Apple has removed iOS app “App Gratis” after it reportedly violated some of the App Store’s rules, specifically a new rule on the promotion of apps. The rule clearly stated that it forbids “apps that display apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store.” Essentially, this means that Apple will remove any application that in some way models to their own App Store.
“App Gratis” allowed customers to discover applications through the app, with the company working with over 6,000 app developers around the world to help discover new software and iOS apps. Following the app’s removal, neither Apple nor App Gratis commented as to why it happened or if the app will return after it fixes the violation.
However, Apple later confirmed to AllThingsD that App Gratis violated both Clause 2.25 and 5.6 of the App Store Review Guideline. Clause 2.25 stated that apps cannot promote other application similar to the App Store and clause 5.6 states that “apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.”
This removal isn’t the only one since Apple instituted the rule, with the company reportedly removing several apps that mimicked the App Store’s model of showcasing and providing applications and ones that also violated clause 5.6. It is not surprising that Apple removed App Gratis as the Cupertino company generally likes to keep tight control of its innovative products to make sure that it is not being copied and used for personal gain by a third party.