Apple Kicks AppGratis While It’s Down By Turning Off Push Notifications For Existing Users

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French startup, French minister. Hmmm.
French startup, French minister. Hmmm.

Once you get on Apple’s bad side, it’s hard to climb back into its good graces, and AppGratis is starting to learn that the hard way. After pulling AppGratis’ app from the Apple Store last week, Apple has also decided to kill push notifications on the app for users that still have it installed.

This is the first time we’ve seen Apple kill certain functionality on an app after users have already installed it. AppGratis was banned from the App Store after Apple decided violated multiple rules of the App Store, but AppGratis says its already working on a comeback.

AppGratis Was Charging Developers Lots Of Money To Game The App Store Charts

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appgratis

There has been an unprecedented amount of drama surrounding the removal of AppGratis, a popular app discovery tool Apple recently pulled from the App Store. An online petition with over 800,000 signatures begs for Apple to bring AppGratis back into the App Store’s good graces. Heck, the French government is pissed. What’s all the fuss about?

Apple said that it pulled AppGratis for sending app promotions to iOS users via push notifications. The discovery service coordinates with third-party developers to offer discounts for paid apps. Apple also said that AppGratis behaved too much like the App Store itself.

It looks like AppGratis’s sins run deeper.

According to a leaked document, AppGratis was charging developers large sums to get their apps to the top of the App Store’s charts.

French Minister Slams Apple For Dumping AppGratis

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French startup, French minister. Hmmm.
French startup, meed angry French minister.

Apparently, junior minister for digital economy Fluer Pellerin thinks that Apple shouldn’t have rejected AppGratis from the App Store last week. Her remarks to the French media make it clear that she feels the tech company isn’t behaving ethically in its dealings with AppGratis, a French startup, or others like it, calling the move “an issue of fairness,” and “extremely brutal.”

Not only that, but Pellerin feels that European regulators might want to think about taking action against Apple for the rejection.

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

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appgratis

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.

AppGratis On Why Its App Was Pulled: Apple Changed Its Mind Overnight

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appgratis1

AppGratis is a popular App Store app that’s used by more than 12 million iOS users. The company consists of 45 employees and recently raised $13.5 million in funding. AppGratis offers promotions and discounts for popular paid iOS apps in conjunction with third-party developers, and the company has continued to thrive over the last few years.

Everything was going great until Apple threw down the hammer over this past weekend. Without much warning, AppGratis was suddenly pulled from the App Store for violating some developer guidelines. Poof. Gone. Now it’s a matter of working with Apple to try and fix what caused the problem. The app’s removal came as a shock to AppGratis and has left the CEO wondering how the App Store review team “could have possibly changed their minds overnight.”