While we often lend multiple virtues to the App Store, supposed to be a place padlocked and secure by Apple, a developer gives voice and denounces the multiple scams that take place under the gaze, too diverted according to him , from the Californian firm.
Is the App Store as virtuous as Apple thinks it is? The Californian firm continues to impose very strict regulations on its developers, asking them to respect the rules of its application store under penalty of sanction (hello Epic!), Demanding very high transparency as to the use that they make recovered data, or by imposing soon that they have the authorization of the users to be able to track them.
Beside, the Google Play Store is often singled out for a certain laxity that reveals fraudulent apps and other disreputable products that slip through the cracks. But to believe a developer, some crooks would also manage to circumvent the “Apple law” and would get rich at the cost of countless scams. On the App Store itself!
A proliferation of dishonest apps
Designer of the FlickType application, a keyboard for Apple Watch, Kosta Eleftheriou cracked a thread rather inflammatory on Twitter against Apple. He criticizes the Apple brand for a certain laxity in the application of its rules on the App Store. And this has a negative consequence for everyone: the proliferation of fraudulent apps that clone those of other developers and thus enrich themselves dishonestly.
Up to now, I’ve been in the “Apple *wants* to do the right thing” camp. My viewpoint is starting to change.
How to spot a $5M/year scam on the @AppStore, in 5 minutes flat:👇
— Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) February 6, 2021
Contacted by The Verge, Eleftheriou explained to find “surprisingThat many people have not yet noticed. “The way this is happening and is going on right now is absolutely breathtaking.“, He confides to the American media about what he considers to be a massive fraud which occurs permanently on the App Store.
« The problem has grown so much that having the grading and reviewing system makes the situation worse», Continues the developer. He particularly deplores “the false sense of security and a false sense that the app is greatGiven to consumers who find themselves faced with a page with a high rating and a number of positive reviews.
Apple would lose interest in the little ones
Because that’s the other side of the scam. Not only do these apps copy the form and substance of other popular apps, sometimes even charging for their services or slipping unnecessary subscriptions to get rich off the backs of users, but they buy bogus rave reviews.
This last point has the gift of annoying Kosta Eleftheriou, because these fraudulent apps manage to trick the algorithm to parade at the top of the recommendations instead of honest paid apps, often developed by small teams. For him, this is a sign that Apple is not monitoring its App Store enough when it comes to concerns with heavyweights in Tech like Facebook or Epic Games.
In their download and grossing ranks, you see that the volume of ratings is totally unrelated to downloads, and their revenue keeps rising along nicely, due to the nature of the auto-renewing $8/week ($416/year) subscriptions. pic.twitter.com/82jEpWDrzz
— Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) February 4, 2021
And if Eleftheriou wants to bring the subject in public, it is because the developer himself was the victim of such a scam. From the end of January, he complained about an app called KeyWatch which competed with FlickType. It would even have used its own promotional video for its launch … leaving the name of the app in the image.
And what scandalizes the developer a little more is that the scam allows its competitor to get rich handsomely: the app charges users a weekly subscription of 8 dollars and thus would have garnered more than two million dollars per year, according to Appfigures. All this without working properly, he notes.
A redesign of the App Store and its policy is essential
So the man gives voice by all means to recognize his rights and those of thousands of other developers who have their work stolen by crooks. He blames Apple for its lack of reaction and awareness of the situation when the company is more ready to hold its developers to account. According to him, the moderation of the platform and the strict application of its own rules, as well as an overhaul of the app reliability ranking system, are essential for the good health of the App Store, which would thus get rid of the bad seed.
So once again, Apple took down another app I exposed but is cool with the developer running their other, even *more* profitable scam. I’m speechless.
Below you see “Live Wallpaper Z”, allowed to keep stealing $40k/month from unsuspecting people.
How do I know?👇 pic.twitter.com/KkehMixic8
— Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) February 4, 2021
The KeyWatch app was however removed from the App Store, like other apps he pointed out. A first victory for Eleftheriou, but insufficient success. “I’m not going to stop. Every time I see a scam I’ll call them», Warns the developer. “I can’t wait for a real change from Apple to be able to calmly refocus on what I should be focusing on, which is app development. “
And the idea of a store of competing applications for the iPhone to remake its way in the minds, recalling what Epic had hammered for the good of the developers. But with, it must be admitted, a completely different mercantile goal in mind …