Apple rejects Dropbox apps, companies working to resolve differences

By on May 2, 2012, 5:00 PM

First identified as a series of support requests, Dropbox confirmed that Apple has begun rejecting any apps which depend on the Dropbox SDK. The problem purportedly stems from both recent changes in the Dropbox SDK and Apple's exhaustive developer agreement terms.

At the heart of the matter is Apple's prohibition on in-app purchases; moreover, purchases which attempt to bypass the App Store.

Hoping to receive a healthy 30 percent cut of in-app revenue, Apple requires developers to delegate micro-transactions and other in-app purchases to the App Store. If developers break the regulation or try to cleverly work around it like Amazon and Sony have tried (e.g. opening Safari to purchase items outside of the app) their app can and most likely will be rejected.

The terms which spell out this agreement for developers are nothing new. In fact, the terms have been in the app review agreement for well over a year now. However, Apple did make one recent change -- the company has extended this policy to include in-app subscriptions. 

Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a "buy" button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected.

Source: macstories.net, Apple App Store review guidelines

Since Dropbox offers a paid subscription service that can be purchased via apps which feature Dropbox integration, Apple began rejecting those apps.

In response to Apple's heavy-handed curatorship, Dropbox has posted a new version of its SDK which removes the ability to create an account. However, the measure is intended to be temporary. Previously, developers had tried inserting a link which led to a web-based sign up via Safari, but that did not satisfy Apple's terms either.

Currently, Dropbox says it is in talks with Apple in order to produce a solution which will continue to provide an "elegant user experience". 




User Comments: 6

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Guest said:

Apple's whole policy regarding no in-app purchases is stupid and greedy. Why is Apple entitled to a 30% cut of sales when none of their servers or bandwidth are involved at all? Does Google do the same thing with the Android market? If so, that's stupid and greedy too.

Guest said:

Greedy Greedy Apple. They make billion of dollar in profit and they still want more. Happy to be on Android :)

m4a4 m4a4 said:

THIS is just another big reason as to why I cannot ever like apple...

Scshadow said:

Apple's whole policy regarding no in-app purchases is stupid and greedy. Why is Apple entitled to a 30% cut of sales when none of their servers or bandwidth are involved at all? Does Google do the same thing with the Android market? If so, that's stupid and greedy too.

I know why they do that. I still don't like how they're applying it here. If you can bypass the store fees by offering a free app and then charging in-game, Apple gets nothing for having the game in their store. But this is not a sidestepping scheme. Its a legitimate online service with an app extension. Anyway, if Apple wants to play like that, its best dropbox require account creation on the desktop. Maybe Apple actually prefers this because it keeps the app experience "pure". Truth be told, if I had multiple apps left and right asking me for CC info or sending me to the web, I'd consider it an annoyance. I'd rather not enter my personal information via phone anyway. I'm not sure how android handles apps in comparison but I'm still plenty happy to avoid the greedy b**** that is apple for countless other reasons.

TJGeezer said:

Talk about vendor lock-in! Isn't that level of restraint of trade illegal, or once upon a time it was illegal, or something? (I'd ask my lawyer but he's a lawyer so I don't trust the bastard.) I wonder how many politicians Apple bought to get away with it.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

These comments are all just spreading old plain FUD.

This is now resolved, move on: [link]

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