Last week Apple pulled iPhone tethering application NetShare from the App Store without explanation (it's since been posted and removed again) and this week another – less controversial – application has bee pulled without explanation.
Over the weekend I was comparing iPhone apps with some friends who were visiting from out of town and when someone suggested seeing a movie I quickly brought up one of my favorite iPhone apps – Box Office (since renamed "Now Playing). Box Office is one of my Top 10 free iPhone applications because it's incredibly useful for finding movie times, trailers and reviews that are near me. After showing it to my friends, they couldn't find it on the App Store.
A post on the MacRumors forums by developer Metasyntactic says that they weren't notified or given a reason for the removal:
Apple pulled the app yesterday without giving my any notification that they were doing it, or what their justification was for removing it.
I’ve tried to contact them about the issue, but it’s been a complete dead end. If anyone has a useful contact number for apple, please let me know.
I’m in regular contact with all my data providers, and none of them have had an issue with my app. Indeed, the response was the exact opposite. They like my app and have even asked if i would do custom application work for them in the future. Furthermore, all the data i use is licensed by the owners as ‘free for non commercial use’. i.e. precisely what BoxOffice is.
So i’m stuck here not knowing what has happened, or what i can do about it. If any of you have any ideas, please let me know. You can respond here, but i’d actually appreciate a reply at cyrusn @ stwing.upenn.edu since i probably won’t check back here that often.
A post on Metasyntactic's Google Code page states:
I'm currently investigating why Now Playing/BoxOffice was pulled from the app store. Hopefully i'll get some actionable information soon.
There has been a lot of anger and brouhaha over this recently. However, i'd ask those who seem to be trying to fan the flames to back down a bit. This event happened late last week, and i'd at least like to give this a few business days for things to work through normal channels. It's possible that this was nothing more than a glitch/mistake, and going off half-cocked probably won't help things at all.
I appreciate all the support that people have been sending my way, and i hope a positive solution will be forthcoming very soon.
Hopefully this gets resolved soon and Apple gives its developers a better feedback on their App Store removal policies.(Image: bbGadgets)