Developers Complain as App Store Feature Promotes Rip-Off Apps

Apple has featured a number of apps with disproportionately expensive subscriptions on the App Store, arousing the ire of some developers.

app store blue banner
The ‌App Store‌ feature on the Australian ‌App Store‌, first highlighted by Beau Nouvelle on Twitter, is called "Slime relaxations" and reportedly features apps that are non-functional and seek to charge disproportionately costly in-app purchase subscriptions.

One of the apps, called "Jelly: Slime Simulator, ASMR," features a $13 per week subscription to get past its paywall, amounting to $676 per year. Apple's App Store Review Guidelines state (with emphasis our own):

If we can't understand how your app works or your in-app purchases aren't immediately obvious, it will delay your review and may trigger a rejection. And while pricing is up to you, we won't distribute apps and in-app purchase items that are clear rip-offs. We'll reject expensive apps that try to cheat users with irrationally high prices.

The fact that such apps have passed the ‌App Store‌ review process to be awarded a special feature from Apple on the ‌App Store‌ has induced outrage in some developers, such as Simeon Saëns of Two Lives Left, who took a closer look at one of the apps.

Given that at least some of these apps charge $13 per week, it is difficult to not see them as breaking ‌App Store‌ guidelines, so it is particularly surprising that they were actively featured by Apple on the ‌App Store‌.

Top Rated Comments

ouimetnick Avatar
35 months ago
This poor review process really doesn’t help Apple’s argument that the App Store should be the only place to get apps for the iPhone & iPad. Not only do they “review” and allow these sham/scams, they actively promote them.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iterva Avatar
35 months ago

Are the featured apps automated or something? How does this even happen? lol
My understanding has been, up until this point at least, that it is manually curated. Which makes this even worse.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The_Gream Avatar
35 months ago

Could they have submitted the app for lets say $1.00 per week then once approved upped to $13? or something like that?
I know that a number of the apps that have behaved this way: Fortnight was one such game, it made it through the review and then on a set date, it started running code that was against the rules. Probably what’s been happening here - seeing as Apple doesn’t see the code. So the App only has to make in through the review processes and then bam hidden actions can take place.
Personally, any app that does this should get a perma ban!!!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
35 months ago
Who the hell would subscribe to a mobile game for 700$US a year? That is crazy
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Anijake Avatar
35 months ago
Could they have submitted the app for lets say $1.00 per week then once approved upped to $13? or something like that?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iterva Avatar
35 months ago

Personally, any app that does this should get a perma ban!!!
I agree. And no exceptions!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
iPad Air 12

12.9-Inch iPad Air Now Rumored to Feature Mini-LED Display

Thursday April 18, 2024 7:37 am PDT by
The rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air that is expected to be announced in May will be equipped with a mini-LED display like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, according to Ross Young, CEO of research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants. The existing 10.9-inch iPad Air is equipped with a standard LCD panel, and the move to mini-LED technology for the 12.9-inch model would provide increased brightness for...