Apple recently pulled a couple of apps from the App Store for violating clause 2.25, which prohibits any app from replicating the App Store’s functionality by promoting or offering any apps for purchase other than your own, including AppShopper (which has since returned) and AppGratis. According to PocketGamer, Apple is expanding this clause to reject any app that offers app search features from third-party apps.
Apple will also reject apps that encourage recommendation sharing. One developer whose app did just that, told PocketGamer of their app being rejected for featuring “filtering, bookmarking, searching, or sharing recommendations.”
“We thought that basing our recommendations on sharing was suitable for Apple, as it has previously stated that if you bake in social of local into your app discovery, you would be fine., the anonymous developer explained. “I think they aim to be the only provider of recommendations for apps, along with being the distributor.”
The developer of the rejected app received an e-mail from Apple that explained why it was rejected. Apple explained that apps that “include bookmarking, searching, or sharing recommendations are not considered as significantly different from the App Store.” However, none of these features are included in App Store regulation 2.25, which previously resulted in AppShopper and AppGratis getting the boot.
The clause states:
2.25 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.
It’s not really clear why Apple has expanded this rule, especially when these types of apps could also serve to promote Apple’s own apps. Whatever the case, it’s sending a confusing message to developers, especially when they make a point of trying to comply with App Store rules.