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With all of the bullshit Apple’s app review puts us through, I can’t believe how many obvious scams and clones they let through. Apparently, they don’t check new submissions to see if they’re obviously infringing directly on the name and icon of the #1 app in the App Store.
+@atpfm +@caseyliss +@marcoarment +@siracusa I’m sorry it’s not a question but can you please tear into copycat, rip-off apps that rank higher than the originals in the App Store please? It makes my blood boil! #askatp
51 replies and sub-replies as of Sep 27 2020

But the rules are there to protect consumers! *cough*
Not even addressing the other big problem, in which searching for “widgetsmith” results in the #1 app in the store named exactly “Widgetsmith” with 55,000 ratings landing as… result number 2… with result number 1 being an app named “Widgetsmith - Color Widgets” with 26 ratings.
And not addressing *another* problem, in which the subtitle field was introduced to stop app titles of the form: App Name - Spammy Keywords …with a resulting promise that the rules would prohibit such names in the future — but they aren’t, hence penalizing only the good devs.
Does Apple even give a way to report this kind of thing?
Also how the fuck has almost every app of this scam developer an inapp purchase named „free trial“ which isn’t free?!? Another attemp to scam users. How the fuck gets shit like this approved.
By naming this IAP „continue to free trial“ and then charging $ this is some next level evil shit. Hi @Apple @tim_cook maybe remove these apps from the @AppStore
So, anyone could upload an app called: «Overcast - Your Podcast» and Apple would allow it? Even if you hold the trademark?
Yup. This is part of the reason *why* I hold the trademark — I’d at least then be able to issue a takedown claim.
Either app review employees accept bribes to let scams pass review or the “review” system doesn’t actually do anything (except give Apple a random control lever to abuse) 🤷‍♂️ Why aren’t “rapid response” (mostly rando asia?) app spam factories blocked forever by executive mandate?
however painful to admit - certain things are not Apples strong suit. and not finding such obvious scam is proof :/
Do you think it would help to encourage your followers to download the app, give it one star, and delete it? Maybe it wouldn’t make a dent or create liability issues, genuinely not sure on this one.
Can we put this forth as all the evidence needed that Apple isn't actually working on a search engine?
That’s just insane. What criteria could Apple’s search ranking algorithm possibly be using to lead to this result? It is crazy how bad App Store search still is, given how hugely important it is for the whole ecosystem.
Revenue for my own (paid) app “Color Splash” fell off a cliff and never recovered once it dropped to the second or third result (after free clones) for users searching for it by its exact name. It broke word of mouth referrals.
it’s likely number 2 in the list because in the screenshot(s) it’s already installed (OPEN), whereas the spam app is not (GET).
fyi, not defending the app, or apple. just interested in the why. app is free vs in-app purchases, maybe? and 5 stars instead of 4 (although the weight of 55k reviews should definitely count!).
Nope. I don’t have it
Maybe there’s a Goole search widget they could add to the app store :)
I think it’s been kicked out
Yup, how does any human reviewer accept a new app with the same name as a currently top selling app???
The consumers of $AAPL’s profits.
I agree! I stopped buying apps years ago (only two I actively pay for are @OvercastFM and @CandyCrushSoda ) because there is so much garbage to sift through. Hasn't been worth my time on the iPhone. The iPad Pro, though, is another story. I'm finding solid gold there.
Everything that Apple does is only for increasing shareholder stock value. Everything else is accidental. Scam apps generate revenue. Revenue let’s them beat estimates. Scam apps are therefore good.
Crazy! I saw this one yesterday. 😂
reviews are also totally legitimate
I want to leave a critical review, but that would mean having to download the app, thus giving them further promotion. Come on, Apple. Fix this.
I’m not sure I want “this app sux” reviews from randos who didn’t try to use it
Oh I totally get that. I’m just saying it’s be nice to call out what’s happening here.
“Careful what you wish for,” I often say My longstanding wish—every reviewer must check a box saying they have no relationship w app or competitor except as an arm’s-length, regular retail customer. Penalty for abuse: developer tagged as suspect, reviewer’s store privs disabled
Copies the number one AND number two apps. Looking at the screenshots it copied color widgets (#2 app) then they tacked on Widgetsmith to the App Store name.
It really is shocking. But I wonder if they get away with it because *technically* they aren’t breaking any rules, even if it isn’t in the spirit of the rules.
The App Store is like a stroll through a sleazy flea market. The built-in search function in both App Stores are a joke.
Maybe they could use some of their machine learning to easily spot scams and clones of human reviewers can’t.
Hey @pschiller – now that you’re a Fellow, can’t you fix some of this garbage?
Is it even possible to find interesting and new apps via search in the App Store? I normally only download apps after learning about them outside of the app store (e.g. listening to ATP or Daring Fireball) and then searching assiduously for exactly that app to avoid the crap.
At least it’s been consistent since day one: “those who play by the rules get penalized & get absolutely no care”
Oh wow! I looked for it and found the knockoff — and stopped looking. I thought, “this isn’t that great and isn’t as pretty as his other apps,” saw the “new” company name, and figured it must have been a joint venture or something lol. Pretty bullshit for you, @_DavidSmith.
I’m sure if you submitted an app called “Facebook — An app for socializing with friends” it would get immediately rejected
Isn’t Widgetsmith trademarked?
That is why you pay them 30%, you know 😉 Cc @appfairness
Looks like it was resolved!
After being rejected *so many times* for the most mundane nitpicky reasons, it especially hurts seeing crap like this make it right through review. I know it’s a human system and it depends on which reviewer you get - but this still stings.
I had a sequel game rejected because they considered it "spamming". When I pointed to other games with sequels, where the game play was exactly the same with a different skin, they shrugged and said "they can do that, you can't".
They also rejected the MacOS version of a game we had on iOS and AppleTV because it was "broken" due to it not including the IAP shop. 🤔
I liked it better in the old days when they heavily favored the most recently updated app. Sure it was subject to spamming, but it least everybody, including the little guys, got a chance near the top. And it encouraged everyone to keep their apps up to date.
It’s already sorted, chile.
Could be worse - There was, briefly, an OS beta from Apple that deleted our software from customers machines to replace it with an inferior knock-off using the same name.
I wish Apple didn’t actually let in 95% of the apps in the store. So much crap. How angry would that make any developers I care about?
1. Dev uploads app to App Store. 2. App Store Connect runs search against the app name during upload process. 3. Human reviewer gets presented with a “We think this app is a copycat of [actual app]” message. Seems pretty trivial and can’t believe something like this doesn’t exist