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AppGratis CEO in 'total disbelief' over rejection since Apple approved app 'a week ago'

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
The founder AppGratis, which was recently removed from Apple's iOS App Store over alleged rule violations, says he's "in total disbelief" that Apple has removed the app but that the company will continue providing its app discovery service to millions of users in the meantime.

appgratis


Over this past weekend, Apple pulled AppGratis from the App Store, explaining on Monday that the app discovery software violated two App Store regulations in particular: one banning apps that promote other apps in a manner similar to the App Store, and another forbidding apps using push notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat took issue with Apple's process in removing the app in his company's blogon Tuesday, characterizing it as contradictory and confused. AppGratis, Dawlat claims, previously secured approval from Apple App Reviewers, not only for the most recent update to the iPhone version of AppGratis, but also for an iPad version. That iPad version, Dawlat says, was approved less than a week ago, further confusing the app approval process.

AppGratis, Dawlat argues, adds value to Apple's iOS ecosystem. Without apps like it, he says, app discovery on iOS is "fairly broken." Apple's decision to nix the app, then, is hard to understand, from Dawlat's perspective.

iphone 4s
AppGratis' April 4 approval for an iPad version of its now-banned app


Dawlat says AppGratis ? which boasts more than 10 million users worldwide ? is less an imitation of the App Store than it is a "media reviewing one Apple product a day like thousands of sites, blogs, and apps." The AppGratis CEO also says that the company secured approval from Apple using this reasoning. The company also, he says, sufficiently demonstrated the complexity on the back-end of AppGratis, avoiding rejection for another regulation that requires that apps be more than "simply websites bundled as apps."

As to the possible abuse of push notifications, Dalwat says AppGratis sends out one notification per day, alerting users when the new day's deal has been posted. Dalwat says that this is an opt-in feature and, further, that this is how Apple recommends developers use its push notification service.

Dalwat says that attempts to talk to Apple app reviewers have been unfruitful, with the reviewer assigned to AppGratis' case saying only that the app violates the rules.
post #2 of 43
Never heard of it.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 43
So why don't they just make it web based?

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post #4 of 43
The rules are clear and he clearly broke them. I am in disbelief that he is in disbelief.

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post #5 of 43

This app is getting way too much exposure.

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 #6 of 43
It's truly reprehensible what Apple has done here. This is EXACTLY why there are so many Apple haters out there who will only buy PCs or Android devices. And this isn't new behavior for Apple... Apple has ALWAYS been "developer hostile" from day one of the company's inception.
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The rules are clear and he clearly broke them. I am in disbelief that he is in disbelief.

I'm in disbelief of your disbelief of his disbelief 

post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

It's truly reprehensible what Apple has done here. This is EXACTLY why there are so many Apple haters out there who will only buy PCs or Android devices. And this isn't new behavior for Apple... Apple has ALWAYS been "developer hostile" from day one of the company's inception.

It's quite simple, either comply with the rules, or get lost. It's not really that hard of a concept to grasp.

 

If certain developers are not too bright, then they are better off making apps for Android.

post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

It's truly fantastic what Apple has done here. This is EXACTLY why there are so many Apple haters out there who will only buy PCs or Android devices. And this isn't new behavior for Apple... Apple has ALWAYS been "customer focussed" from day one of the company's inception.

 

Fixed it for ya.  1wink.gif

post #10 of 43

I'm sure he's in "total disbelief", as the app broke multiple appstore guidelines. He's gonna milk the rejection for all its worth by playing the victim, expect sensationalized articles about this on every tech blog in the next week, even though I've ever heard of this app. 

 

He's as much in disbelief as Google is in disbelief that their Google now app got rejected (even though it hasn't been submitted). 

post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post

I'm in disbelief of your disbelief of his disbelief 

Oh come on I totally believe his disbelief and find your disbelief of his disbelief hard to believe! 1wink.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #12 of 43

This guy sounds like a complete fool.  I bet he was under the impression that Apple would buy him out someday and roll his app into their efforts to highlight apps in the store or something.  Nothing else could explain how bewildered he seems and how terribly disappointed, despite knowing that his app obviously breaks the rules.  

