Earlier today, Apple cancelled my developer account and has removed Dash from the App Store.
Dash is quite a popular application from a lauded developer, Bogdan Popescu, and yesterday, when he broke the news, he had no idea what the reasoning was. Other famous Apple developers expressed their worries, and now we have an update from Popescu, with Apple’s explanation:
Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I’ve never done.
Apple’s decision is final and can’t be appealed.
I can’t update Dash for iOS anymore and I can’t distribute it outside of the App Store.
Dash for macOS will continue to be supported outside of the App Store. If you purchased Dash on the Mac App Store, you should migrate your license as soon as possible. At the moment you are not able to download Dash from your App Store’s Purchases tab anymore, so if you lose access to your currently activated version of Dash you won’t be able to migrate your license anymore.
Apple has pretty much nuked his entire account from orbit. Even people who own Dash can no longer install it from the Mac App Store – they’ll have to migrate their license. Dash for iOS can’t be distributed this way, of course, and is pretty much done.
Dash is quite a popular tool among Apple developers, and it seems incredibly unlikely that its developer would need to resort to manipulate App Store reviews, but obviously, none of us know the whole story. For all we know, a competitor manipulated the reviews.
In any event, all this – again, sadly – illustrates what I’ve been saying for years: building your business atop Apple’s iOS or Mac App Store is a terrible business decision. You are completely and fully at Apple’s whim, and while you may have some recourse if you’re favoured by Apple’s popular bloggers who can bring your case to the limelight, if you’re not… Well, too bad for you.
So, some “new” functionality being folded into 1st party tools as we speak – coming to a shiny whorehouse near you soon!