List Of iPhone Apps Pulled From iTunes App Store

by DB on August 4, 2008


The popularity of the iPhone has been growing by leaps and bounds and so has the talk about iPhone applications. Incidents of Apple pulling out Apps from its iTunes App Store seem to be happening too often now. Some of these apps were pulled down due to security concerns and the others just slipped by to the real world.

Here are a few apps that were pulled down recently. I am sure this list will grow in the coming days.

1. Aurora Feint – Free And Popular Game

Aurora Feint is a popular game on the iPhone which is available for free on the App store. The developers of the game implemented a feature that would let a user know if any of his friends i.e. anyone on his iPhone contact list were also playing the game at the same time. To accomplish this, they would copy over the entire iPhone contact list of a user playing the game over to their server without any sort of encryption or notice.  When Apple came to know about the privacy concerns surrounding this game, it immediately took the game down from their App store.

Since the initial take down, the developers have modified the game to not save a user’s contact list on their servers anymore and said that they had erased all stored copies that were saved earlier. The game is now back up on the App store and continues to be a popular one.

2. NetShare – A Tethering application from Nullriver

NetShare is an application from Nullriver that essentially creates a network between your iPhone and computer and lets the computer then use the iPhone’s internet connection (Data plan).  Netshare was not free and was being sold for $9.99 to US customers. Apple pulled down Netshare from the App store after pressure from AT&T for obvious reasons. What is weird is that Netshare started showing up on the Apps store after the first pull only to be pulled down again after a few minutes.  An update on Nullriver’s website about this incident (posted on August 4 2008) reads as follows :

We still haven’t gotten any answer from Apple as to why NetShare was removed from the App Store. Calls to ADC yield wait times of a few hours and we’re forced to give up. E-mails to various contacts at Apple and the developer program have also given us no response. Is this acceptable business practice? We don’t think so. When an application fails to be approved or even more importantly so, when an application gets removed from sale, Apple should be required to provide a valid reason.

3. Box Office – Moive Theatre App

Box Office WAS a popular movie theatre app on iTunes App Store.  Box Office had a very friendly user interface and received some great reviews from Gizmodo( Another good video review for the Box Office can be found at appleiphoneapps.com). Box Office was developed by Cyrus Najmabadi and was a very useful application for movie buffs to get move listings in their area.

Apple removed Box Office from the iTunes App Store last weekend (Aug 3/4 2008) without any any notice or explanation to either the developer or App store users. The reason for this is still unknown and i dont think there can be any security concerns with this app unless ofcourse they are storing some kind of user data on their servers like Aurora Feint did.

A member on the macrumors forum posted the following as a note from Cyrus, the developer:

I’m the developer of BoxOffice.

Apple pulled the app yesterday without giving my any notification that they were doing it, or what their justification was for removing it.

I’ve tried to contact them about the issue, but it’s been a complete dead end. If anyone has a useful contact number for apple, please let me know.

I’m in regular contact with all my data providers, and none of them have had an issue with my app. Indeed, the response was the exact opposite. They like my app and have even asked if i would do custom application work for them in the future. Furthermore, all the data i use is licensed by the owners as ‘free for non commercial use’. i.e. precisely what BoxOffice is.

So i’m stuck here not knowing what has happened, or what i can do about it. If any of you have any ideas, please let me know. You can respond here, but i’d actually appreciate a reply at cyrusn@stwing.upenn.edu since i probably won’t check back here that often.

4. “I Am Rich” – A useless app that was being sold for $999.99

Apple again gave no explanation about why the “I Am Rich” application was removed from iTunes. The application was useless and added a red ruby to the iPhone display. As per the description about the app on iTunes, it says tapping this red ruby icon will show the user a secret mantra to help stay rich,healthy and successful. I dont doubt the rich part as only a rich dude could have afforded this stupid app anyways.

{ 1 trackback }

Apple Pulls Down Another iPhone App - ‘I am rich’, But No One Is Really Complaining About This One — TechDugout
August 7, 2008 at 12:19 am

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