Apple has denied AppStore certification to a third party developer’s mail application that the company says “duplicates the functionality” of the iPhone’s built-in Mail app. Angelo DiNardi’s MailWranger app claims to let users check multiple GMail accounts without manually logging in and out and to provide functionality unavailable through the iPhone’s native mail application, including support for threaded views, access to Google contacts, and support for easy mail archiving.
The dispute here recalls last week’s brouhaha over Podcaster’s denial of service based on similar claims the app would “duplicate the functionality” of the podcasting functionality of iTunes. Whether MailWrangler will follow Podcaster creator Alex Sokirynsky and resort to ad hoc distribution is uncertain at this time.
By any analysis, however, Apple’s gatekeeping behavior with the AppStore seems increasingly capricious. If “duplicating the functionality” of native apps is a standard, for example, can someone at Apple explain why there are nearly two dozen tip calculators in the AppStore?