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MacRumors
Apr 15, 2013, 12:55 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/15/appgratis-ceo-simon-dawlat-starts-online-petition-asking-for-user-support/)


In an effort to get his banned app (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/08/apple-pulls-app-discovery-app-appgratis-from-app-store/) returned to the App Store, AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat today posted (http://appgratis.com/blog/2013/04/15/the-12-million-user-question/) an online petition at save.appgratis.com (http://save.appgratis.com), asking AppGratis users to send an email to express support for the app.In an official statement to the Wall Street Journal on april the 8th, Apple said we violated two of its iOS Guidelines.

But we know we haven't.

And we have written our side of the story here (http://appgratis.com/blog/2013/04/09/appgratis-pulled-from-the-app-store-heres-the-full-story/).

Today we believe it's you, Apple's customers, who should have the final word.

Today, you can speak up.

Tell Apple that you think different.http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/04/appgratis1.jpg

Dawlat has made several efforts to reach out to Apple, beginning with a blog post (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/09/appgratis-ceo-explains-app-removal-says-appgratis-is-far-from-finished/) asking for the Cupertino-based company to contact him. Last week, AllThingsD (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/10/apples-removal-of-appgratis-from-app-store-just-the-first-phase-of-broader-crackdown/) revealed that the removal was both permanent and the first phase of a more expansive crackdown on app discover services.

AppGratis, which earns money by charging developers to feature apps, has been accused of not being on the up and up. 148Apps (http://www.148apps.com/news/real-reason-appgratis-pulled-selling-top-10-placement/) accused AppGratis of selling top 10 placement, and Conor O'Connor, CEO of hotel app Hot.co.uk (http://hot.co.uk) accused AppGratis of using bots to artificially inflate download numbers.

In a statement to TechCrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/15/appgratis-ban-petition/), Dawlat reiterated that AppGratis has not used shady tactics to game the App Store.We're in in the business of helping the end users discover new apps, and to serve this mission, we're playing the long run. We're building a community. We've never been in the business of gaming the top charts or anything. This is a very strong statement from us.AppGratis has thus far received more than 620,008 emails of support and more than 20,000 tweets.

Update: Conor O'Connor, CEO of Hot.co.uk, has retracted his original statement and issued an apology to AppGratis for his accusations.

Article Link: AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat Starts Online Petition Asking for User Support (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/15/appgratis-ceo-simon-dawlat-starts-online-petition-asking-for-user-support/)



spooky2k
Apr 15, 2013, 12:58 PM
For me, the problem with AppGratis is that it's a paid promo service. It's not as if they're handpicking quality apps and highlighting them. They let app makers pay to be featured and that's gaming the app store charts.

RobertD63
Apr 15, 2013, 12:58 PM
Sorry, no. They pulled the app that violated their guidelines.

I'm sure I'm not of the popular opinion.. but thats how I feel.


Edit: also if you want to do this still make a damn web app. They can't keep that from showing on their device.

CJK
Apr 15, 2013, 12:59 PM
Oh yeah, that'll work.

Cougarcat
Apr 15, 2013, 01:04 PM
For me, the problem with AppGratis is that it's a paid promo service. It's not as if they're handpicking quality apps and highlighting them. They let app makers pay to be featured and that's gaming the app store charts.

If that is true, then yes, AppGratis deserves to be banned. But it's no secret Apple doesn't want these kinds of apps anyway––AppShopper is no longer on the App Store, and it doesn't do any gaming of the charts.

Apple should make these kinds of apps irrelevant by making app discovery not suck, not by banning them.

spazzcat
Apr 15, 2013, 01:08 PM
For me, the problem with AppGratis is that it's a paid promo service. It's not as if they're handpicking quality apps and highlighting them. They let app makers pay to be featured and that's gaming the app store charts.

I didn't realize this until now, I think they should just make a web page...

simply stunning
Apr 15, 2013, 01:09 PM
If that is true, then yes, AppGratis deserves to be banned. But it's no secret Apple doesn't want these kinds of apps anyway––AppShopper is no longer on the App Store, and it doesn't do any gaming of the charts.

