App Store Scam App Required a Good Review to Function at All

An app that demanded at least a three-star review to function got through the App Store review process, it has been found (via The Verge).

app store review scam
iOS developer Kosta Eleftheriou discovered that the "UPNP Xtreme" app, which claimed to let users stream video to a TV, presented the system's ‌App Store‌ rating box as soon as it opened. The rating box could not be escaped from and it was not possible to tap the one or two-star ratings for most users, according to Eleftheriou.

One of Apple's best practices documents states that developers should "avoid showing a request for a review immediately when a user launches your app." UPNP Xtreme sought good reviews to rise up the ‌App Store‌'s rankings, using exploitative tactics to become more visible than legitimate developers' apps, but also drive more users to engage with the scam. The app now appears to have been removed from the ‌App Store‌.

Eleftheriou has previously brought attention to scam and copycat apps on the ‌App Store‌ and raised concerns that Apple is not doing enough to stop these apps during its ‌App Store‌ review process. Eleftheriou experienced the difficulty of contending with scam apps with his own FlickType Apple Watch keyboard app, which was mired by scam copycats that Apple was allegedly reluctant to remove.

Earlier this year, Eleftheriou brought a lawsuit against Apple for a variety of allegations related to his experience with FlickType, including negligence and anticompetitive conduct.

Top Rated Comments

Techwatcher Avatar
4 weeks ago

Suspect. This will be fixed promptly though, so no worries.
Forget a fix, suspend or ban the app and refund everyone if purchases were made.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cosmosent Avatar
4 weeks ago
The BIG picture, if the Judge in the Epic vs Apple court case gets wind of this, one of Apple's main arguments just went out the window !
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mansplains Avatar
4 weeks ago
This comment requires at least a like or love to be read, anything less and you don't get the function.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
4 weeks ago

Forget a fix, suspend or ban the app and refund everyone if purchases were made.
The problem is if those purchase that happened outside of the 30days would have already been processed to those Scams.


Apple needs a system that leverages the community (like maps letting users report things) and lets users flag apps as bad & provide the detail - so the scale of identification and removal can be seriously increased for things like this (or for example apps given names to try and trick users). These are things the community could identify to snuff out quite quickly.

Needs to be a big red button right up a the top and lets the user provide the details. Might need a set of folks (users but paid for the work perhaps) to triage them before they get into the serious, address this, pipeline.
App Store used to have that. A big button called Report a Problem, Guess what happen to it ?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
4 weeks ago

The question is whether they would listen. I used to report bugs to Apple, which was time consuming, and I stopped doing it because they were never followed up on.
Same here. I've reported so many bugs, even in betas, gathering diagnostic data, screenshots and videos, etc. and my reports just vanish into the aether with nary a response.

Even a "This is a duplicate of bug #xxxx" would be a million times better than nothing.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
randyhudson Avatar
4 weeks ago
This is the kind of quality vetting that $72 billion/year buys you.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...