Developers complain that App Store functionality promotes fraudulent apps
Apple has showcased a number of apps with disproportionate subscriptions on the App Store, angering some developers.
The App Store feature on the Australian Australian App Store, first highlighted by Beau-Nouvelle on Twitter, is called “Slime Releases” and reportedly features apps that aren’t functional and seek to charge disproportionate in-app purchase subscriptions.
Apple is promoting these slime apps again. A few of them have weekly subscriptions of $ 10 or more. One of them doesn’t even do anything.https://t.co/d0dKLCkiVF
-Beautiful News (@BeauNouvelle) August 4, 2021
One of the apps, called “Jelly: Slime Simulator, ASMR,” offers a $ 13 per week subscription to pass its paywall, coming in at $ 676 per year. Apples App Store Review Guidelines state (with emphasis on ours):
If we are unable to understand how your app works, or if your in-app purchases are not immediately obvious, it will delay your review and may trigger a rejection. And while the price is up to you, we will not distribute apps and items purchased through the app which are clearly scams. We will reject expensive apps that try to fool users with irrationally high prices.
The fact that such apps have successfully passed the App Store review process to be awarded a special Apple feature in the App Store has sparked outrage from some developers, such as Two’s Simeon Saëns. Lives Left, which took a closer look in one of the applications.
Since at least some of these apps charge $ 13 per week, it’s hard not to see them as violating App Store guidelines. It is therefore particularly surprising that they were actively presented by Apple on the App Store.