On Sunday, Apple approved an app, titled GameStore, with an icon of what appeared to be a shopping cart in the far left corner. Screen shots for the app didn’t reveal much information.
Two German sites, Flo’s Weblog (Google translation) and iFun.de (Google translation) posted images and a link to the app. The app debuted on December 31st on the App Store and highighted several racing games, although none contained any actual content.
GameStore may have simply been an internal test for Apple, and has since been removed from the App Store. TUAW’s Erica Sadun reported that the app may have simply been sample code for an in-app purchasing developer test, and was likely mistakenly approved.
What developers do is upload a working skeleton application to iTunes Connect. You do this with the full understanding that you’ll be replacing or, for tutorials, rejecting your binary at some point in the future. Once uploaded, you can test your IAPs, and make sure all your purchasing processes work. Looks like the app was submitted in order to provide a live testbed and may have gotten approved inadvertently.
After consulting with the TUAW team, our take on this is “likely sample code accidentally deployed to App Store” by Apple and then quickly pulled once people took notice. TUAW reached out directly to the developer we suspect was behind the app upload before it got pulled.
The app was priced at $0.99 and mentioned a post date for June, 9, 2009, which was during Apple’s WWDC conference and prior to the introduction of in-app purchasing.