Developers Complain as App Store Feature Promotes Rip-Off Apps

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Apple has featured a number of apps with disproportionately expensive subscriptions on the App Store, arousing the ire of some developers.

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The ‌App Store‌ feature on the Australian ‌App Store‌, first highlighted by Beau Nouvelle on Twitter, is called “Slime relaxations” and reportedly features apps that are non-functional and seek to charge disproportionately costly in-app purchase subscriptions.

One of the apps, called “Jelly: Slime Simulator, ASMR,” features a $13 per week subscription to get past its paywall, amounting to $676 per year. Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines state (with emphasis our own):

If we can’t understand how your app works or your in-app purchases aren’t immediately obvious, it will delay your review and may trigger a rejection. And while pricing is up to you, we won’t distribute apps and in-app purchase items that are clear rip-offs. We’ll reject expensive apps that try to cheat users with irrationally high prices.

The fact that such apps have passed the ‌App Store‌ review process to be awarded a special feature from Apple on the ‌App Store‌ has induced outrage in some developers, such as Simeon Saëns of Two Lives Left, who took a closer look at one of the apps.

Given that at least some of these apps charge $13 per week, it is difficult to not see them as breaking ‌App Store‌ guidelines, so it is particularly surprising that they were actively featured by Apple on the ‌App Store‌.

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