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Apple's Removal of AppGratis From App Store Just the First Phase of Broader Crackdown

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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12,573



For the past several days, we've been following the story of Apple's removal of AppGratis from the App Store. AppGratis offers a popular app discovery service with the main feature being a hand-picked app offered free each day.

Apple acknowledged that it had pulled the app for violating two App Store rules related to offering apps in a manner which might be "similar to or confusing with the App Store" and using push notifications to send out promotions. AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat responded yesterday to note that Apple had approved the app a number of times, including an iPad version just a week ago, before a new reviewer stepped in and quickly pulled the app after being unable to contact Dawlat, who was on an airplane at the time.

AllThingsD now reports that Apple's removal of AppGratis is just the first step in a broader crackdown on such apps, with more app discovery services soon to be pulled as well.
I'm told Apple feels these apps threaten the legitimacy of the App Store charts by providing a way for developers to spend their way to a high ranking. Apple did something similar in 2011, when it rejected a number of applications running incentivized app installs within their apps.

The company also worries that such apps undermine the integrity of the App Store by cluttering it with alternative storefronts. As one source described it to me, some of these discovery apps create a scenario
that's similar to walking into Nordstrom and seeing a Walmart inside.
AppGratis notes that it is "far from finished" and that its 12 million existing users will be able to continue to use the app while the company explores its alternatives, but AllThingsD makes clear that the removal of AppGratis was not simply an error on the part of a reviewer and that AppGratis is "almost certainly finished as an iOS app -- in its current incarnation, anyway".

Article Link: Apple's Removal of AppGratis From App Store Just the First Phase of Broader Crackdown
 

5aga

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2003
463
91
Gig City
Apple is only hurting the consumer with this one, especially with the current state of the app store in iOS6.
 
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Rudy69

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
689
1,201
I agree and I disagree, sure they should be pulled but NOT until they can fix the broken AppStore first :/ It's pretty hard to find apps/games on there (unless they're in the top 100)
 
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0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,756
892
here and there but not over there
As one source described it to me, some of these discovery apps create a scenario
that's similar to walking into Nordstrom and seeing a Walmart inside.

Or like walking into BestBuy and seeing an AppleStore inside...

So Apple does the same thing in real stores .... so why can Apple do it in the 'real world' without confusing customers, but think it would confuse customers in the digital world ? Apple should add a new category for AppStore alternatives and they might even increase their revenue by doing that.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,515
5,406
Canada
If Apple had a better app discovery mechanism then all these apps wouldn't be necessary.

At worse, this particular app and others could be turned into a mobile webapp.. out of the reach of Apple.

I use these to find those apps that have reduced prices / gone free.

Doesn't AppShopper do the same thing? Yet it's still going strong and hasn't been removed.

AppShopper was removed a few months ago - for the same reason.
 
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bobthekelpie

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2013
1
0
Agree with those who have said that if the ios6 App Store wasn't so hard to navigate, it wouldn't be such a problem.

I use app zapper, and mainly so I can simply browse through the latest apps... It's crazy that you can't do that in the App Store.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,232
27,928
Pull it out of the AppStore and just use a website. Problem solved, no?
 
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glenbogle

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2013
27
0
Pull it out of the AppStore and just use a website. Problem solved, no?

Yeah, I'm a big fan of appgratis and use it every day... don't even have the app installed, never have. I just read the emails they send out daily and see if there's anything that interests me, and use the link provided which takes me straight to the app store. The service doesn't need its own app.
 
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CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,940
258
SoCal
No. Apps will always be better. I love Appshopper for its push notifications.

I switched to using the AppShopper RSS feeds and find a lot more things that way then via the app. Although the APP is great for reminders of things on your wish list. . . but now I just get those via email.

While I see what Apple is saying / doing, but as a consumer I have used many of these apps and find them convenient. Never confused with the App store at all. Thus, this is one of those where it may be better off just letting them be and let people decided if they want to use them or not.

Not sure what all the fuss is.
 
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uknowimright

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2011
810
412
says a lot about what they think of their general userbase if they think they would be confused
 
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orthorim

macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2008
550
77
Well this is kind of fishy stuff when you can pay for placement.

Is Apple now cracking down on review gaming too, or are they continuing to let that happen?

Like those apps that get hundreds of 5 star ratings right away, and the services that offer to generate those reviews. Apple needs to shut that stuff down.
 
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MacEdit

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2007
20
4
Should just be a web app

Couldn't they just to a web-app and that way get around the restriction?

The app anyway sounds like something that should be an web app.

Exactly what I was thinking. I think lots more app developers need to think that way about some of their apps.

Not to mention you can then target the android market as well with the same web app.
 
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GoldenJoe

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2011
368
163
Those rules have been in place for a long time. I've also had an app rejected for breaking one of the guidelines. Sometimes you can get lucky and sneak through anyway (as they have been), but you always have to be prepared for a rejection. It's Apples platform and their rules. Simple as that.
 
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newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,091
23
Or like walking into BestBuy and seeing an AppleStore inside...

So Apple does the same thing in real stores .... so why can Apple do it in the 'real world' without confusing customers, but think it would confuse customers in the digital world ? Apple should add a new category for AppStore alternatives and they might even increase their revenue by doing that.

Except Best Buy isn't giving Apple free space in its store. Why don't you try walking into Best Buy and setting up shop inside their store and see how far you'll get.
 
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ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
Glad I still have my app shopper IPA file in iTunes. I'm more concerned about appshopper than anything else but the likelihood of its return is very dubious to say the least.

Such a shame!
 
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mazz0

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2011
2,288
1,724
Leeds, UK
Couldn't they just to a web-app and that way get around the restriction?

The app anyway sounds like something that should be an web app.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. And that's something that should be an email rather than a push notification.
 
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juannacho

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2011
195
59
Interesting that there's so much talk about web apps at the moment. Very good from the perspective of a company like mine which as well as making apps is increasingly delivering 'app-less app' content direct to the browser.

I just wrote a post about it in fact ;)

Taking the App out of Apple

It will be interesting to see how Apple approaches the growth of rich in-browser experiences running via HTML5 / Canvas and who knows, maybe even webGL (supported already in iAds)

Obviously they shut down Flash with reasons based on performance and third party blah blah blah. However there was also the fact that Flash in browser would (to some degree) hurt the profitability of the App Store.

But yes, unless they do something to specifically hamper iOS Safari we'll be seeing more and more content delivered straight to browser.
 
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keviig

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2012
498
225
Fun fact!

Funny thing is, "gratis" means "free" in norwegian. Would this mean we norwegians get apps for free?:D
 
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Rudy69

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
689
1,201
Funny thing is, "gratis" means "free" in norwegian. Would this mean we norwegians get apps for free?:D

If I remember correctly (I could be wrong), the guy is french and gratis in french also means free ;)
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
I admit I don't know all the facts of this case, but first blush, Apple would serve itself better to put resources into making the App Store & iOS easier to use rather than browbeat debs w/ useful apps. I use a couple of free app finder apps & they are heavens more useful than Apple's own chart which is loaded w/ annoying freemium junk.

And the whole Nordstrom/Walmart analogy Apple gives seems illogical. When you use a free app app it takes you to the Apple store not Google Play.
 
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