!

Apple is taking the risk of seeing the most innovative developers jump over to Android or the Palm Pre, but does it really care? It seems to me Apple cares more about money coming in through fart applications than it cares about really pushing the limits of innovation in the App Store.

If you were looking for yet another reason the jailbreak your iPhone, then here you go. This is an opportunity for developers to flip their third finger to Apple and make their apps available on jailbroken iPhones. That’s exactly what the developer of GV Mobile is going to do has done as GV Mobile is now available for free on Cydia. I just wish more developers would follow the jailbreak way. No one, including Apple, should dictate what I can and cannot do with my iPhone.

What do you think of the app approval process? Do you think it’s ok for Apple to reject whatever it wants, or do you feel that you, the end user, should decide what’s good or not for you?

As a side note, you can see that my Photoshop skills are very limited… If any of you guys want to make a better image for this article, feel free to get in touch with me.

 

Apple Dictatorship Hits Again

By Sébastien Page on Jun 12, 2009

I try not to write too much about the app approval process because it seems to be a never ending discussion. However, some events piss me off so much sometimes that I have to vent out by writing a post about it. That’s the case about a new app rejection I first heard about on TUAW.

Usually, when Apple rejects an app, it gives somewhat of a reason like “violating the SDK” or “objectionable content”. This time though, the reason for rejecting an update to iLaugh Lite simply is that Apple can do whatever they want to do.

This to me is very similar to a dictatorship and it is absolutely scandalous. But what can you do? You can just shut up and hope things get better, just like the good obedient consumers we are.

 

Must Read: Diary of An iPhone App Store Reviewer

By Sébastien Page on May 29, 2009

John Gruber wrote an absolutely hilarious blog post faking the diary of an App Store reviewer. It is a very sarcastic post showing the stupidity of the system. While it is pure fiction, you can’t help realizing that Gruber is very close to reality, mostly on the app approval rejection process.

Here are some of my favorite pieces of the post:

Wednesday May 13

Began examining some game submitted a week or two ago. Slick UI, kind of fun to play. But: one of the help screen images shows a little icon representing an iPhone. Rejected the app with this message:

Thank you for submitting [app name] to the App Store. We’ve reviewed [app name] and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because of an Apple trademark image. Rule 2 under “Unauthorized Use of Apple Trademarks” in Apple’s Copyright and Trademark Guidelines states:

“You may not use the Apple Logo or any other Apple-owned graphic symbol, logo, or icon on or in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, promotional/advertising materials, or for any other purpose except pursuant to an express written trademark license from Apple, such as a reseller agreement.”

Read More

 

Peekababe Finally Makes It To The App Store

By Sébastien Page on May 1, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I reported about Peekababe being rejected from the App Store because it was too much of a sexy app. Well, even though the app doesn’t seem to have changed at all, Peekababe is now allowed in the App Store, proving one more time that the app approval process is just a giant joke.

According to TechCrunch:

So why did Apple approve the app this time? Well it may be because Sookie now includes a 12+ rating for it. “My rating was based on the guidelines that they have for the iTunes store. Better to be safe than sorry,” Bigio says. There is also a clear note saying that it does not contain any nude or pornographic pictures. 12+ is kind of funny though. Something tells me a lot of parents wouldn’t want their 12-year-old playing with this app.

I really like the irony that it’s not ok for kids under 12 to see ladies in sexy lingerie but it sure is ok for them to kill, rob, and sell drugs in the Mafia-like iPhone games…

You can download Peekababe on iTunes for $0.99.

 

Apple Approves Baby Shaker, Offensive App That Let’s You Shake A Baby To Death

By Sébastien Page on Apr 22, 2009

We already know that the App Store app approval process sometimes doesn’t make sense by rejecting applications that seem totally legit. The non-sense also goes about how Apple sometimes approve applications that should never be developed in the first place.

In Apple’s App Store right now is Baby Shaker, a new app which, displays a picture of a baby and plays crying sounds. To make it stop, you have to shake your iPhone really hard, after which the crying will stop and two X’s will be placed over the baby’s eyes — implying, of course, that the baby is dead. I’m not kidding.

According to TechCrunch, “a woman who lost her own son in 2007 after he was shaken to death, brought the app to CNET’s attention. And rightfully so”.

Baby Shaker [download link] has to be the most offensive app I’ve seen so far in the App Store, and I really wonder how someone at Apple could have ever approved this. I’m pretty sure the app won’t stay long in the App Store.

Here is a video of Baby Shaker in action:


 

Apple Rejects Peekababe: Too Sexy App

By Sébastien Page on Apr 15, 2009

Apple has once again shown its inconsistency and its limit on creativity by rejecting the iPhone’s sexy new app Peekababe, as first discussed on Download Squad.

You can check out Peekababe on YouTube, and the only thing you see is that the user can take the clothes off the beautiful models to leave them in their seductive lingerie. You can also save these hot pics for your iPhone’s wallpaper.

Peekababe doesn’t have any kind of nude or pornographic pics. So why did Apple reject it??? An insider commented that Apple rejected the app for claims of excessive sexual content. Oh, so it’s not OK for Peekababe’s models to show some skin and their lingerie, but it’s OK to kill, dismember, and chainsaw a game character on the iPhone?!

A special thanks to Tom for sending this in :)

 

iPhone Applications Graveyard

By Sébastien Page on Oct 13, 2008

Peter Hosey, developer on the Adium X and Growl projects has dedicated a page on his website for applications that Apple killed.

This page lists every application that Apple has killed, along with the reason that they stated for doing so, and what has happened to the app since.

So far, the page only shows 10 rejected applications, including NetShare, I am Rich, MailWrangler, and Podcaster.

Contact Peter if you know of any other application that has been rejected by Apple.

 

Apple extends iPhone NDA to rejection letters

By Sébastien Page on Sep 23, 2008

Apple is going nuts on these NDA! After receiving a lot of bad publicity for its rejection policy of application in the App Store (see MailWrangler and Podcaster), Apple apparently extended today its Non Disclosure Agreements to rejection letters. Meaning that when you get rejected from the App Store, you can’t even talk about it!

Aparently, Apple has now started labeling their rejection letters with Non-Disclosure Agreements statements:

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE

Sounds crazy? Sounds like Apple’s usual way of doing business to me….