Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Twitter’s new Mac app for Apple’s new Mac App Store has a secret backdoor feature, and it could get Twitter in trouble with Apple.If you had previously purchased a software bundle — totally unrelated to the Mac App Store — called the “MacHeist nanoBundle 2,” Twitter is offering you exclusive access to “super cool things – secret experimental preferences and options, and promised access to pre-release builds of Twitter for Mac.” (More back story here at TechCrunch.)
But it looks like this violates Apple’s developer guidelines.
Long-time Mac developer Craig Hockenberry — the guy behind Twitterrific for the iPhone, too — tweets:
- “The Twitter Easter Egg is a great thing for MacHeist users, but it’s what got Camera+ pulled from the App Store. Apple’s not gonna like it…”
- “In order to get that MacHeist serial number, money exchanged hands. And Apple wasn’t involved in that exchange: sets a bad precedent…”
- “Read section 2.19 and 7.1 of the Review Guidelines. I don’t expect the app to get pulled, but there will soon be a point release…”
Translation: Since Twitter is such a popular app — the most popular on the App Store, right now — it’s unlikely that Apple will yank the app out of the App Store.
But it’s likely that Twitter will have to update the app removing the secret backdoor — either giving these special bonus features to everyone, or removing them from the app. (Unless Twitter got permission from Apple to include this backdoor.)
We don’t know what section 7.1 in the App Store guidelines says, but section 2.19 says “Apps that require licence keys or implement their own copy protection will be rejected.” Sure sounds like Twitter’s app violates that rule.
Frankly, we’re surprised that Twitter would do this in the first place. It seems irresponsible, which is the opposite of how new CEO Dick Costolo seems to have been ruling the company, even going as far as to strip the jokes out of its corporate blog posts.
Here’s what it looks like when you “unlock” the secret feature. (We had purchased the MacHeist bundle, so we qualify for the secret feature.)
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.