Over the last few days, we’ve passed along some interesting horror stories about the Apple App Store and certain iOS apps. These were discovered by FlickType creator Kosta Keleftheriou who is having problems of his own with Apple. In fact, the company that Kleleftheriou runs with his business partner is suing Apple after the latter promoted FlickType copycat apps and scams.
Just this past week, Kosta tweeted about a children’s app that doubled in certain countries as an online casino where gamblers had real money at risk. He also posted about XGate VPN, an app that did nothing it promised while ripping off iOS users at a rate of $5 million a year. How do these apps jive with Apple’s proclamation that “the App Store has proved to be a safe and trusted place to discover and download apps.”
On Friday, Apple’s former Senior Director of Worldwide Product Marketing, Michael Gartenberg, tweeted some comments about the App Store. Gartenberg, who worked as a tech analyst for Gartner at one time, said yesterday about the App Store that “The ecosystem that is often praised is breaking at the seams IMHO.” He also stated that he hopes that “Apple gets its act together soon.”
Both the App Store and the Google Play Store appear to have issues keeping malware out of their respective app storefronts and protecting their users from paying ridiculously high prices for apps that offer features available for free on other apps. Apple and Google should be doing their best to make sure that their valued customers aren’t getting ripped off by bad actors.
The App Store in particular has been called a monopoly with users blaming Apple’s walled garden for keeping app prices higher than they should be. That’s because Apple’s 30% cut of in-app payments has lead some developers to hike their prices. And while Google also takes a 30% cut from in-app payments, Android allows users to sideload apps from a third-party app store while Apple doesn’t.
Apple’s App Store is also the center of another legal issue involving Epic Games, the developer behind the popular Fortnite game. Players purchasing special in-app currency for the game were prompted by Epic to pay less for the currency over its own payment platform. This happened to violate Apple’s own rules that prevent apps listed on the App Store from offering its own in-app payment system.
As a result of Epic’s actions, Apple removed the game from the App Store leading Epic to take legal action against Apple. Speaking of apps, what are the weirdest ones that you can install on your phone?