Apple Puts the Smackdown on Fake Apps
Apple is finally rejecting copycat apps that confuse users by mimicking other applications' icons and names. iOS developer Benjamin Mayo shared an app rejection notice with CultofMac that shows the app Clear Todo was rejected for violating the App Store guidelines by containing "false, fraudulent or misleading representations". Clear Todo looks a lot like the list-keeping app known as Clear.
Mayo explained on his blog:
"Traditionally, Apple has steered clear of protecting app trademarks which has resulted in a lot of copycat apps hitting the store."
"It appears this policy has changed and Apple is taking a much more proactive role; rejecting apps which attempt to mislead users by aping successful apps’ trademarks. In short, Apple is helping to protect real developers from being ripped off. This is a good thing."
It is unknown how so many copycat apps have slipped passed Apple's approval process, but the App Store is full of them. The creators of copycat apps hope to trick users into downloading their app by making them look and sound like other well-known applications in the App Store. Apple has taken a stand against rip-off apps before by kicking out the Temple Run fake Temple Jump after it reached the Top Paid Apps list. However, a fake disguising itself as the jailbreak app Cydia managed to sneak into the App Store months later. Users who downloaded the Cydia app for $0.99 quickly discovered it was only a simple "snake" game and not the well known jailbreaking tool. The Cydia app was eventually removed.
Hopefully Mayo is right and Apple is cracking down on copycat apps. Rejecting fakes before they reach the App Store will save Apple users a lot of money and grief.