Apple should make these kinds of apps irrelevant by making app discovery not suck, not by banning them.

I second this. Although i didn't know that is how this app worked (developers paying them). In the end I have the app, and if it is interesting for the day I download it. More often than not it isn't an app I'm interested in. I prefer AppAdvice with their "free apps of the day". I wonder if they will get hit soon or if they don't violate these rules?

r2shyyou
Apr 15, 2013, 01:10 PM
For me, the problem with AppGratis is that it's a paid promo service. It's not as if they're handpicking quality apps and highlighting them. They let app makers pay to be featured and that's gaming the app store charts.

How is that "gaming the app store charts" in any way? It isn't the App Store. If anything, it's gaming its own charts.

And if AppGratis wants to communicate with Apple about this, or anything else, really, can anyone tell me why they don't just email Apple management?

Also, sorry AppGratis but Apple customers almost assuredly won't have final word on anything that Apple decides.

Have Apple customers been successful in pressuring Apple to release a new Mac Pro? How about getting them to ditch Apple's Maps in favor of Google's again? Or setting default apps in iOS? Or slow shutdown times in OS X 10.8.x? Nope, nothing, nada. Apple will do as Apple will do (unless a country's government gets involved).

Lastly, no matter what the guys says, his name is Conor O'Connor soooooo...yeah, exactly.

Stella
Apr 15, 2013, 01:16 PM
Online petitions almost never work, especially for Apple.

Kaibelf
Apr 15, 2013, 01:17 PM
Have Apple customers been successful in pressuring Apple to release a new Mac Pro? How about getting them to ditch Apple's Maps in favor of Google's again? Or setting default apps in iOS? Or slow shutdown times in OS X 10.8.x? Nope, nothing, nada. Apple will do as Apple will do (unless a country's government gets involved).


DING DING DING..... you win! Here's the list from my post about trolling in the story about the guy from Adobe being hired by Apple:

I'll spare a few trolls the trouble.

- Apple's got no new ideas!
- Tim Cook needs to leave! Look at the stock price!
- I'd never buy a watch, so no one on the planet should want one!
- <insert gratuitous "you're holding it wrong" tired joke>
- They are making a watch but there's no new mac pro? They abandoned the pro user!
- <insert "my watch is snappier" joke>
- <insert "shut up and take my money" meme>
- Oh is apple trying to patent the wrist now?

That should cover most of it.

Thanks!

ArtOfWarfare
Apr 15, 2013, 01:22 PM
How is that "gaming the app store charts" in any way? It isn't the App Store. If anything, it's gaming its own charts.

If his charts are influential enough, then they have an impact on the app store's charts. Thus by gaming his own charts, he can game the official app store's charts.

And if AppGratis wants to communicate with Apple about this, or anything else, really, can anyone tell me why they don't just email Apple management?

I have received emails back from Tim Cook. Getting him to talk really isn't hard at all – he accelerated an app update for me.

I'm surprised he's not whining at the White House's official "We the People" online petition site.

But really, MacRumors is in this same game of giving unfair advantages to some apps. Angry Birds is updated again this week? They're all over that. There's a new app that tells you months in advance when your batteries will die? It can be used in computer labs to let you know when any computer on a network will have its keyboard die? It's at the top of the Mac App Store ratings? It's in magazines? Meh, not even worth posting about it in the Mac blog.

iglobe
Apr 15, 2013, 01:25 PM
Appgratis using a part of advertising revenue which pop up on iphone to promote
free app a day.The real worry is for the app developer itself because their app are being promote for free by gratis.That app developer have to worry for being screwed by appgratis, not apple.

spooky2k
Apr 15, 2013, 01:30 PM
How is that "gaming the app store charts" in any way? It isn't the App Store. If anything, it's gaming its own charts.

And if AppGratis wants to communicate with Apple about this, or anything else, really, can anyone tell me why they don't just email Apple management?

Also, sorry AppGratis but Apple customers almost assuredly won't have final word on anything that Apple decides.

Have Apple customers been successful in pressuring Apple to release a new Mac Pro? How about getting them to ditch Apple's Maps in favor of Google's again? Or setting default apps in iOS? Or slow shutdown times in OS X 10.8.x? Nope, nothing, nada. Apple will do as Apple will do (unless a country's government gets involved).

