Apple's Internal 'GameStore' Testing App Accidentally Appears in App Store [Update: Pulled]

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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As noted by German sites Flo's Weblog [Google translation] and iFun.de [Google translation], a curious new iOS application that seems to be from Apple has appeared in the App Store. The new app, known as GameStore [App Store], debuted on December 31st and seems to be a test app of some sort, offering several racing-themed in-app purchases but without any actual functionality.




GameStore product listings and in-app purchase confirmation for "Nitrous"
The app is priced at $0.99, with the three in-app purchases currently available through the app priced between $0.99 and $2.99. Additional in-app purchases shown in the single screenshot shown on the App Store page for GameStore show items as high as $26.99, but these other items are not currently visible in the app itself.

In-app purchases made through the app do go through and users' accounts are charged for them, but with no actual game supporting the content available, they have no functionality.




App Store page for GameStore app and Settings pane from within app
When the app's listing is viewed in the App Store from an iOS device, the posting date is listed as June 9, 2009, which was during Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference just ahead of the public launch of iPhone OS 3.0 and the debut of in-app purchasing. Consequently, GameStore may simply be an internal testing app for the feature that was somehow accidentally published to the public App Store over the weekend.

Update: GameStore has now been removed from the App Store.

Update 2: TUAW's Erica Sadun took a closer look at the app from a developer's perspective, concluding that the app was likely sample code for an in-app purchasing developer test that somehow mistakenly got approved by Apple.
What developers do is upload a working skeleton application to iTunes Connect. You do this with the full understanding that you'll be replacing or, for tutorials, rejecting your binary at some point in the future. Once uploaded, you can test your IAPs, and make sure all your purchasing processes work. Looks like the app was submitted in order to provide a live testbed and may have gotten approved inadvertently.

After consulting with the TUAW team, our take on this is "likely sample code accidentally deployed to App Store" by Apple and then quickly pulled once people took notice. TUAW reached out directly to the developer we suspect was behind the app upload before it got pulled.
Article Link: Apple's Internal 'GameStore' Testing App Accidentally Appears in App Store [Update: Pulled]
 

Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
1,114
381
Someone with a jailbroken iPhone extracting information in the data files from this in 3... 2...
 

Thijs Moonen

macrumors member
Aug 22, 2011
48
1
I heard you like apps so I put an app store in your app store so you can buy an app to buy apps
 

ct2k7

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2008
6,008
457
London
46 App updates :eek:

App doesn't have a high resolution icon - maybe it was something that was abandoned or integrated with something else.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
Maybe Apple had planned to have a seperate game store, but decided against it.
Nope, looks more like a In-App Purchase (StoreKit) example application. Probably something that was made for the developer documentation.

Like the article says, this looks to be selling In-app content, not apps themselves.
 

Nielsenius

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2011
565
0
Virginia
I wish Apple would make a separate iOS games store. I'd like to see some real (productive, informational, social) apps on the Top 25, rather than just a list of games the kiddies like.
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
1,411
76
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

I agree, not that it bothers me the way it is, but it does make sense as ios is competing with the likes of Sony and Nintendo.
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,337
2,963
Could someone explain why anyone would want to buy this app? Don't get why i care?
 

bb426

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2011
414
41
California
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

I wonder how much $$ Apple just made on this thing lol.
 

farleysmaster

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2008
758
55
London, UK
I wish Apple would make a separate iOS games store. I'd like to see some real (productive, informational, social) apps on the Top 25, rather than just a list of games the kiddies like.
You can use the app store categories (although, an option to opt-out of categories might be nice, so you don't have to go through 10 useful categories).
 

cvaldes

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2006
3,237
0
somewhere else
That app's UI is of very poor quality. Definitely not up to Apple's standards.
Apple probably has dozens, if not hundreds of apps that look like this one. The point is that this is an internal testing app, not one meant for public consumption.

Pretty much every single industry on the place has different standards of presentation based on whether or not it's an internal-only matter or if it's a customer-facing item.

Example: restaurant uses large stainless steel hotel pans and metal tongs, but plates on nice porcelain china with polished silverware in the dining room.

You can't really judge whether or not this app is up to Apple's standards since we don't know what their internal code standards are.

Theoretically, an app like this should be simple and perform the task for which it was designed. It is was meant to debug in-app purchases, order flow, etc. it is probably sufficiently effective for what it was meant to do. To polish it up would be a dreadful waste of Apple's resources.