Biases in the Apple App Store: how is the monopoly giant

Предубеждения Apple в App Store: как развивается монополия гиганта

In Apple’s App Store is the legislator, judge, jury and executioner. Apple sets the rules. But how can we trust them under such circumstances.

In the App Store what apps you can officially buy, download and use on your iPhone or iPad. And, importantly, Apple may at any time change its decision and to make the application disappear. It is reported by the Informant Tech with reference to The Verge.

As soon as the world will be a closer look at the power of Silicon valley, this status quo is subjected to new scrutiny. Presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren believes that we should limit the power of Apple: “They either control the platform or put the app in the store,” she told The Verge. The Supreme court recently allowed an antitrust suit against Apple. And one recent scandal, in particular, has once again raised the question: is it fair of Apple’s moderated App Store?

Apple is fully aware that she is on the crossroads: just this week the company published a new web page called “Shop applications – Principles and practice”, protecting the management of the company above the store. The Apple Store says that the App Store offers “equal opportunities”, listing all the apps that compete with its own services (including Google Maps, Facebook Messenger and Amazon Music), which is freely available in the App Store.

Excuses For Apple

But Apple is full of inconsistencies. Yes, Apple has its guidelines in relation to the App Store and verification process, but after a decade it becomes clear that the company does not always consistently apply them, or decides to apply them when it receives a profit from Apple. Even for applications that are allowed in the store, developers still have to wage a difficult struggle against their own Apple services. Spotify – how clearly shows antitrust lawsuit, the company – may not be music default app on the iPhone. In addition, the reduction Apple 30% means that if Spotify sells subscriptions through the App Store, he has to charge more just to achieve break-even. Apple’s rules also prohibit Spotify to direct app users to your web site so they can sign up without paying Apple such fees.

The most recent example of these problems is the time of denying an application with parental control. The New York Times reported that Apple, by coincidence, started to ban or restrict “at least 11 of 17 the most downloaded apps for screen time and parental control” at about the same time when Apple introduced its own version of this idea in iOS 12. “Apple has approved our software for more than five years 37 times,” – said the representative of The Ourge OurPact. “So now they are retroactively enforce these restrictions, which in fact was not.”

According to Apple, the removal of these applications was a common thing: the company responded to the article in the Times, explaining that these apps just broke the rules. Apple updated its App Store policy in 2017 to prevent applications from consumer level to use an extremely powerful feature, known as mobile device management (MDM), to enable parental control. MDM typically used by it departments of companies and schools to manage employee devices, and Apple argued that for the private, consumer-centric, business applications would be “incredibly risky to install MDM control of the device” client for reasons of confidentiality.

In 2010, a company called EchoMetrix, which offered software for parental control for parents to control the Internet traffic of their children, were caught on the transmission of these data to the other side of the business: Pulse, a division of market research. But if Apple is so concerned about privacy software MDM why she’s even claimed this feature for many years?

As documented OurPact is one of the now-banned apps – Apple for many years has approved their applications using MDM, including 10 upgrades in 2018. “From the very first day, the very first version OutPact that we have provided for review, is MDM in it. We have clarified the issues for the App Review team regarding the use of MDM,” notes Dustin Daley, senior product Manager at OurPact. Other applications, such as Kidslox and Qustodio, also abandoned their updates since the summer of 2018, when, again, by coincidence, was first announced?? Apple Time Screen. (The two companies have since filed an antitrust complaint against Apple.)