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According to developers Bjango, Apple is now telling developers to remove the "Free Memory" function -- the ability to clear data from RAM without force quitting or rebooting -- from their iPhone (and iPod touch) applications or those applications will be removed from the App Store.

Bjango, who makes iStat [$1.99 on sale - iTunes link] had to do just that for their latest version:

Stat’s Free Memory function was removed at Apple’s request. This decision was completely out of our hands. Please note that all other apps with Free Memory appear to have been removed or updated without their Free Memory function too.

After eliciting feedback and considering their options, Bjango went ahead and removed the feature. (Bjango advises users who want the feature to NOT UPGRADE their copies, and reminds Mac users with Time Machine how to downgrade to the old, "Free Memory"-enabled version if necessary.)

To rub salt on their wounds, negative reviews are now piling up for iStat in iTunes, of course, despite Bjango explaining Apple requested the removal in the app's "What's New in This Version" section.

What Apple's rationale may be (if Phil Schiller deigns anyone with another email) is unknown.

[Thanks Scott for the tip!]