Apple pulls AppGratis, App Store curation and promotion software

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?