Apple has pulled the popular app recommendation service AppGratis from the Apple App Store.
AppGratis is essentially a Groupon for apps. The company partners with app developers to highlight and review apps and deals through its iOS app.
In a recent blog post on AppGratis' website, the company's CEO Simon Dawlat, explains what happened. Dawlat sayd that in an effort to push AppGratis global in short order, the company published multiple versions of the app for each territory it was expanding to. As a result, AppGratis unwittingly ran afoul of Apple's App Store guidelines.
"Not only did we end up with more than 20+ different apps to maintain in the App Store (a nightmare for our engineering team), we also quickly hit Apple’s iOS guideline 2.20, stating that: Developers “spamming” the App Store with many versions of similar Apps will be removed from the iOS Developer Program," Dawlat wrote.
Dawlat also said that AppGratis had been cited by Apple for violating guideline 2.12, which states that "Apps that are not very useful, unique, are simply web sites bundled as Apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected."
"Given the crazy amount of work and passion we’ve put into AppGratis, and given how highly-requested and praised by our users the app has been, let alone the fact that AppGratis is filling a major gap in a fairly broken App Discovery world, this was the hardest one to understand," he wrote.
But perhaps most importantly, Apple has also cited AppGratis for violating a new guideline 2.25, which states that "Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected."
AppGratis is in the middle of a discussion with Apple to resolves the problems. Dawlat said the company was able to make a strong point on the fact that AppGratis had nothing in common with the App Store.
"The App Store is a 1M+ hosted app catalog. AppGratis is like a media reviewing one Apple product a day like thousands of other sites, blogs, and apps on this planet – dramatically different mechanics. We got OK-ed on this one, since our app was later approved (and has been live for months)," he wrote.
AppGratis says it will continue to update the app for those who have already downloaded it. The company's website will also continue operations. However, the apps fate is still uncertain at the App Store, as it works to resolve Apple's concerns.