While AppGratis is the most recent daily app deal app to get the boot from the iOS App Store, it seems it isn’t the last, as Apple will likely boot others from the store soon.
An AllThingsD report claims that Apple wants to prune the App Store a bit by removing apps like AppGratis that offer deals on apps. Specifically Apple wants to remove apps from the App Store that violate guidelines 2.25 and 5.6 which don’t let apps promote apps from other developers and ban Push notifications used to for direct marketing.
Apple notified AppGratis that it violated those two guidelines when the app disappeared from the App Store. Other apps may receive similar notifications from Apple in the very near future as Apple tries to do away with app deal apps.
Apple reportedly wants to remove the apps because it feels they undermine the integrity of the App Store. The apps featured in those apps can climb to the top of the App Store charts simply because they’re featured in apps like AppGratis or AppHero. Apple prefers to think of the App Store of a meritocracy where apps rise to the top because they’re good, not because another app features them.
Based on its guidelines, Apple could also use guideline 10.2 against those apps, which bans apps that look similar to apps included in the iPhone. It’s not clear why the company doesn’t use the rule against app deal apps.
The biggest question is if Apple will let Facebook continue to offer App Center in its iOS apps which showcase different apps with Facebook integration. The feature doesn’t seem to fit within Apple’s guidelines, but unlike AppGratis, Apple has a partnership with Facebook it may not want to jeopardize.
Apple isn’t the only company that’s pruning its app store. Google recently pruned 60,000 apps from the Play Store, citing quality concerns. As app stores grow ever larger Apple and Google are starting to exert a bit more control over them so they better fit the companies’ ideals.