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Old Apr 15, 2013, 01:55 PM   #1
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AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat Starts Online Petition Asking for User Support




In an effort to get his banned app returned to the App Store, AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat today posted an online petition at save.appgratis.com, asking AppGratis users to send an email to express support for the app.
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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.

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.

Dawlat has made several efforts to reach out to Apple, beginning with a blog post asking for the Cupertino-based company to contact him. Last week, AllThingsD 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 accused AppGratis of selling top 10 placement, and Conor O'Connor, CEO of hotel app Hot.co.uk accused AppGratis of using bots to artificially inflate download numbers.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Dawlat reiterated that AppGratis has not used shady tactics to game the App Store.
Quote:
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
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 01:58 PM   #2
spooky2k
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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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 01:58 PM   #3
RobertD63
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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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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Oh yeah, that'll work.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spooky2k View Post
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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spooky2k View Post
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...
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:09 PM   #7
simply stunning
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Originally Posted by Cougarcat View Post
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?
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spooky2k View Post
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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:16 PM   #9
Stella
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Online petitions almost never work, especially for Apple.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by r2shyyou View Post
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!
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:22 PM   #11
ArtOfWarfare
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2shyyou View Post
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.

Quote:
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.
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Last edited by ArtOfWarfare; Apr 15, 2013 at 02:52 PM.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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Exclamation Try again to get fame

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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2shyyou View Post
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?
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:31 PM   #14
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Are you kidding?

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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:45 PM   #15
slrandall
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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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:49 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
I'm surprised he's not whining at the White House's official "We the People" online petition site.
Too stringent requirements, perhaps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
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' for Mac and 'Status Board' 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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spooky2k View Post
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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:49 PM   #17
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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!!!
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougarcat View Post
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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:04 PM   #19
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there are plenty other apps that do the same thing anyway. Appshopper to only name this one.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:13 PM   #20
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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
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:33 PM   #21
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They took money to promote apps right? Why is that petition worthy?
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:49 PM   #22
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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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by RobertD63 View Post
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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:58 PM   #24
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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.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 04:02 PM   #25
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AppGratis, deal with it!

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!
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