A developer has earned up to $80,000 per month by charging a $99 per week for a VPN product on the App Store. Worse, some of them are rising high in the App Store rankings, as a new report details. It’s baffling that Apple approved apps like this in the first place – perhaps it’s a side effect of faster app review times. “Apps may use in-app purchase currencies to enable customers to “tip” digital content providers in the app. Apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customer to purchasing mechanisms other than IAP”.
The principal concern that Lin is raising relates to the approval process which Apple users before Apps make it into the store. To quantify it, Lin went to the App Store and looked at the Productivity category.
Not all developers out there want your birth certificate and bathing schedule, but enough have proven themselves less than scrupulous over the years, so anything Apple and Google do to help users limit data collection and location tracking is always welcome.
The developers will have to determine for themselves whether they themselves take a cut of the tips or pass the full 70% on to the content creators. The company’s tablet line isn’t quite a computer yet, but iOS 11 marks the first time you might actually consider picking up an iPad over a laptop and that’s incredibly significant.
Apple is known to have an iron grip on what apps can or cannot do, however the policy for tipping was unclear. However, it’s clear that the app uses the character in an attempt to take advantage of its notoriety – and as of 2017, that notoriety hinges on the fact that it has become a talisman for the alt-right.
Lin dug deeper and found several other similar apps making money off the same scam, suggesting a wider disturbing trend, with scam apps regularly showing up in the App Store’s top grossing lists.
So if you are a developer, you can now add the tipping feature into your application. Apple’s newly published update to its App Store policies officially designates voluntary tipping via virtual currency as in-app purchases that Apple taxes 30%.
“Your app contains images and references of Pepe the Frog, which are considered objectionable content”, an Apple App Review Board employee wrote in a rejection notice to Spirit Realm, Vice’s Motherboard confirmed.