Apple widens net on discovery app crackdown

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?