 

His statements are nonsensical.  He says that it was approved earlier, even though he knows that this makes no difference to the ultimate rejection.  He says that he is using notifications "how Apple tells it's developers to use them" despite admitting that he is sending notifications that are in fact promotions.  I mean the entire purpose of his app is promotion (and paid promotion at that).  He cites complexity as a reason he is not "just a website" but then mentions how all he really does is send one notification a day about whatever app he's highlighting that day.  

 

In short, his answers and pleadings are all incredulous whinging about things that he isn't even being criticised for, and yet he has no real answer at all to the key complaints actually being levelled against him.  

 

Classic denial.  1hmm.gif

post #13 of 43
Perhaps Apple didn't do any more than a cursory look at it before now. Doesn't really matter. It apparently doesn't meet the TOS.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #14 of 43

Officer, I know I was speeding, but I was speeding yesterday and you didn't catch me.

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

It's truly reprehensible what Apple has done here. This is EXACTLY why there are so many Apple haters out there who will only buy PCs or Android devices. 

 

http://www.neowin.net/news/ios-wins-the-os-adoption-war-samsung-wins-the-hardware-war-according-to-report

 

Let the "hate" continue. Apple obviously knows their biz and knows consumers. 

 

The few Apple "haters" out there who actually *do* hate Apple and can articulate their reasons aren't significant enough to worry about. 

post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

It's truly reprehensible what Apple has done here. This is EXACTLY why there are so many Apple haters out there who will only buy PCs or Android devices. And this isn't new behavior for Apple... Apple has ALWAYS been "developer hostile" from day one of the company's inception.

Not true.  Apple is very developer friendly.  Just ask the developers that are making billions more with Apple compared to Android.

Apple has conflicts every now and then with an insignificant number of developers because they have standards.  Forcing companies to play by the rules doesn't make them hostile to developers.  The NBA has rules for basketball players, but that doesn't make the NBA hostile to basketball players?  There is room in this world for different styles.  The NBA doesn't allow fighting, but the NHL does.  If you want to see a brawl, go see a hockey game.  If you want an app store where anything goes, use Android.  They both have good and bad and its a good thing we have them both.

post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Perhaps Apple didn't do any more than a cursory look at it before now. Doesn't really matter. It apparently doesn't meet the TOS.

Agreed.  

The approval process has been streamlined, which means Apple errors on the side of quickly approving apps.  It makes perfect sense that something like this might slip through.  I see no problem with the developer trying to get it through, but they are bastards for for trying to make Apple look bad just because it was approved and then pulled.   

post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's quite simple, either comply with the rules, or get lost. It's not really that hard of a concept to grasp.

 

If certain developers are not too bright, then they are better off making apps for Android.

 

More like - one would need to have very little sense of self worth to stick around. That only works until there is somewhere else to go - Anyone that has been in the business for some time can see we all back in 1993... just a matter of time.


Edited by agramonte - 4/9/13 at 1:11pm
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

It's truly reprehensible what Apple has done here. This is EXACTLY why there are so many Apple haters out there who will only buy PCs or Android devices. And this isn't new behavior for Apple... Apple has ALWAYS been "developer hostile" from day one of the company's inception.


Google just did the same thing with Android, clearing out 60,000 apps. http://tinyurl.com/d2nbcxq

Is Google reprehensible too?

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post #20 of 43

He is bewilder by Apple initial approval then disapproval, does he really think Apple actually looks at every submitted app. Initially the first time they probably do, but most likely they have some sort of tool that check their code to make sure it not doing anything bad, and then requires the developer who uploads it to check off acknowledgement that the app complies with Apple's requirements. I bet the guy figure he was pulling a fast one since it was not initial rejected. 

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This app is getting way too much exposure.

 

You mean,   like this AI post?

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This guy sounds like a complete fool.  I bet he was under the impression that Apple would buy him out someday and roll his app into their efforts to highlight apps in the store or something.  Nothing else could explain how bewildered he seems and how terribly disappointed, despite knowing that his app obviously breaks the rules.  

 

His statements are nonsensical.  He says that it was approved earlier, even though he knows that this makes no difference to the ultimate rejection.  He says that he is using notifications "how Apple tells it's developers to use them" despite admitting that he is sending notifications that are in fact promotions.  I mean the entire purpose of his app is promotion (and paid promotion at that).  He cites complexity as a reason he is not "just a website" but then mentions how all he really does is send one notification a day about whatever app he's highlighting that day.  

 

In short, his answers and pleadings are all incredulous whinging about things that he isn't even being criticised for, and yet he has no real answer at all to the key complaints actually being levelled against him.  

