Here’s Why Apple Killed AppGratis

Service replicated App Store, used Push Notifications to send advertising

AppGratis was removed from the iTunes App Store on Sunday, April 7, for violating two separate clauses. “The App Store is intended as a meritocracy,” a source familiar with the matter told AllThingsD.

Upon reporting the removal of AppGratis from iTunes, we accurately predicted that said app got the axe for violating a guideline that prevents other apps from replicating the App Store functionality.

That guideline is clause 2.25 from the contract signed by all developers when they agree to do business with Apple.

It states, “Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.”

But that’s not the only reason why AppGratis got banned. The application was also a little bit too pushy, according to the same sources.

A second rule AppGratis went against was clause 5.6: “Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.”

Which AppGratis did a lot of. In fact, this was the whole purpose of the service. Here’s the official description on

“Free & paid-to-free apps daily. Every single app hand-picked & tested thoroughly. One unintrusive push notification a day.”

AppGratis will see its iOS revenue stream plummet as a result of Apple’s rejection. It is also unclear whether existing users (who haven’t deleted the app) will continue to receive the valuable notifications.

AppGratis works with 6,000 app developers, “from the biggest names to the sharpest indie devs and we're able to accomodate [sic] everyone.”

“AppGratis offers the opportunity to reach new exciting audiences in more than 30+ countries. Every year we deliver more than 100,000,000 non-incentivized app installs for app developers,” the company adds.

One way AppGratis could continue to fulfill its destiny is to launch as a jailbreak application. Providing even more incentive to customers to hack their devices, a jailbreak-only AppGratis would undoubtedly make some waves.

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