Lastly, no matter what the guys says, his name is Conor O'Connor soooooo...yeah, exactly.

The app is downloaded due to paid placement on AppGratis and moves up the iTunes Store Charts for this reason. How is that NOT gaming the charts?

Swift
Apr 15, 2013, 01:31 PM
I go to cable tv. What's that environment like? The shows are lowest common denominator, and half of the channels I get are worthless, high-pressure selling pitches that are half an hour long. Apple makes a better environment.

App Gratis gets of the Apple Store and starts up infomercials. Hey, get a website. You can link to the Apple Store from there.

If it never dawned on him that this might come, then he's stupid.

slrandall
Apr 15, 2013, 01:45 PM
I don't really like AppGratis, but apparently some other people do. For them, this is the correct approach to take in pressuring Apple, not through the French government or whatever that story from the other day was.

r2shyyou
Apr 15, 2013, 01:49 PM
If his charts are influential enough, then they have an impact on the app store's charts. Thus by gaming his own charts, he can game the official app store's charts.

"Can," yes. Did? I'm not so sure. I'd personally be surprised to learn that Apple felt threatened in any way by AppGratis.

I have received emails back from Tim Cook. Getting him to talk really isn't hard at all – he accelerated an app update for me.

Same here from several Apple execs on several different occasions, though not for app updates.

I'm surprised he's not whining at the White House's official "We the People" online petition site.

Too stringent requirements, perhaps?

But really, MacRumors is in this same game of giving unfair advantages to some apps. Angry Birds is updated again this week? They're all over that. There's a new app that tells you months in advance when your batteries will die? It can be used in computer labs to let you know when any computer on a network will have its keyboard die? It's at the top of the Mac App Store ratings? It's in magazines? Meh, not even worth posting about it in the iOS blog.

MacRumors does indeed mention ultra-popular apps like 'Angry Birds' more often than I would like and I personally couldn't care less about some of those apps (e.g. 'Angry Birds') but they do also highlight other interesting, useful apps, such as 'Quicksilver' (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/25/quicksilver-launch-utility-comes-out-of-beta-10-years-later/) for Mac and 'Status Board' (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/10/panic-releases-data-visualizer-app-status-board-for-ipad/) for iPad, to name just a couple of examples. Perhaps those less popular apps don't leave a mark because they're, well, less popular? Not saying that's the case, just that it could be.

The app is downloaded due to paid placement on AppGratis and moves up the iTunes Store Charts for this reason. How is that NOT gaming the charts?

If AppGratis is having that much influence on Apple's App Store, then sure, I can see why they'd do this. Otherwise, not so much. I don't know that they were or weren't having this kind of influence but if I had to guess, I'd say they weren't. Anyone with knowledge to confirm my guess or prove it wrong is welcome to educate me on this.

lolkthxbai
Apr 15, 2013, 01:49 PM
Seriously? This CEO must have no shame. AppGratis was receiving payment from developers to endorse their apps and advertise to their subscribers. This is a huge NO-NO. If he really cares about the service, then the CEO should make a webapp or a mailing list. This is ridiculous!!!

SkippyThorson
Apr 15, 2013, 01:58 PM
If that is true, then yes, AppGratis deserves to be banned. But it's no secret Apple doesn't want these kinds of apps anyway––AppShopper is no longer on the App Store, and it doesn't do any gaming of the charts.

Apple should make these kinds of apps irrelevant by making app discovery not suck, not by banning them.

I agree 110%, that couldn't have been said any better.

finalcut
Apr 15, 2013, 02:04 PM
there are plenty other apps that do the same thing anyway. Appshopper to only name this one.

ChrisA
Apr 15, 2013, 02:13 PM
Why can't he do the exact same thing using a web page? Why does AppGratis need to be an "App"?

If the point is to promote Apps just write a blog

vmachiel
Apr 15, 2013, 02:33 PM
They took money to promote apps right? Why is that petition worthy?

kas23
Apr 15, 2013, 02:49 PM
With the press they're getting, I'm sure they could do this and it might just work. Maybe that's why they're throwing such a fit. More media attention.

