AppGratis was somewhat confusingly removed from Apple’s App Store last Friday, just a week after the iPad version was approved. What the…?
Now there are suggestions that the move might be part of an imminent major App Store clampdown, with stricter enforcement from Apple.
A whopping 12 million people had downloaded the AppGratis app before Friday, and it’ll continue to function alongside the website and newsletter.
However, AppGratis has been removed for violating clauses 2.25 and 5.6 of Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, the former forbidding apps that promote other developers’ apps, and the latter prohibiting marketing messages via push notifications.
There are a number of other apps that blatantly violate one or both of those rules, but their time might be up soon.
AllThingsD credits “Sources familiar with Apple’s thinking” when it suggests that there might be a major clampdown soon, as Apple “feels that these apps threaten the legitimacy of the App Store charts by providing a way for developers to spend their way to a high ranking”.
There are also supposedly concerns, on Apple’s part, about “alternative storefronts” and “clutter”.
The news comes in the same week that we learned nearly 60,000 apps were removed from Google Play in February, but while Googs adopts retroactive approval, Apple will typically be removing apps it had previously given the thumbs-up to.
You can read the AppGratis take on things over on the AppGratis blog. Interesting read.