 

Classic denial.  1hmm.gif

 

I actually had this app on my phone - it *does* send one notification a day but it says nothing about what is being promoted. IIRC, it says something like "Today's AppGratis deal is here". I do agree the app is toeing the line, if it hadn't already crossed it, so I'm also a little surprised he was surprised.

 

I did find it useful but i ultimately realised I was downloading apps that I would never really use. So I deleted it.

 

But he has a a point. There's a crapload of fluff in the App Store and finding the good stuff can be very difficult.

post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Oh come on I totally believe his disbelief and find your disbelief of his disbelief hard to believe! 1wink.gif

 

"…believe or believe not -- there is no try…"

 

If they [AppGratis] truly did get these assurances at a managerial  (i.e., pay grade) level high enough up then it would be wrong to yank it now. The problem is that without some sort of 'memorandum of understanding' they are sunk.

post #24 of 43

I am seeing more and more apps showing up on Itunes which are crossing the line, At first they were very benign and now they are more intrusive with the ads method to get you

 

The wife downloaded a free solitaire game, which has the little ad banners at the bottom or top. Well that is fine until you refuse to buy tokens to add more feature. It has some sort of ad timer that if you do not click on an ad or buy upgrade it stops the game and will not let you play until the ad timer refill so to say, It will show you full screens ads which try to get to buy other apps or other things. Until you watch or click on enough of these or wait a few hours it will not let you pay the game again. I bet this does not meet Apple requirements, I expect this on Google Play and the Android apps but not iOS apps.

 

Some of these develops can not relay on producing a good product they are only interest in collecting money way they can.

post #25 of 43
Apples App Store rules regarding duplicating App Store functionality are ridiculous! If Apple had a descent App Store app, millions of people wouldn't be looking elsewhere for features the App Store app doesn't offer!

Does the App Store tell me what apps are trending with my friends? No. Does the App Store allow me to create an app wish list? No. Does the App Store alert me when an App on my wish list is on sale? No. Does App Store even have a "On Sale" section? No. For these reasons I never browse for apps on the App Store interface, it's horrible and really hasn't changed that much since day one other than a superficial makeover.

I use an App like AppGratis (AppShopper) that was pulled when Apple made their new rules. I'm so glad I'm grandfathered in! I should have downloaded AppGratis when it was available 1frown.gif

Also since I'm ranting, Apple needs to blow us out of the water with iOS 7, changing the icon and the way the UI looks is only icing on the cake. Features that these apps provide is the cake and Apple better not kick back and continue serving us SoS!
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's quite simple, either comply with the rules, or get lost. It's not really that hard of a concept to grasp.

If certain developers are not too bright, then they are better off making apps for Android.

Please. He makes a perfectly valid point that he thoroughly complied by Apple's rules - working with them on both counts at issue which Apple then approved.

I have been an avid Apple fan for 20 years, stock owner for 12+, but am finding, sadly, a subtle distaste for my favorite company.

I'm grateful for their protected ecosystem but this is bordering on policing and disservices their customers and developers.
post #27 of 43
"Dalwat says that attempts to talk to Apple app reviewers have been unfruitful"


LOL This is Apple, you have to worship them before you can talk to them (if you are lucky)
post #28 of 43
Why not just side load it? Oh yeah, that's right, iOS can't sideload.
post #29 of 43

The guys somewhat fair complaint is that the app just recently passed the review fine and then it gets yanked without any warning.

The rule is pretty stupid, in my opinion.  The App Store IS broken for new entrants and other apps, like this one, are needed to weed through so much App Store noise.  I have relied on AppShopper's RSS subscriptions for years in order to find cool new apps, sales, and free apps.  

 

While I think @apple ][ and @gazoobee are both somewhat right, I see it more as Apple being protectionist of their own interests.

post #30 of 43

I'll bet a buck that his actual disbelief came when the app was initially approved.   A 'Wow", they didn't notice we broke the rules.  

post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

I'll bet a buck that his actual disbelief came when the app was initially approved.   A 'Wow", they didn't notice we broke the rules.  

You are surely right on that one. The rules were passed a while ago that should have eliminated hos app.
post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This app is getting way too much exposure.

Free advertising.  Like P.T. Barnum said "I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right."

