Remember AppGratis? It shut down today.

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.

After being dumped from App Store, AppGratis launches Android version

After great wailing and gnashing of teeth about its banishment from Apple's App Store earlier this year, AppGratis is back - for Android users. The app recommendation engine was yanked after Apple outlawed iOS apps which promoted other apps.

Now in the Google's Play store Android repository, developers claim AppGratis "is designed from the ground up" for the iOS rival. Yet, the service appears much like the AppGratis ejected from the app's first choice, the App Store...

App recommendation software AppShopper returns as social tool

When is it okay for an app to recommend other apps? Only when your friends recommend them via any third-party software designed to curate crowdsourced app recommendations, according to Apple. In other words, get social. That's the word from AppShopper Social (formerly AppShopper), an app recommendation service which returns from banishment by Apple after allowing users to view lists of apps recommended by friends. Developers have discovered that by adding the slight wrinkle of social interactivity, they can avoid at least one Apple ban: being "similar to or confusing with the App Store"...

Apple disables Push Notifications for AppGratis

The app recommendation engine AppGratis's woes with Apple continue with word that the iPhone maker has now disabled push alerts for the existing users of the software. AppGratis, which employs a staff of 40 at its Paris, France headquarters, saw its iOS app booted eleven days ago from the App Store for violating two clauses of Apple's iOS agreement with third-party developers. This being a major blow to the app curation engine, which claims some twelve million users, the company has emailed its user base to inform them of Apple's move...

Appolicious creates education software discovery tool for kids

In light of Apple's recent ban on discovery apps, a new portal hopes to do an end-run around the whole controversy. Appolicious launched Monday appoLearning, a web site where educational experts recommend iOS apps for K-12. Although it touts use of educational experts to make recommendations on dozens of educational app categories, appoLearning offers a spot for paid endorsements. Still, the founder of Appolicious claims his app recommendation service will be a boon for Apple...

French government takes issue with Apple’s AppGratis removal

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...

AppGratis rejection may point to wider App Store enforcement

Apple may be preparing to scrub its App Store of companies offering to promote other apps through paid partnerships with their developers.

The removal of the AppGratis curation software from the App Store earlier this week "was the first step" by Apple to enforce the recently-announced portions of the App Store Review Guidelines, according to one tech news outlet.

And while the AppGratis teams argues this is “far from finished,” looks like the legitimacy of the App Store's ranking feature is at stake. On the surface, it seems Apple believes it is being threatened by third-party software for iDevices designed to recommend other apps, including promoting apps via social media.

Although developers debate the meaning of two clauses in Apple's guidelines, the iPhone and iPad maker wants to head off any confusion by consumers, the Wednesday report suggests...

AppGratis CEO sheds further light on App Store removal

As most of you have probably heard by now, Apple pulled the popular app discovery app AppGratis over the weekend. There's been a few reasons given for the removal, including notification abuse, but not much else has been said about the situation.

Until today, that is. AppGratis CEO Simon Dawalt took to the company's blog this morning to talk about the recent removal of his team's app, and shed some light on what it means for them moving forward. And to be honest, it doesn't look good...

Apple pulls AppGratis, App Store curation and promotion software

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...