Apple Starts Banning iOS Apps That Feature Dropbox Integration

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Apple
Dropbox promises it is already working with Apple to rectify the issue.

Even with iCloud now up and running, Dropbox is still one of the best ways to sync documents between your Mac and iOS devices. It’s so great that all kinds of iOS apps — task managers, word processors, and even games — use Dropbox to send your data to the cloud so that you can access it on any of your devices.

However, Apple just turned up to the party swinging its banhammer. The Cupertino company has begun rejecting certain iOS apps that use the Dropbox SDK simply because they link to the Dropbox website.

Confused? Well, as we all know, Apple doesn’t like it when iOS apps circumvent its ecosystem and allow users to purchase additional content without going through iTunes. It’s been a big issue, particularly for subscription services who now need to throw Apple 30% of their revenues or force customers to make their purchases through a web browser.

The problem with some apps using the Dropbox SDK is that when a user doesn’t have the official Dropbox app installed, they link directly to the Dropbox website. Here, users can upgrade their Dropbox storage without giving Apple its cut, which isn’t allowed.

Developers have been taking to the Dropbox forums to report that their apps have now been rejected. One posted the company’s message, which reads:

We found that your app provides access to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

Specifically, your app enables to user to create accounts with Dropbox and Google.

One developer received a more detailed response after probing Apple:

The good news is, Dropbox has confirmed that it is working with Apple to rectify the problem. In a statement to AppleInsider, the company said:

Apple is rejecting apps that use the Dropbox SDK because we allow users to create accounts. We’re working with Apple to come up with a solution that still provides an elegant user experience.

Of course, it’s unlikely Apple is going to backdown and change its rules (especially not this one, which has been hated by developers for some time). So it’ll probably be up to Dropbox to fix it. The company has already posted a temporary fix, asking developers to use another version of its SDK which removes the “create account” issue. And it’s hoping to have a more suitable fix in place during the next week.

[via The Next Web]