Shady developers are turning Apple's app subscriptions into giant scams

The Verge

Later, I dug deeper to find that unfortunately, these aren't isolated incidents - they're fairly common in the app store's top grossing lists.

Tim Cook announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week that the company has paid out a total of $70 billion to app developers since the App Store opened almost a decade ago, and $21 billion over just the past year.

This is great news for developers who had previously found Apple cracking down on tipping, but it's also good news for Apple's finances.

Discovered and documented in a Medium blog post by app developer Johnny Lin, an iOS application called "Mobile Protection:Clean & Security VPN" is backed up by seemingly fake App Store reviews and attempts to sign users up to a $99.99 weekly subscription during the setup of a so-called free trial.

Equally, he asks how Apple don't have a process to flag this app when it starts to generate revenue at the rate that it clearly did.

According to new rules, developers can not display the app review prompts whenever they wish too, instead now they have to follow 2 important points before doing so.

Lin outlined ways Apple can protect consumers from these duplicitous apps, including refunding its users and reviewing apps more strictly. Now it categorizes games and apps into their own sections.

"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. To note, companies such as Uber and Waze will continue to receive data about a user's location at a certain point of time as long as the location tracking feature is enabled. But that's anecdotal, so I wondered: Where are these revenues coming from? Alas, Apple's beloved App Store is itself home to a selection of scamware apps that essentially provide zero utility and are expressly created to con unsuspecting users out of their hard-earned money. We just learned that Apple has finally and officially updated the App Store Review Guidelines. Hopefully, when iOS 11 launches these bugs will be removed as well.

Last month, Apple turned its attentions toward in-app tips, as the feature sidestepped the 30 percent tax that Apple receives from in-app purchases.

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