In its latest hunt to find and remove apps that come to cross Apple’s line, the tech giant has mysteriously taken out another of its freebie iOS app tool called the AppGratis from its App Store last week. This is basically a app discovery service tool with about 10 million users that mainly deals with developers to make their software free for 24 hours. In this way AppGratis could offer a free or discounted app to its followers at least once a day via Apple’s App Store. This would help the users to unearth numerous less known or unknown apps to get discovered and help them to advance in the eyes of Apple’s paid section ranking, once the sale is completed. The service tool which only appeared on App Store from last December 2012 had already gathered a fund of $13.5 million by January 20123. According to TechCrunch they were also picking up a growth of almost 100,000 new users per day! It seems like AppGratis, which only evolved from “an email newsletter shared among friends” to a multimillion dollar business, must have in some way become a threat to Apple’s business itself.
Noted first by Pocket Gamer that AppGratis is no longer available, this is not the only such tool to get removed. Earlier Apple had arranged to pull off a popular database in last December, called the AppShopper that used to make customers aware of any price changes on iOS apps. Now though Apple itself had acquired Chomp, a similar app discovery service and still have FAAD and AppiDay also from the same category; they are still available with AppStore.
An Apple spokesman however has revealed that AppGratis got controversial due to its lack of respect towards Apple’s App Store Guidelines on the following clauses:
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; and
5.6: Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.
We might assume that the total incident stands on the AppGratis business to be “similar to or confusing” to that of Apple’s under clause2.25 for which the service had to go.