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Apple Rejecting Apps That Use Dropbox Because *Gasp!* Users Might Sign Up For Dropbox Accounts

from the control-control-control dept

While I can understand why developers feel the need to conform to Apple’s sometimes ridiculous (and often arbitrary) rules for iOS development, sometimes it really seems like Apple goes to highly questionable (and potentially legally questionable) lengths to reject certain apps. The latest, via Hackernews, is that Apple has been rejecting apps that make use of Dropbox’s cloud storage system. The reasoning is particularly ridiculous:

Reason for rejection is the fact that if the user does not have Dropbox application installed then the linking authorization is done through Safari (as per latest SDK).

Once the user is in Safari it is possible for the user to click “Desktop version” and navigate to a place on Dropbox site where it is possible to purchase additional space.

Apple views this as “sending user to an additional purchase” which is against rules.

Dropbox is trying to work around Apple’s excessive rules, but the whole thing seems a bit crazy. At some point you have to wonder when Apple is going to trip various antitrust rules about using its dominant position on the platform to hurt other companies. It seems developers are eventually going to recognize that, even with Apple’s giant market, it might just be easier to focus on more reasonable and open platforms.

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Companies: apple, dropbox

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Comments on “Apple Rejecting Apps That Use Dropbox Because *Gasp!* Users Might Sign Up For Dropbox Accounts”

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64 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

‘it might just be easier to focus on more reasonable and open platforms’

and perhaps more pleasing to the developers as well. even if the app is free, if customers are happy, the easier experience would probably do more to encourage the developer to, well, develop! life is full of hassle so let’s face it, who needs more when it’s unnecessary?

Baldaur Regis (profile) says:

Once the user is in Safari it is possible for the user to click “Desktop version” and navigate to a place on Dropbox site where it is possible to purchase additional space.

I may be wrong in my reasoning, so let me run it by the Apple users here:

1. Safari is the Apple web browser, which browses the web.
2. The web is a place where it is possible to purchase many things.

Therefore, what the fuck is Apple doing on the web?

Anonymous Coward says:

It is the relentless soulless pursuit of greater wealth at the expense of all else that is the genuine root of evil.

Patents, walled-gardens, lawsuits, illogical contrivances and oxymorons like “corporate personhood”, “corporate rights” and other greed grabs all backed up by the farce (typo intended) of “law”.

Said so-called “law” is the concrete that will eventually solidify upon the gears of techmology and cause the entire works to cease and become useless.

Do you remember when the technology business was about freedom and open standards?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

It’s still painfully tortured logic to use for not approving an app.

I know it doesn’t matter since anything produced in-house will be above the rules. These things just make me feel better about only building Mac-compatible PCs and downloading OSX ISOs…

In their garden the rules don’t apply evenly…guess what happens in my garden?

Anonymous Coward says:

Apple users are and odd bunch

I have no idea why people use Apple products. I figure they didn’t get enough parenting as a child and need Steve Jobs to be their father figure. Why anyone would chain themselves to a closed platform is beyond me.

As for the antitrust thing, if Microsoft was doing what Apple is doing, there would be alarms going off everywhere. Somehow Apple is seen as some kind of benevolent dictatorship.

Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

Sanity people...

Look I am and am not a Apple User (not in recovery). I own Apple products, also Android, and Microsoft products.

Apple implemented the policy to prevent outside purchases not just to protect their eco-system but also to prevent scammers.

The reason they did this was to aid the average (read:not informed) person from paying for something that they did not expect to, or for signing up for a reoccurring service they did not mean to.

Not do I think this situation is wrong. Well, heck yeah.

Policy is a way to belay thinking. In this case they did not engage thought.

harknell (profile) says:

Inconsistent Approval Process

I actually have some some apps in the IOS app store and we ran into a somewhat related issue when we submitted an update for one of our apps. In our case our app consolidates many feeds into one place, as well as webpages. The reviewer of our app update went into our app and then navigated to the webpage being displayed (which was called using IOS’s Safari viewer from within our app)and noticed that the person *on their website* had a donation button.

The reviewer disqualified our app update until this was “fixed”. Obviously this wasn’t part of our app, it was their website–but we asked them to remove the donation link for a week. After the approval they put the link back up.

In our case it was obvious that the reviewer had no idea how IOS works, or how it’s programmed. But it’s sadly typical of some of the arbitrary ways you can interpret their rules on this area.

