AppGratis as we know by now gets developers to pay for installation. It’s a manipulation of Apple’s ranking as Apple sees it but others like the AppGratis investors think it’s a form of advertising. The way to set things right would be for AppGratis developers to try to talk to Apple and find a common ground. In fact, AppShopper probably did just that – opening a dialogue between itself and Apple. The result? It’s now back in the App Store.
On the other hand, CEO Simon Dawlat lied about AppGratis’ business model which he said the app doesn’t take payment from developers for installation and promotion in an attempt to manipulate app ranking. And when documents leaked online that showed he lied, he still would not back down. In Apple or anyone’s book, that’s a no-no. This TechCrunch post explains it all.
What also isn’t likely to make Apple happy is an online petition to get AppGratis back into the App Store. Dude, I could have told them this would not work. If anything, AppGratis is screwed entirely.
Meanwhile, AppShopper is back in. AppShopper probably was pulled because it attempted to be an app store within Apple’s App Store. Now, that’s changed. What’s new is a social component and gone are rankings for the time being. Personally, I don’t care for the ranking because I realized I like apps that are not necessarily high up anywhere. But I do like the wish list function, which drives me nuts because I think it’s something Apple should include in all of its stores across iTunes and iCloud.
It’s a lesson for developers in this app drama when it comes to dealing with Apple. Private dialogue is preferred over public outrage that means absolute nothing to Apple and only serves to alienate Cupertino all the more. On top of that, trying to game Apple’s rules just isn’t the way to engage Apple and to manipulate its users.
As for AppShipper Social, I think this is a good first step and I like to see better social engagement in future versions.