Apple boots AppShopper for violating new App Store guidelines
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has removed the popular AppShopper price tracker tool from its App Store, citing a new rule restricting iOS applications from promoting apps other than the developer's own.
Developed by the creators of the TouchArcade.com review site, AppShopper for iOS keeps consumers up to date on App Store promotions and discounts, complete with ratings and reviews--users also can build customized Wish Lists, receiving automatic notifications in the event of a sale or update. TouchArcade co-founder Arnold Kim confirmed AppShopper's App Store ouster to The Next Web, stating it ran afoul of clause 2.25 of Apple's iOS developer guidelines, which reads "Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected."
Apple instituted the rule limiting app promotions in September 2012. While Apple has never publicly commented on the change or its intent, many pundits predicted the move could have a dramatic impact on app recommendation services like AppShopper, FreeAppADay and others. "I think it's pretty clear that Apple wants to caution companies away from building these sorts of apps," Ben Guild, the developer behind discovery solution App Map, told The Next Web. "App discovery is a really interesting space with tons of room for innovation, but perhaps it's a space that Apple itself wishes to solely focus on." Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Despite AppShopper's removal, other similar apps--including App Map--remain available for download to iOS devices. Guild notes App Map was submitted before iOS developer clause 2.25 took effect, earning App Store approval for "providing significant alternate functionality." Other apps may not be so lucky, Guild warns: "Apple may already only be allowing apps now on a case-by-case basis. This could turn into a roadblock, and rejections may serve as a cautionary tale to spread within the developer community."
After news of clause 2.25 first broke this fall, an anonymous developer told PocketGamer that Apple's move is all about maintaining complete control over the iOS platform, saying it is no different from the company's decision to remove archrival Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps and YouTube apps from iOS 6.
"We launched our first app and had 13,000 downloads in 5.5 days," the developer said. "It's free, and Apple actually does not make anything from us since we use [mobile game recommendation engine] Chartboost. Apple may not like that it is not getting money due to these third-party services like Flurry, Tapjoy and Chartboost."
- read this Next Web article
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