I don't agree with what they are doing (in this app), but I can see why they're looking so desperate. Their whole business model is being rejected. Must suck, but I'm sure they made plenty of money and should be grateful they had the chance to ride the iPhone wave for a bit.

charlituna
Apr 15, 2013, 02:57 PM
Edit: also if you want to do this still make a damn web app. They can't keep that from showing on their device.

They have a website and an email list. They are fine.

TheAppleFairy
Apr 15, 2013, 02:58 PM
I signed the petition, but I don't think it will get very far. Got to play by the rules, or go around them with a web app. :D

BLUELION
Apr 15, 2013, 03:02 PM
Look, as a developer you knew the rules for the platform you were using. You violated them, you got caught and you were told you couldn't play. Way I see it you can either fix the app to resolve the issue and play on iOS again or don't. Whining however is lame in the end since you agreed to the terms app submission. Seems like a silly effort that will only taint your reputation as you were the one who did not follow the rules. Just saying, deal with the issue and get back to selling man!

charlituna
Apr 15, 2013, 03:03 PM
there are plenty other apps that do the same thing anyway. Appshopper to only name this one.

Appshopper was pulled ages ago

finalcut
Apr 15, 2013, 03:59 PM
Appshopper was pulled ages agoahh didnt know that part. But I still run it and it works perfectly.

Do you know the reason why it been pulled?

Hunnenkoenig
Apr 15, 2013, 04:10 PM
AppGratis and similar services are good for users, they are scam for developers.
I never understood, why a developer pays for them.

A friend of mine paid 10.000 dollars for making his $0.99 app free and received 3000 downloads. Actually less, than when it was a paid app.

I am not sure if I am sorry for them.

If you want apps for free and want to help developers and you want earn some money, you can use https://promodispenser.com and https://giftmeapps.com

Brian Y
Apr 15, 2013, 04:22 PM
Wow he really knows how to throw his toys out of the pram doesn't he? At the end of the day, he broke the rules. Allowing developers to pay for downloads, and thus, increased ratings in the actual app store, is against the rules (and so it should be).

Alternatives like AppsGoneFree are out there. Rather than monetizing it, they simply scan the App store for apps that were paid yesterday, and free today.

Sinequanon83
Apr 15, 2013, 05:15 PM
The app is downloaded due to paid placement on AppGratis and moves up the iTunes Store Charts for this reason. How is that NOT gaming the charts?

Congrats, you just described advertising.

litchie
Apr 15, 2013, 08:01 PM
Eye for eye.

Apple is worse than Microsoft. Governments should take action.

dennno
Apr 15, 2013, 08:42 PM
Congrats, you just described advertising.

There are plenty of other advertising opportunities. It's clear the CEO makes a lot of money from Devs paying him to 'feature' their app. They don't actually care about promoting quality apps fairly. That's just plain bias and greed.

Rogifan
Apr 15, 2013, 10:28 PM
Online petitions almost never work, especially for Apple.

Good for getting app gratis attention though. ;)

Arcady
Apr 15, 2013, 11:14 PM
Your app is spam.

****-you.

marksman
Apr 16, 2013, 01:37 AM
Yes let us here from people who are too cheap to buy a 99 cent app that they will instead be spammed to get free software to then screw up the ability of people who actually buy software.

No thanks joker and no thanks to customers who support you. Well they aren't really customers they are all tools. Tools appsgratis uses to monkey up the rankings. So no I don't want to join these tools.

In fact I want to support apple

marksman
Apr 16, 2013, 01:57 AM
I agree 110%, that couldn't have been said any better.

Well you could say it better in that a lot of these apps (not all) promote free apps of the day or week. Yes even iTunes does it.

But that is the primary reason people use appgratis to download free apps, not for a better discovery system. Apple could read your mind and download the app you want before you realize it and these app giveaway apps would still exist.

So agreeing with someone 110% on something that will not actually work is 10% worse than just being wrong, right?

If people want crappy Wild West app adventures get an android device, and use protection.