Look, we all know Apple wants to get paid, but they do have a major issue if their own people don’t understand how this “should” work.

BlindGuy says:

Re:

“I have no idea why people use Apple products. I figure they didn’t get enough parenting as a child and need Steve Jobs to be their father figure. Why anyone
would chain themselves to a closed platform is beyond me.”

Blind people. I am blind and Apple is the only and I mean only vendor selling a fully accessible product.

Screen readers for Windows cost 1000 US$, and there is no equivalent free alternative for linux.

Apple is corporate evil but the only in town caring about the disabled.

John Doe says:

Sanity people...

Apple implemented the policy to prevent outside purchases not just to protect their eco-system but also to prevent scammers.

How very thoughtful of them. And the fact that they get 30% cut of every sale is just an unfortunate side affect. I guess it is kind of like paying for protection; only who protects you from Apple?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Apple users are and odd bunch

I’d say Apple stock has peaked.

I don’t know about that, yet, but the apple blossoms are certainly starting to wilt. It wasn’t all that long ago that my iPhone-wielding friends were all about how awesome iPhones are. Nowadays, however, every single one of them drools over my Infuse and wishes they had something like that instead. They’re chafing at Apples’ restrictions, from basic things like being unable to swap out batteries, more esoteric things like the fight over jailbreaking and the increasing problem of desired apps not being available for the iPhone, and much more.

droslovinia (profile) says:

Funny

I don’t know what’s more humorous: posting yet another article to invite the Apple-haters to ramp up their frothy hateful “Apple is the devil” posts, or the implicit assumptions in all this that A) Everyone is somehow FORCED to do business with Apple and B)The fact that you hate Apple gives you a right to decide what they should adopt as their business practices.

Either way, it’s pretty funny.

If you don’t like the way Apple does business, suck it up and take your money elsewhere, but give the rest of us a break and talk about something that actually matters.

ANON says:

Apple users are and odd bunch

Apple has not had the best phone in quite some time. Samsung, HTC and Motorola seem to always have something depending on what specs you focus on 2-4 times as good.

I would expect Apple to have a bigger screen this time with the iPhone 5, LTE and there is a slight chance of quad core. If they manage to put out a quad core + LTE in the USA they might be the only company with one. HTC & Samsung phones that are quad core in the EU are dual core in the USA if they have LTE so far.

Anonymous Coward says:

Funny

You don’t have to hate Apple to recognize that some of their business practices are anti-competitive nor must everyone be forced to do business with Apple for their business practices to be so. So no, it doesn’t imply either of those things at all and even if you’re too blind to see it it does actually matter.

Cynyr (profile) says:

Re:

Android closed?

I’m running cyanogenmod-7 on my phone. I can checkout the full sources from git if i felt like it. I’m free to extend/modify/etc to my hearts content. My phone will load any valid APK I want it to, regardless if google/my carrier/my handset vendor wants me to or not. Anyways, in that respect I would say it is open. It isn’t open like RMS would like, but then even my desktop (running gentoo linux) doesn’t. I have the nvidia driver installed, and skype.

http://www.cyanogenmod.com/
https://github.com/CyanogenMod
http://source.android.com/

tqk says:

Sanity people...

I used to recommend Apple. Nowadays, no. However, I agree with you. Apple likes its Universe locked down so it can have the control it believes it needs to support and protect its customers and its cash flow. People who buy Apple either don’t care or appreciate it. Nobody’s holding a gun to their heads to buy into the walled garden, and it’s none of our business if they want to.

trrll (profile) says:

but means nothing to users

This seems to be one of those things that enrages some geeks, but means zilch to the typical user. After all, how often do you buy additional Dropbox space? It’s easy enough to navigate to Dropbox yourself on Safari and buy more space, and Apple is perfectly OK with that. And if you really need to go to Dropbox a lot, you can click the button to add a link to your home screen. So a direct link from an app is at most a very minor convenience to the user.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Yeah, I’m with you on this. I respond with the same thing myself. For some reason they always come up with “Google’s Android is as closed as you get”, the funny part is I’ve written exactly what you’ve written and then been called “deluded” or told that I’m an idiot for believing any of that, despite the fact that it’s all true.

Heck, I can go compile the source code myself right now if I wanted to and tweak it to my heart’s content and get a completely one off version of Android that ONLY I will have (unless I decide to share it). That’s as open as it gets. iOS, hahaha! Yeah. No comparison.

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