Apple Needs To Fix Its App Store Spam Problem

angry birds screen grab

Even with Apple‘s ham-fisted control over the App Store, it’s still filled with spammy applications, notes Marco Arment, the developer behind the popular “Instapaper” app.Case in point: Marco wanted to download a popular game called “Angry Birds” (iTunes Link). On the right you can see the first two pages of results. Angry Birds is at the top, but 6 of the top 10 are “pure spam,” Marco says.

Drill in deeper on InTekOne LLC, which makes three of the spammy “cheats” apps and you can see the company is dedicated to just that.

The company hass 58 apps which are all cheats or guides says Marco. Here’s a screengrab of iTunes under InTekOne (iTunes Link). Notice that these violate icon and name trademarks:


InTekOne isn’t alone. ESCAPP (iTunes Link) and Ben Cousins (iTunes Link) have 24 and 86 scammy apps each.

Apple is in a bind here, Marco says. If it wiped out all these spammy apps, people would cry foul saying Apple is being a capricious jerk, as usual.

On the other hand, by allowing these spam apps to get through, Marco writes, “it makes every trivial rejection by real developers even more frustrating.”

Marco’s right. Apple needs to take whatever PR damage it’ll get for nuking these apps and clean up all copyright infringement from the App Store. It’s fine for developers to make game cheat guides, documentation, or whatever — but not in a way that’s going to confuse or trick users.

See Also: The 10 Dumbest App Store Rejections

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