----------

Oh yeah he should just give free apps to everyone who signs the petition or tweets. He has developers he works with. Give us free apps.

I will sell my soul for 99 cents nom nom nom

I would feel sympathy for the guy if he admitted he took a calculated risk and ended up with snake eyes.

----------

There are plenty of other advertising opportunities. It's clear the CEO makes a lot of money from Devs paying him to 'feature' their app. They don't actually care about promoting quality apps fairly. That's just plain bias and greed.

Let us not get it twisted either. I am all for devs promoting and advertising their apps. However I think that should be in exchange for something of value. Appgratis provides no value except to give away free apps so devs can boost their rankings. As someone who owns a marketing company I don't like it
I compare it to many years ago when people would create keyword landing pages full of google ads. There was no real content or value, not even a choice but to click on an ad.

This whole thing is like "psst buddy over here. I will give you this dollar if you help me out."

If appgratis had real editorial content or legitimate reviews and ratings that were not a part of the giveaway I would not care. Apple still would but I would not.

E.Lizardo
Apr 16, 2013, 08:53 AM
"Can," yes. Did? I'm not so sure. I'd personally be surprised to learn that Apple felt threatened in any way by AppGratis.



Same here from several Apple execs on several different occasions, though not for app updates.



Too stringent requirements, perhaps?



MacRumors does indeed mention ultra-popular apps like 'Angry Birds' more often than I would like and I personally couldn't care less about some of those apps (e.g. 'Angry Birds') but they do also highlight other interesting, useful apps, such as 'Quicksilver' (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/25/quicksilver-launch-utility-comes-out-of-beta-10-years-later/) for Mac and 'Status Board' (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/10/panic-releases-data-visualizer-app-status-board-for-ipad/) for iPad, to name just a couple of examples. Perhaps those less popular apps don't leave a mark because they're, well, less popular? Not saying that's the case, just that it could be.



If AppGratis is having that much influence on Apple's App Store, then sure, I can see why they'd do this. Otherwise, not so much. I don't know that they were or weren't having this kind of influence but if I had to guess, I'd say they weren't. Anyone with knowledge to confirm my guess or prove it wrong is welcome to educate me on this.

Before offering any more uninformed opinions I'd recommend reading the 148apps blog post.If true(we'll know soon enough)Apple absolutely did the right thing.If anything they were a little slow to act.

----------

Congrats, you just described advertising.

Google"payola"
same thing.

r2shyyou
Apr 16, 2013, 08:56 AM
Before offering any more uninformed opinions I'd recommend reading the 148apps blog post.If true(we'll know soon enough)Apple absolutely did the right thing.If anything they were a little slow to act.

I never said that what Apple did was right or wrong. If you read my post, you'll see that there's a whole lot of uncertainty there. It's my opinion, which I'm free to express, and I never passed it off as fact. It's just a discussion.

SkippyThorson
Apr 16, 2013, 09:30 AM
Well you could say it better in that a lot of these apps (not all) promote free apps of the day or week. Yes even iTunes does it.

But that is the primary reason people use appgratis to download free apps, not for a better discovery system. Apple could read your mind and download the app you want before you realize it and these app giveaway apps would still exist.

So agreeing with someone 110% on something that will not actually work is 10% worse than just being wrong, right?

If people want crappy Wild West app adventures get an android device, and use protection.

----------

Oh yeah he should just give free apps to everyone who signs the petition or tweets. He has developers he works with. Give us free apps.

I will sell my soul for 99 cents nom nom nom

I would feel sympathy for the guy if he admitted he took a calculated risk and ended up with snake eyes.

Apple should make these kinds of apps irrelevant by making app discovery not suck, not by banning them.

I still agree with Cougarcat. If Apple made App Discovery better than it is now (it sucks royally) services like AppShopper and AppGratis wouldn't be used as prominently. Simple as pie.

I don't want the free-giveaway-app-services just because they have free crap, but because sometimes, the deal-of-the-day ends up being a good or useful tool. AppShopper as a reminder service or AppGratis as a new-daily-app alert are both useful. Often, I won't get apps until a certain update, fix, or patch comes out - or unless new functionality is added. A push notification of just that is very useful.

