Popular Reddit App Apollo Pulled From App Store Over Push Notification Snafu [Update: Back in App Store]

by

apolloredditappPopular Reddit app Apollo was removed from the App Store this afternoon after developer Christian Selig released an update that adds push notifications as a premium feature, Selig explained on Reddit.

After introducing the latest version of the Apollo app, which has a paid feature enabling push notifications, Apple informed Selig that he was in violation of rule 3.2.2 that prohibits apps from monetizing Push Notifications and other iPhone and iPad capabilities provided by the hardware or operating system. The email Selig received from Apple:

Hello,
We are writing to let you know about new information regarding your app, Apollo for Reddit, version 1.3, currently live on the App Store.
Upon re-evaluation, we found that your app is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines. Specifically, we found:

Business - 3.2.2 We noticed that your in-app purchase auto-renewable subscription product provides access to built-in Push Notification capabilities, which is not appropriate for the App Store.
For this reason, your app will be removed from sale on the App Store at this time.

Deliberate disregard of the App Store Review Guidelines and attempts to deceive users or undermine the review process are unacceptable and is a direct violation Section 3.2(f) of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Continuing to violate the Terms & Conditions of the Apple Developer Program will result in the termination of your account, as well as any related or linked accounts, and the removal of all your associated apps from the App Store.

Future submissions of this app may require a longer review time, and this app will not be eligible for an expedited review. If you have any questions about this information, please reply to this message to let us know.

Selig said that he's "quite confused" by Apple's decision, as he had worked with Apple on the implementation of the premium service after the app update was previously rejected for the same reason.

For background, several weeks ago, Selig said that the 1.3 update of Apollo had been rejected by Apple because it included the in-app purchase for unlocking push notifications. Selig explained at the time that he needs to charge to add push notifications due to the server costs associated with implementing them.

In an update earlier this month, Selig said he was able to develop a workaround with Apple by bundling the feature with other premium options like app theming and custom icons for an "Apollo Ultra" service, and the update was released on Saturday.

It's not clear why Apple pulled the Apollo app after telling Selig that it was appropriate to implement push notifications as part of a paid bundle of features, but Apple has been known for making confusing App Store decisions in the past. It's likely the issue will be solved quickly, and Selig says he will keep Apollo customers updated on the status of the app.

Update: Apollo is back in the iOS App Store and the app will be able to keep the Apollo Ultra in-app purchase option with push notifications as a paid feature.

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
29 months ago
I mean, I get this for local push, but for server push? That stuff costs money and is a PITA if you try to roll your own. Trust me.

By doing this Apple is basically telling developers "Host it for free and make up for it by ramming ads down people's throats while selling their private information."

This is not good for consumers.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sheza Avatar
29 months ago
Typical example of some bozo in the App Store review team not communicating with his colleagues.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Planey28 Avatar
29 months ago

Used to love Apollo until I realized that you have to pay just to create an actual post from the app. I can under stand charging for the push notifications because of the need to maintain a server but such a basic feature should be free.

Sorry but I don’t agree. It’s either that or the app costs money upfront.

Development is work. People need to eat.

A large part of the app works fine without paying a single penny.

What’s more the dev of Apollo is very transparent and interactive with the users of his app. Think it’s only fair for the amount of work he puts in that you pay a tiny tiny fee to use everything.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamjackson Avatar
29 months ago

Used to love Apollo until I realized that you have to pay just to create an actual post from the app. I can under stand charging for the push notifications because of the need to maintain a server but such a basic feature should be free.

Like Twitter, the majority of Reddit's users don't post to Reddit. They upvote and sometimes comment. By charging for something the minority of users do, he can use those users which are, to the reddit community, power users to fund the development of Apollo which is for most people free to use at least in their eyes.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BaccaBossMC Avatar
29 months ago
If 3.2.2 prevents apps from monetizing hardware and software abilities built into the device, then YouTube should be removed for monetizing PictureInPicture and background media playing.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CMoore515 Avatar
29 months ago
Love Apollo! Hope Christian gets it sorted out soon.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...