Apple’s App Store is the most famous software, or ‘app’, distribution service, let’s just get that out in the open. They’re famed for being the first to create such a service for their line of iOS devices, and eventually extended to Mac with the Mac App Store. However, they’re just as famous, possibly even more so, for their initially stringent rules and regulations for which apps were allowed to be distributed officially, on top of what these apps are actually allowed to do at all. For example, apps can not include an ability to change the way the lock screen is unlocked, from the usual Slide To Unlock to something else, like Android’s famed Pattern Unlock. Since then, their rules have been relaxed, but things like that lock screen example are still not allowed.
A quick browse of the Top 50 or so paid apps, and you may find apps that promise differently. Apps such as the one below demonstrate a new ability for the iPhone that it just can’t do, including one that claims you can now unlock your iPhone with a pattern, a la Android.
This app, entitled ‘Pattern Lock for iPhone‘, is charged at 69p in the UK, and has gained universally 1 star reviews since its introduction, yet still remains in the store, ready for innocent people to be ripped off. People download these apps because they believe that the iPhone or iPod Touch can be customised in such a way, until they realise they’ve been tricked.
But this isn’t all. There are more apps that give empty promises, but particularly this one shown below making the latest rounds. It is called, simply ‘Pokémon Yellow’, and you can guess what it promises.
This app promises the ability to play the hugely popular game Pokémon Yellow, but actually, when launched, the image shown in the app screenshots shows for a second, after which the app crashes and diverts back to the home screen.
Why somebody working at Apple decided to allow this to be sold in the App Store is beyond not just me, but anyone else who knows how big of a fraud this is.
These are just examples of why Apple needs to look yet again at their approval process. I’m pretty sure that their initial guidelines would never have allowed the above apps to be distributed, and Steve Jobs would’ve ordered the removal of these apps in a heartbeat. These apps are horribly misleading, and developed for the sole purpose of ripping off anyone without knowledge of the restrictions that app developers have. This must stop to protect the integrity and strong reputation of the App Store.
I will be emailing Tim Cook about this, that’s how much I hope Apple rectifies this problem.