AppGratis The First Of Many App Recommenders To Be Pulled By Apple

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When AppGratis was yanked from the App Store last week, it didn’t take a genius to work out why. The app violates an App Store guideline that was introduced last October banning iOS apps from promoting other iOS apps from different developers. It also used push notifications to deliver marketing messages by recommending apps with a once-daily notification, which is also not allowed.

What is confusing is why AppGratis was pulled — just days after its iPad app was approved — when there are plenty of similar services that remain in the App Store. But according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans, its ban was the first of many the Cupertino company is about to dish out.

AllThingsD reports the removal of AppGratis was “a first step in a broader enforcement action generally targeted at app-discovery apps that run afoul of clauses 2.25 and 5.6.” Those clauses are the ones I mentioned above, which state apps cannot recommend other apps, and that they cannot deliver marketing messages in push notifications.

“I’m told that Apple feels that these apps threaten the legitimacy of the App Store charts by providing a way for developers to spend their way to a high ranking,” writes AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski. “The company also worries that such apps undermine the integrity of the App Store by cluttering it with alternative storefronts.”

So there’s no ulterior motive behind Apple’s decision to pull AppGratis — it is simply clamping down on apps that violate certain clauses, and AppGratis was unlucky enough to be the first one.

While AppGratis’s CEO is adamant his company isn’t dead, then, it looks like its iOS app certainly is.

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  • technochick

    They don’t load and run every app that they review so it’s not a shock that they miss a few things since all they are looking for is certain key code that reflects known private APIs, sand boxing violations etc.

    But now that there have been dozens of articles about this with other apps being called out by name it will be easy for them to find and ban those as well. Right after they ‘ban’ the comic Saga from in app sales for explicit sex images now that the whole gay thing brought that detail (which they may not have known since they don’t vet every item inside apps either) to light

  • jasonrupe2012

    Killian, What about http://www.faad.com or AppsGoneFree, or AppOday or AppsHawk or so many other REAL scammers who claim to do the exact same thing as Appgratis but all they want is money from developers, yet they break the same clauses 2.25 and 5.6 that you stated. FAAD is rigged and just like the APP Store, if you have the money then your app can be seen. ARE YOU GOING TO REPORT about this other discovery app companies? And how they are still on the App Store and yet APPLE has not pulled them out for infringing on clauses 2.25 and 5.6? I hope to see some fairness

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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