App discovery and recommendation applications for iOS recently made the news after Apple yanked a couple of popular alternatives from its store, AppGratis and AppShopper. Now, PocketGamer is reporting that the Cupertino-based firm is cracking down even harder on such applications and has been rejecting more apps based on the same rule that caused the aforementioned ones to be removed in the first place.
The rule in question is known as App Store regulation 2.25 and restricts any apps that could be confused with the App Store itself, including apps that feature "filtering, bookmarking, searching, or sharing recommendations." That's a sizeable group of apps, as there are a slew of them designed to help people spot apps that have gone free for a limited time, or offer a better user review system than the official App Store.
PocketGamer spoke to a developer who claimed that their app "primarily focused on sharing recommendations to your friends." According to him, this falls outside of the general scope of rule 2.25, and is not something that could be confused with the App Store itself, yet Apple decided to ban them anyway. This is a scary prospect for other developers, as Apple expanding the scope of this rule could cause them to see a fate similar to that of AppGratis and AppShopper, both of which came back to the App Store with some key changes.
An interesting theory for Apple's reasoning behind these moves is that the company has some plans to tweak the functionality of the App Store with the impending release of iOS 7. Perhaps some of the features included in the social and recommendations applications will be added by Apple, and it is striking out at them preemptively.