Apple's crusade against third party app promotion continues as it pulls AppGratis

No other god but App Store promotion

Apple's crusade against third party app promotion continues as it pulls AppGratis
The App Store can never be pure enough for Apple.

All it wants is for iOS users to follow its featured titles and iAd adverts, and download those apps.

But all app developers want is an app discovery and marketing system that works: search that worked properly would be a start.

And so there's an ever growing ecosystem of companies coming up with clever ways to connect users with apps.

One way

Sounds good, right?

No. Apple doesn't like this one bit, because these companies are performing their smarts (and making their money) outside of the App Store; merely using it as dumb pipe for distribution.

And that's why despite the ever increasing popping up of such schemes, Apple continues its whack-a-mole attitude and keeps bashing them down.

The latest company to feel Cupertino's wrath is French outfit AppGratis, which has had its AppGratis app pulled from the App Store.

It's been available for years, but recently launched on the US App Store, following the company's $13.5 million funding round.

No doubt both events made Apple sit up and take notice.

The rules

In terms of what AppGratis did to get its app pulled, no-one's yet sure.

It's highly likely to have something to do with Apple's now notorious regulation 2.25, concerning "Apps that display Apps other than your own..." - the so-called 'app store within an app' clause.

This has previously hit apps like AppShopper, which was pulled from the App Store in December 2012, and hasn't been seen since. editor Keith Andrew had plenty to say on the subject then, but it looks like Apple's attitude has changed not one jot.

Ironically, AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat supported the move at the time, saying he thought Apple was removing low quality experiences.

"We believe we're adding significant value to the Apple ecosystem by sending close to 100 million visits to the App Store yearly," he commented.

Apple clearly disagrees.
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


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Michael Lewis
Luckily appsfire is still around. I hope they will stay...
Dave Bell
What's clear is that Apple doesn't want dozens of directories junking up its listings. Certainly the App Store search and discovery is not perfect, but there are plenty of web and mobile web based services for app discovery and rewards. Gnome Escape and FreeMyApps come to mind just to name a few.

If you have an app based service you have to play by Apple's rules and shouldn't complain. The free and open web is meant for unrestricted services, not the App Store.
Bradley Graham
I work for an app company, I love these type of promotional tools. I just thought it was funny with regards to the article
Daniel Nave
It amazes me over and over again how Apple cares only about how to suck more money out of their users than to actually provide good value for that money. What I mean is that since only big titles that can afford buying installs for 2$ or 3$ per install are dominating tops of the charts, good quality games that are not pure money-sucking machines are falling behind, since their makers are not able to spend $50K daily on advertisement ("user acquisition"). Apple knows how this works, and is making huge amounts of money from IAP from these farm-like games, thus they have no interest of seeing actual quality games that don't have crazy monetization built-in ranking high.
And this is exactly why AppGratis, App-o-Day and FAAD are tampering with Apple's plans - they are showing their users some really good apps and games, that don't rely on them spending $5/DAU.
Apple is going downhill, and people will eventually find other ways for app discovery than purely browsing the app store.
Mathieu Castelli C4M Productions
Wow. I feel sorry for Simon. He, and App Gratis, helped our game Bulba The Cat two years back. For free.
I guess focus will shift to Android.
And what's the big difference between AppGratis and any other blog? Unclear to me.
Chris James
Hey Bradley, why would you say that's ironic?
We're not championing or encouraging the removal of these apps, simply reporting on what Apple is doing.
Bradley Graham
You have an article about removing these apps as you advertise App-o-day.