Apple Expands Crackdown on App Discovery Apps
Apple has been cracking down on app discovery resources in recent months, removing high profile apps like AppGratis for violating guideline 2.25, which states the following: "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."
A report from AllThingsD in early April indicated that AppGratis' rejection from the App Store was just the first phase of a much wider crackdown, which was today confirmed by PocketGamer.biz after Apple began rejecting apps that feature tools for "filtering, bookmarking, searching, or sharing recommendations."
We've been contacted by one developer whose app discovery tool has recently been blocked by Apple because it includes such features, with App Store regulation 2.25 - which restricts apps that could be confused by consumers as app stores in their own right – cited within the reasoning.
The developer, who opted to remain anonymous, said that the rejected app focused primarily on sharing app recommendations to friends.
"I have not seen this rejection notice before and believe that it is a new one. We thought that basing our recommendations on sharing was suitable for Apple, as it had previously stated that if you bake in social or local into your app discovery, you would be fine.
"However, either we are not social enough, or Apple is going back on its position. Either way, it appears the scope of 2.25 continues to grow and I think they aim to be the only provider of recommendations for apps, along with being the distributor."
As noted above, guideline 2.25 has non-specific, generalized wording that does not include specifics on the filtering, bookmarking, searching, and sharing violations, which means the company could use the rule to reject and penalize a number of apps that incorporate similar features.