Apple continues to crackdown on recommendation apps
Apple's crackdown on apps that violate the new recently debuted 2.25 clause of the App Store Guidelines has expanded according to a report by PocketGamer. The rule states that no app can copy functionality from the App Store to promote purchases for apps other than their own. Clause 2.25 lead to the death, and subsequent redesign, of AppShopper into it's current social media focus. AppGratis has not been so lucky. However, as a developer rejection sent to PocketGamer explains, more apps may soon be on the chopping block.
The rejection supplied to PocketGamer specifically cited apps that "include filtering, bookmarking, searching or sharing recommendations" as verboten for not being different enough from the App Store itself. None of those four provisions are officially listed in clause 2.25.
This extension of the app store guidelines further closes users off from apps that supply recommendations outside of the ones found in Apple's own store. Given the controversy surrounding what some consider AppGratis' gaming of the system for profit, Apple's move could be a matter of shoring up its own rankings and keeping possible manipulation off of the charts.
However the developer of the app in question told PocketGamer their app is just for sharing recommendations with friends. Therein lays the problem. According to the developer:
The developer who sent the rejection to PocketGamer has chosen to remain anonymous at this time. Hopefully Apple will work with developers to clarify the expanding guidelines for recommendation apps.
"Our app is primarily focused on sharing recommendations to your friends. I have not seen this rejection notice before and believe that it is a new one. We thought that basing our recommendations on sharing was suitable for Apple, as it had previously stated that if you bake in social or local into your app discovery, you would be fine.
However, either we are not social enough, or Apple is going back on its position. Either way, it appears the scope of 2.25 continues to grow and I think they aim to be the only provider of recommendations for apps, along with being the distributor."
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