 

Even if is is bad press it still is free advertising. 

post #33 of 43
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post
It's truly reprehensible what Apple has done here. This is EXACTLY why there are so many Apple haters out there who will only buy PCs or Android devices. And this isn't new behavior for Apple... Apple has ALWAYS been "developer hostile" from day one of the company's inception.

 

Google culls apps, too.

 

Your response to this is what, troll?


Originally Posted by bleh1234 View Post
Why not just side load it? Oh yeah, that's right, iOS can't sideload.

 

Why sideload it? Oh yeah, that's right; who the FRICK wants to do that EVER?

post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

 

I actually had this app on my phone - it *does* send one notification a day but it says nothing about what is being promoted. IIRC, it says something like "Today's AppGratis deal is here". I do agree the app is toeing the line, if it hadn't already crossed it, so I'm also a little surprised he was surprised.

 

I did find it useful but i ultimately realised I was downloading apps that I would never really use. So I deleted it.

 

But he has a a point. There's a crapload of fluff in the App Store and finding the good stuff can be very difficult.

 

 

Honestly, I have so many Apps that like to tell me something everyday. Moreover, there are plenty of Apps like Groupon that tell you about a deal of the day. Starbuck's app today started giving away Angry Birds Star Wars addition for free. So, it is an App promoting an App. Apple is going to let that slide though. 

 

Moreover, we need help finding good apps. 

post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

I'll bet a buck that his actual disbelief came when the app was initially approved.   A 'Wow", they didn't notice we broke the rules.  

 

 

Yea right. I suppose you are going to go spend tons of time and money to go develop an App that you think is going to be rejected. Very bright. This company has a staff of over 45 people and has been on the App Store since 2008.

 

From the CEO's mouth, "As the CEO of a 45-person company, all who I’ve hired myself and deeply respect and care for, it’s pretty obvious that I would never have crossed Apple’s rules so foolishly, risking the jobs of so many people and the destiny of a company it took me four years to build."

 

The fact is Apple is screwing a developer who sunk a lot of time and resources developing an unique app, just for Apple to change the rules. Moreover, the rules aren't always clear cut. 

post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

 

More like - one would need to have very little sense of self worth to stick around. That only works until there is somewhere else to go - Anyone that has been in the business for some time can see we all back in 1993... just a matter of time.

 

And they came back roaring, didn't they? No single company have made such an impact on technology world like they did. Obviously they can came mistakes sometime but that should not take away all the credit. 

 

Off course, Apple can/will fall as they are on a roll. Nothings lastst forever. That's natural. But it seems you are  celebrating too early. Do not make yourself look like Michael Dell. You should know how Dell ate his words after he advised Apple to liquidate and give back to shareholders.

post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why sideload it? Oh yeah, that's right; who the FRICK wants to do that EVER?

 

Developers, people who want software that's not available on Google Play (like Firefox Aurora).  

 

On Android, sideloading is often used for installing alternative app stores (like Amazon's), or installing apps from another program (the Opera browser has it's own Android app store).  

post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

I'll bet a buck that his actual disbelief came when the app was initially approved.   A 'Wow", they didn't notice we broke the rules.  


Read your own comment. It makes no sense. How would he secure funding for a company that he believes would end upon initial rejection of their service due to violation of Apple's terms? This doesn't seem to be a side project of a much larger company.

post #39 of 43
It sounds like this app isn't really an app as it doesn't actually offer any real functionality and should be just a website.
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


Read your own comment. It makes no sense. How would he secure funding for a company that he believes would end upon initial rejection of their service due to violation of Apple's terms? This doesn't seem to be a side project of a much larger company.

 

They changed the app.  Also, he contradicts himself many times:  (Blog entry)

 

 

Friday, April 5th was the day Apple decided to pull AppGratis out of the App Store, leaving our 12 million iOS users wondering where one of their favorite apps had gone, my 45 employees wondering if they’d still have a job next week, my partners and investors in shock, and myself with an absolutely crazy situation to deal with, thousands of miles away from our headquarters.

 

First, 12 million iOS users are not wondering where their app went, it is still there on their devices.  I suspect all they need to do is a) remove the notifications  b) add other value to the app that extends the app store.  Then they are back.

 

My take on this is that instead of blaming Apple for all of his issues, it would be better to ask 'How can I have my app play by the published rules'.  The above just sounds like an attempt to pressure Apple into making an exception.

 

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