All I did was agree with someone else. Calm yourself.

Cybbe
Apr 16, 2013, 12:13 PM
The app is downloaded due to paid placement on AppGratis and moves up the iTunes Store Charts for this reason. How is that NOT gaming the charts?

That's a fairly extreme and odd standpoint. The app downloads are real, and being downloaded due to advertisements and promotions. In the real world advertisements and promotions are legitimate ways of growing your business. It is in Apple's world too, however you have to pay Apple for it (iAds).

larrybeo
Apr 17, 2013, 12:15 PM
I have to preface that I am an Appshopper fan and think that AppGratis sucks.. but they are both apps that are violating the terms Apple says they are violating - they display apps in a similar way that the App Store does. Dawlat can't argue this, can he? What needs to be argued is that Appshopper (or Appgratis) doing this doesn't compromise the integrity of the app store in any way.

I'm off to sign the petition. I'm VERY thankful I still have Appshopper loaded on my iOS devices and it still functions beautifully!

Sinequanon83
Apr 17, 2013, 02:24 PM
There are plenty of other advertising opportunities. It's clear the CEO makes a lot of money from Devs paying him to 'feature' their app. They don't actually care about promoting quality apps fairly. That's just plain bias and greed.

Does App Gratis promote itself as a pure view of the app store rankings? Or does it show applications within its own app based on who promoted them? If it's the latter, and the promotion works (i.e. converts to sales and downloads), this is simple advertisement. It's not gaming the charts any more than an author appearing on the Daily Show to promote their book games the NY Times Bestseller list. People go to a service that's advertisement-based, see an ad, engage with the product and the neutral list (the App Store) reflects the after-effect of that advertisement.

spooky2k
Apr 17, 2013, 06:12 PM
Congrats, you just described advertising.

Whether it's a description of advertising or not, this is NOT allowed in the App Store (y'know, the whole issue up for discussion).

So no, congrats to you. You who understands how to read yet not contribute anything but a failed witty retort. I do believe that's called failing at being a smart ass.

----------

That's a fairly extreme and odd standpoint. The app downloads are real, and being downloaded due to advertisements and promotions. In the real world advertisements and promotions are legitimate ways of growing your business. It is in Apple's world too, however you have to pay Apple for it (iAds).

No, it's not odd. It's a result of Apple being gatekeeper for all things in their store, including advertising apps within their own store.

You both want more evidence? http://www.148apps.com/category/news/page/2/

Sinequanon83
May 13, 2013, 01:27 PM
Whether it's a description of advertising or not, this is NOT allowed in the App Store (y'know, the whole issue up for discussion).

So no, congrats to you. You who understands how to read yet not contribute anything but a failed witty retort. I do believe that's called failing at being a smart ass.[COLOR="#808080"]

You asked how it was "NOT gaming the charts". I responded that someone listing something higher because they pay them IS advertising. I doubt CBS cares much for Colgate or Crest, but if either of those companies wants to send them money to care, they'll feature an advertisement of theirs on their TV shows.

That said, if App Gratis (an app I've never seen or used, mind you) does duplicate app store functionality in terms of the way they list applications, then yes they're in violation. If Apple is against application makers paying another application maker to feature their apps, that seems like a net loss for the developer community in terms of ways to get their applications displayed to potential customers.

As for me being a smart ass, I don't know where the random hostility came from, but at least I was being smart. What's your excuse?

spooky2k
Jun 18, 2013, 05:53 PM
You asked how it was "NOT gaming the charts". I responded that someone listing something higher because they pay them IS advertising. I doubt CBS cares much for Colgate or Crest, but if either of those companies wants to send them money to care, they'll feature an advertisement of theirs on their TV shows.

That said, if App Gratis (an app I've never seen or used, mind you) does duplicate app store functionality in terms of the way they list applications, then yes they're in violation. If Apple is against application makers paying another application maker to feature their apps, that seems like a net loss for the developer community in terms of ways to get their applications displayed to potential customers.

As for me being a smart ass, I don't know where the random hostility came from, but at least I was being smart. What's your excuse?

http://i.stack.imgur.com/jiFfM.jpg