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Apple's internal 'GameStore' iOS testing app mistakenly hits App Store

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
An internal testing application for iPhone in-app purchases called "GameStore" has appeared for sale on the App Store by Apple at a cost of 99 cents.

The apparent mistake was caught by German-language website iFun.de, which revealed the error on Monday. The application is still available on the App Store for 99 cents and was released on Dec. 31.

Apple is listed as the official publisher of "GameStore," which is in the Utilities category and is listed as version 1.8. Its brief description reads; "This application allows you to buy different things from within the app."

Within the application is a "Products List" which appears to be used to test the in-app purchase functionality. Users can buy options like "2 Lives" for $2.99, "Awesome Sword" for 99 cents, "Ax" for $19.99, and "Big Gun" for $1.99.

The application also includes a "Shopping Cart," "Payment Q" and "Settings." Though it lacks any content, it is rated for ages 12 and up for "Horror/Fear Themes," "Simulated Gambling," "Profanity or Crude Humor," "Realistic Violence," and "Mature/Suggestive Themes."



The official listing for "GameStore" also includes a link to the Apple website, as it is named as the application's official publisher. The icon is plain white with a cartoon shopping cart in the bottom left corner.

In-app purchases were first introduced with the release of iOS 3.0 in 2009, and the "GameStore" application may have been used by Apple to test that functionality. The purchases were initially restricted to paid "premium" applications, but later in 2009, Apple granted developers the ability to offer in-app purchases in free software.
post #2 of 34
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/games...318994886?mt=8
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post #3 of 34
GOT IT!

Boo-yah! It's like picking up iDOS before the closing bell!
post #4 of 34
I don't get why anyone would want this app?
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post

I don't get why anyone would want this app?

To complete the collection.
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post

I don't get why anyone would want this app?

When perusing the App Store, that question occurs to me quite often, in many different categories of software.
post #7 of 34
For no particular reason I bought it too.

There are some curious things in there, things that don't seem right even for an internal app. Products is not spelt right for example.

I was curious to see what would happen if I did restore previous purchases but I could not bring myself to enter myitunes password within the app.

Why does appleinsider think this is a) a mistake b) an internal app

And not

C) the first dodgy spoof to make it in the AppStore

I wonder if apple will refund us, I wonder if i can buy items within it. I am not game to try due to the possibility of option (c).anyone else willing to go beyond the call?
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post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

C) the first dodgy spoof to make it in the AppStore

Being that it is listed as being from Apple I doubt it's a spoof that got through. Apple created apps are not likely treated the same way as 3rd party apps in terms of approvals etc. So if an app claiming to be from Apple came through those procedures it would almost certainly get a huge flag and someone verifying if it was an Apple app or someone trying to be cute (and getting rejected when caught).

There have been problems all weekend with store pages not loading, the Apple Store app not loading. I suspect whatever was going on accidentally flipped a switch on this. As of this writing you can see the app but it says it's not available in the US and I bet within the hour the listing will be gone as well

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #9 of 34
It's not a fake app from a third party because the publisher is listed as Apple and it seems highly unlikely that anyone other than Apple could get an app in the store using Apple as the publisher name

It's a mistake because the app itself is useless. The purchases you make in the app have no use, there's no object or feature you actually get and can use in a game or on the device. There's no reason for this to be in the wild.

On a side note... what does a relatively obscure version of wheat have to do with the wording in the application? or were you trying to be ironic? ie... spelled, not spelt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

For no particular reason I bought it too.

There are some curious things in there, things that don't seem right even for an internal app. Products is not spelt right for example.

I was curious to see what would happen if I did restore previous purchases but I could not bring myself to enter myitunes password within the app.

Why does appleinsider think this is a) a mistake b) an internal app

And not

C) the first dodgy spoof to make it in the AppStore

I wonder if apple will refund us, I wonder if i can buy items within it. I am not game to try due to the possibility of option (c).anyone else willing to go beyond the call?
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardj View Post

It's a mistake because the app itself is useless. The purchases you make in the app have no use, there's no object or feature you actually get and can use in a game or on the device.

I wonder, provided Apple refunds the app purchase itself, if they'll refund any inadvertent in-app purchases, too.

Quote:
There's no reason for this to be in the wild.

Other than intrigue.

Quote:
On a side note... what does a relatively obscure version of wheat have to do with the wording in the application? or were you trying to be ironic? ie... spelled, not spelt.

Spelt is also correct.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardj View Post


On a side note... what does a relatively obscure version of wheat have to do with the wording in the application? or were you trying to be ironic? ie... spelled, not spelt.

I prefer the word, aww darn this is just too funny, dude I am not American.

Spelt and spelled mean the same thing. Curious language aberration I did not know until now.

English is a woeful language. That said I have a curious sentence structure and word use generally.

Back to the thread though. I am still curious to know if you could buy the "useless" in-app purchases; and I reckon if you are going for spoof then why not apple, easily the most trusted, the difficulties are obvious but I am just throwing it in there, the best hack is internal.
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post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

To complete the collection.

So what is it now your app N° 624'128 ?
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

So what is it now your app N° 624'128 ?

I mean of Apple apps.
post #14 of 34
Guessing it was pulled?

I can't find it.
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post #15 of 34
No news day.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

Guessing it was pulled?

I can't find it.

Appears so. My link doesn't work anymore except to offer an iTunes download. (No thank you)
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post #17 of 34
Over at TUAW Erica has pulled the app apart...

http://www.tuaw.com/2012/01/02/what-...e-sample-code/

And ends with a curious line

"TUAW reached out directly to the developer we suspect was behind the app upload before it got pulled."
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post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

Over at TUAW Erica has pulled the app apart...

http://www.tuaw.com/2012/01/02/what-...e-sample-code/

And ends with a curious line

"TUAW reached out directly to the developer we suspect was behind the app upload before it got pulled."

