BlueMail Returns to Mac App Store, Developers Still Suing Apple Over Anticompetitive Behavior [Updated]

Back in October, the developers behind email app BlueMail sued Apple, alleging that the "Hide My Email" feature of "Sign in with Apple" infringes on its patented technology. The complaint also accuses Apple of anticompetitive behavior, including removing BlueMail from the Mac App Store.

bluemail mac app store
Last week, after months of making little to no progress with Apple towards having its Mac app reinstated, BlueMail co-founders Ben Volach and Dan Volach penned an open letter to the developer community that encouraged any developers who feel that Apple has kicked them out of the App Store or otherwise treated them unfairly to reach out to them and share their stories.

Just days later, the BlueMail app has returned to the Mac App Store. In a press release, BlueMail parent company Blix said it has no intention of dropping its legal case against Apple, which it believes extends beyond the removal of BlueMail on the Mac App Store to the "suppression of its iOS app and the infringement of Blix's patented technology through 'Sign in with Apple.'"

"We're happy that users can once again get BlueMail through the Mac App Store, but we know this isn't the end. Our experience has shown that until the app review process includes effective checks and balances, Apple holds too much power over small developers." said Ben Volach, co-founder at Blix. "One solution could be to include external independent members and observers in Apple's App Review Board, just as a public company's Board of Directors represents its shareholders."

"When we wrote to Tim Cook in November, we heard back in hours. When we wrote to Apple's developer community, BlueMail was back on the App Store within a week," said Dan Volach, co-founder at Blix. "If you're out there too scared to come forward, let this be your proof that speaking out works. To Apple, we want to reiterate that all we want for developers is an opportunity to be treated fairly."

Update: Apple has shared the following statement with MacRumors, noting that BlueMail had "refused" its help and that the App Store Review Guidelines apply evenly to all developers:

Blix's mail app is currently available on the iOS App Store and they have a brand new communications app available on the Mac App Store. We have attempted on multiple occasions to assist them in getting their BlueMail app back on the Mac App Store. They have refused our help. The App Store has a uniform set of guidelines, equally applicable to all developers, that are meant to protect users. Blix is proposing to override basic data security protections which can expose users’ computers to malware that can harm their Macs and threaten their privacy.

Apple says Blix submitted a revised version of the BlueMail app late last week with an updated binary respecting Gatekeeper, leading to the app being reinstated on the Mac App Store on Monday. Apple says revised app submitted for review was different than what they previously submitted.

Top Rated Comments

PickUrPoison Avatar
10 months ago
Good for Apple calling Blix out on their BS statement, which implied that Apple caved after Blix rallied support from the developer community. “If you're out there too scared to come forward, let this be your proof that speaking out works.” Yeah right. Eff you Volach.

Their original app violated Gatekeeper and Apple yanked it. They submitted an updated app and it was approved. Submitting a compliant app works, imagine that.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
squirrellydw Avatar
10 months ago
If you don't like the App Store rules, don't use the App Store. Plenty of software hosted outside the App Store. Not saying Apple shouldn't change some rules for the App Store but your App doesn't need to be on the App Store.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
winglet69 Avatar
10 months ago

I would not just close the door to a big business of my field just because Apple decides to play a bully

Except that apparently Apple was blocking the app due to the fact it was trying to circumvent Gatekeeper, and then tried to assist the developers in making their app compliant, assistance they refused.

Sounds more like "perfectly reasonable" than "bully" to me. And Apple is not "all-powerful", as stated it is completely possible to sell ones apps outside the App Store.

"When we wrote to Tim Cook in November, we heard back in hours. When we wrote to Apple's developer community, BlueMail was back on the App Store within a week," said Dan Volach, co-founder at Blix. "If you're out there too scared to come forward, let this be your proof that speaking out works. To Apple, we want to reiterate that all we want for developers is an opportunity to be treated fairly."

Sorry Dan, but you lost me at "self-righteous crusader". You aren't whistle-blowing a lead water pipe scandal, you were trying to sell a non-compliant app piggybacking on another business.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
whyamihere Avatar
10 months ago


One solution could be to include external independent members and observers in Apple's App Review Board, just as a public company's Board of Directors represents its shareholders.

I think Walmart should be forced to do this too then. They won't sell my physical goods in their stores. They just hold too much control over what items they are allowed to sell in their own stores! :rolleyes:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swingerofbirch Avatar
10 months ago
They took what looks like an actually nice piece of software off the store out of what looks like spite, when they should be happy to have any quality software in the rummage sale known as the Mac App Store.

Bringing the iOS app store model to the Mac has ruined good software development on the Mac.

iOS software mentality is that the app is either free or very cheap, it is single purpose, and there are no trials.

And that's what the Mac App Store has now. Junk. There's so much stuff on there that should have never gotten through and that would not exist in the pre-App Store web-based distribution model.

I was looking for an EvoCam replacement on the App Store the other day, and there are so many apps. But it's just junkware. EvoCam was the type of app that was quintessentially Mac. I see less and less of it.

How does Apple hassle this company yet so many scammy anti-virus and memory optimizer type tools are on the App Store that are not relevant to how Macs work?

Honestly a lot of App Store offerings look like products from people just learning to code. They're inelegant and contain misspellings, and they're not the type of vibrant software I used to see in the open web market for Mac apps which seems to be shrinking.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
10 months ago


Exactly. If Apple opens up the system to allow installs from other locations, it frees them from the anti-trust/monopoly issues of the App Store. I believe it's just a matter of time before they're forced to do this, most likely in the EU first, but then everywhere else will follow.

maybe, but you are under no obligation to buy Apple products, if you listen to the roboboys, Android is so much better anyway, just go Android and install apps from everywhere, or retain security and priivacy in a managed environment. It would be an interesting development to define a non-essential product (iPhone) produced in the private market and determine it is a public good subject to regulation. But times are getting weird


Huge difference though. Walmart not selling your product doesn't prevent their customers from buying your product from BestBuy. But Apple prevents their customers from being able to buy your product from BestBuy or anywhere else. If Apple starts allowing their customers (iPhone/iPad users) to install apps purchased from other stores, then they can reject whatever apps they want from their own store. But if they continue to insist that no one is allowed to install apps from elsewhere, then they have a duty to allow all legal software into their store.

nonsense, you are not forced to buy an Apple product, you can easily buy an Android product. If you choose to market your product to the iPhone community, then there is an expectation that you use some standards of privacy and security.


I get blue when Apple breaks macOS mail in updates. They need competition.

hmmm. are you somehow implying that there are no competing mail products for either Macs or iOS? That is just not correct. There are many, many, many, many.....oh and you can also use browser based mail products. Perhaps I missed your point?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
xlK6MS4MLqVFaskl

iFixit Shares iPhone 12 Pro Max Teardown Revealing L-Shaped Battery and Bigger Camera Module

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:53 am PST by
In the last of its iPhone 12 series teardowns, iFixit has published its iPhone 12 Pro Max disassembly, which reveals some unique differences in the design of the internals, including the full extent of the larger camera system responsible for the improved low-light performance on Apple's largest iPhone to date. On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first obvious difference compared to the...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...