Looks like applications that were once getting rejected due to their use of the Dropbox API are once again being approved in Apple’s iTunes App Store. What apparently was at issue was Apple’s rules regarding “out of app” purchases that bypassed Apple’s app store as well as it’s 30 percent cut of the fees.
The developer of Cambox was the first to report that their app, which uses the Dropbox API to manage the photos taken with the app, had been approved by Apple after Dropbox chanced it’s own development kit that removed any out of app purchasing options.
Over on the Dropbox developer forums, Dropboxer Brian S. said, “What has changed is if the Dropbox app is not installed, it opens a login view directly in your app rather than going to Safari, and there is no option to create an account.”
This seems to have mollified the approval folks at Apple, as Cambox reports. Apple’s rules specifically forbid out of app purchasing options, including such second-tier connections as in the case of Dropbox. Before the change, third-party apps sent users to Safari to login to the Dropbox service, which also included a link to upgrade their storage options, therefore triggering the Apple issue.
While many apps like Kindle from Amazon, nook from Barnes & Noble and The Wall Street Journal had to make direct changes to their apps due to the new policies at Apple, many third party apps using APIs and development kits like the one from Dropbox were affected without even knowing it. IT will be interesting to see over time how many truly are rejected for this reason alone. Hopefully the quick fix by Dropbox will minimize the potential damage done to these smaller app developers.