Apple Weighs Down on Clone and Spam Apps on the App Store: Report

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Apple Weighs Down on Clone and Spam Apps on the App Store: Report
  • Apple has already removed hundreds of thousands of apps since last year
  • This includes unused and apps that aren’t 64-bit compatible
  • Now, the new rule rejects spam and clone apps as well

Apple has been weighing down on dormant apps since last year, and has removed hundreds of them in a bid to clean up the App Store. Now, a fresh report claims that Apple is also focusing on clone and spam apps in the App Store, apart from dormant and 32-bit apps.

TechCrunch reports that a new rule 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines claims that “Apps created from a commercialised template or app generation service will be rejected.” While this would imply app assembly and development suites are under attack by the company, TechCrunch speculates that suites like PhoneGap and TapJet are safe, and that Apple is "not trying to kill app-creation tools that allow people to customise and publish apps without knowing or writing all of the code." Instead, the company is aiming to go after apps that essentially clone another's functionality or feature a near identical interface, the report speculates.

This means Apple will be on a lookout for clone apps like the ones made after Flappy Bird became a huge success, as well as other apps that copy others using a one-click template. Apple will weigh down on these apps and reject them.

The prevalence of cheap junk apps that use basic templates to create knock-off versions of paid or popular apps has gone off the charts in the past recent years, and Apple wants to be a bit more stringent about what is available on the App Store.

The report also talks about music app knock-offs that stream illegal content in order to make a quick buck. "There are hundreds of copies of music-streaming apps that shill pirated content to make it harder to track them down one by one and allow for single-shot bursts of revenue capture before they’re found out or retired.”

While there was always a ‘do not clone’ rule in the App Store Review guidelines, this new one is more explicit and tougher than before. The report claims that hundreds of thousands of apps that have been cleaned up from the App Store also include clone apps, apart from dormant and 32-bit apps as well.


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Tasneem Akolawala Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to More
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