Big changes are coming to the App Store, and the crackdown on app discovery applications is one of the big “spring-cleaning” measures Apple is preparing. The cleaning process even affects high-profile apps such as AppGratis, which was withdrawn for violating guideline 2.25, which states: “Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the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.”
Apple is starting to take its own guidelines very seriously, tightening its grip around discovery apps, as confirmed by Pocketgamer today. Although there is no official announcement, discovery apps are now subject to rejection if they feature “filtering, bookmarking, searching or sharing recommendations.”
We’ve been contacted by one developer whose app discovery tool has recently been blocked by Apple because it includes such features. The reason given for the block is violation of App Store regulation 2.25, Pocketgamer writes (via MacRumors).
“Our app is primarily focused on sharing recommendations to your friends,” the developer, who wished to remain anonymous, told us.
“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.”
Apple’s 2.25 guideline has remained unchanged, and expansion of the regulation could create confusion among developers until the company updates its guidelines.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to push to remove discovery apps — application including filtering, bookmarking, searching or sharing recommendations, which aren’t considered significantly different from the App Store. We can only assume that Apple is doing this because they are preparing their own discovery method to solve the app discovery issue as the App Store grows even bigger.