If that's what happened (a developer uploading a test app and it was APPROVED??) it would not be a very good reflection on Apple's approval process. I find TUAW's guess on how the app arrived there a little hard to believe.
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post #19 of 34
I'm not going to speculate on much about this.. but it would be interesting if apple did offer this. I would suspect it has to do with the lodsys patent lawsuits going after developers for using apple's in-app purchasing API.
post #20 of 34
I wish Apple would offer an option in iOS settings that all my game apps could reside within the GameCenter app so I can keep my system less cluttered and give that icon an actual use as I never check stats.

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post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I wish Apple would offer an option in iOS settings that all my game apps could reside within the GameCenter app so I can keep my system less cluttered and give that icon an actual use as I never check stats.


That is way too complicated. Apple offers options only when they don't already know the very best way to do something.

The way it is done now is much better. I would not expect Apple to EVER do what was suggested.
post #22 of 34
This is a pretty big f*ck up, really. Either Apple released an app via the normal channels - and why? And how? Why submit to iTunes connect? Who did that? Why would an internal Apple employee do that, and why would the Apple store testers not find it? Why would they think this app publishable?

Or somebody pretending to be Apple sent this app in. In this case the f*ck is less, as only one sector of Apple would be involved (Apple store testers).

Either way, heads, roll.
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post #23 of 34
I really hope they separate out games as a separate app, like with newsstand. Just something to make it its own store. That would be nice.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

... products is not spelt right for example. ...

Irony overload!

I can't believe you could write that with a straight face.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

Over at TUAW Erica has pulled the app apart...

http://www.tuaw.com/2012/01/02/what-...e-sample-code/

And ends with a curious line

"TUAW reached out directly to the developer we suspect was behind the app upload before it got pulled."

Nothing personal to Erica or TUAW but she's been wrong before and at times publishes things as "fact" (or seeming fact), when they are only really surmises on her part.

She's incredibly smart and she's honest enough to put out a correction when she turns out to be mistaken however so that still makes her better than most of the male tech writers.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Irony overload!

I can't believe you could write that with a straight face.

spelt is acceptable British English aka English.
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post #27 of 34
This is pretty sloppy. The things that slip through the app store approval system are kind of baffling.

What are they even checking for? Obvious Mario clones using blatently copywritten assets, iMame, tethering apps...

What the heck Apple? Seriously. How is this supposed to make us feel about the chance of something malicious making it through? I have very little confidence in Apples ability to notice something.

I bet that the approval system is 99% automated and they just run the apps through a program looking for bad code.
post #28 of 34
I sort of like the idea of having all one's games in Game Center, provided it operates like, say, a Newsstand-with-an-actual-point instead of a Steam system. You know, where you have to wait absolutely forever for the actual application to open so you can play your games. Just have all the games on the device collected under the Game Center app as a folder-type thing and then access to an overarching Game Center overlay (like what the app is right now) inside each game.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ort View Post

This is pretty sloppy. The things that slip through the app store approval system are kind of baffling.

What are they even checking for? Obvious Mario clones using blatently copywritten assets, iMame, tethering apps...

What the heck Apple? Seriously. How is this supposed to make us feel about the chance of something malicious making it through? I have very little confidence in Apples ability to notice something.

I bet that the approval system is 99% automated and they just run the apps through a program looking for bad code.

I doubt if you are more capable than Apple is running an App Store. If you are, perhaps you should apply for a job with Apple or maybe Google.

You could use your considerable acumen and skill in ridding the Android Marketplace of thousands of malware apps. Think of the acclaim you would garner.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

I doubt if you are more capable than Apple is running an App Store. If you are, perhaps you should apply for a job with Apple or maybe Google.

You could use your considerable acumen and skill in ridding the Android Marketplace of thousands of malware apps. Think of the acclaim you would garner.

So you apply that argument to anybody who criticises a company which makes a mistake, or only Apple? If someone criticised Dell would you suggest they had no business to unless they proved they could run a multi-billion dollar industry?

This was an Apple mistake. They make mistakes. We can point that out.
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post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Irony overload!

I can't believe you could write that with a straight face.

Someone needs to read up on British (and, let's be honest, general "International") English spelling, and probably grammar too. I remember having an argument with an American in the mid '90's because he couldn't understand how "dreamt" and "dreamed" were both valid spellings for the past tense of the verb "to dream". He didn't like "shite" either (as in "you are talking....") , though I had to explain that it was a different pronunciation of the same word that time! lol.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ort View Post

This is pretty sloppy. The things that slip through the app store approval system are kind of baffling.

What are they even checking for? Obvious Mario clones using blatently copywritten assets, iMame, tethering apps...

What the heck Apple? Seriously. How is this supposed to make us feel about the chance of something malicious making it through? I have very little confidence in Apples ability to notice something.

I bet that the approval system is 99% automated and they just run the apps through a program looking for bad code.

Agree. I know a young lady quilter with 365 videos on YouTube who had her content ripped off wholesale. She then asked developer to make the content free as that is her marketing choice. The developer then put up disclaimers that you need to be 18+ due to mature content, then pulled the app. Looks like that dev is still there, only he's ripped off other you tube videos by a few other people. Really really crappy stuff is clogging up the store. Just because somebody has a 'team' and their work passes the auto check doesn't mean it is real stuff. The examples are legion of developers using examples from Apple's own tutorials and selling for .99. I hope they clean it up, it's a swamp right now.
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What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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post #33 of 34
I just received a refund e-mail for this.

They said it went out "prematurely". No kidding.

I'll cap it and remove my personal info, hang on.

post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I just received a refund e-mail for this.

Yeah I just got my letter of same, interesting reason. Wonder how many people were involved with making that email up.
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