In a move that will undoubtedly upset some developers (and their respective fan bases), Apple is now removing applications that advertise emoji character support. The reason? iOS now has default support for emoji emoticons.
iOS 6 is the first version of Apple’s mobile operating system to bring full emoji support by default, which renders emoji apps irrelevant.
Developers of such apps are now being greeted by a not-too-friendly email from the Cupertino giant acknowledging them that their software is being removed from the iTunes App Store.
Apple’s App Review team is reaching out to these developers with the following message (via MacRumors).
“We are writing to let you know your app, XXXX, has been removed from the App Store because it is no longer needed to unlock Emoji.
Since iOS 6 now provides Emoji support to all users, your app is no longer in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines
2.12 Apps that are not very useful, are simply web sites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
If you have questions about the removal of your application, please contact App Review at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the App ID and the name of your application in your email.”
However, MacRumors points out that despite Apple’s notice stating that these apps will be removed from the app store, the respective software is still available for download.
Apple’s decision could have something to do with the marketing of these applications. Some apps will come with built-in emoji icons but their stated purpose may be completely different. In such a case, Apple might not remove said applications.
However, some developers have signaled that this is not the case. Moreover, some claim their apps provide added emoji functionality that iOS 6 doesn’t offer.
Needless to point out, these application sellers aren't very pleased with Apple's new policy.