Apple cracking down on app discovery apps?

Apple has apparently started removing an increasing number of apps that allow users to search App Store contents and recommend apps to their friends. Apps that have been found to violate App Store regulation 2.25, which prohibits apps that could be confused as app stores, have been removed, and Apple seems to be broadening the scope of that rule. According to

As a result, it appears Apple has stretched the remit of 2.25 to cover sharing via email or social networks. The ability to search the App Store within third-party apps also now seems to be restricted.

This crackdown hasn’t been applied to alls apps with this similar functionality, nor is the removal of such apps anything particularly new. AppShopper Social was removed from the store late last year when it was still just AppShopper for similar reasons. It came back towards the end of last month, while it still seems to violate the rules. Perhaps it slipped through the app review cracks, or maybe it technically complies with the rules. Apple has yet to comment on increased enforcement of restrictions.


Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • I actually just submitted a similar app to the App Store and it got approved, so maybe it's different enough. In mine (TestRun) you don't rate the app itself; you rate how well the app works on different devices. So maybe Apple decided that that's different enough from the App Store that it was OK. (Don't mean to self-promote; this just seems like pertinent info!)
  • The iMore app, has apps with a link to download the reviewed app. I do not think it would affect your app, but who knows what Apple is thinking.
  • I wonder why is all the "recommending-apps" fuss about. I have to admit that I have found and recommended many good apps thanks to them.
  • This should be left up to the actual user to decide if they don't want the app. I use an app called App gratis. Apple took down the app because it would alert you of new apps every day. If I didn't want the app to do what it was doing I wouldn't be using it. They have the app back now but only after the alert was removed.
  • That happened to my favourite one AppGratis so we were advised to keep the app on our devices and sign up for the daily newsletter and I am pretty annoyed that it was pulled for them saying it was another App Store when the only other App Store available for ios as we know is Cydia