Apple has featured a number of apps with disproportionately expensive subscriptions on the App Store, arousing the ire of some developers.
The App Store feature on the Australian App Store, first highlighted by Beau Nouvelle on Twitter, is called “Slime relaxations” and reportedly features apps that are non-functional and seek to charge disproportionately costly in-app purchase subscriptions.
Apple promoting these slime apps again. A few of them have $10+ weekly subscriptions. One of them doesn’t even do anything.https://t.co/d0dKLCkiVF — Beau Nouvelle (@BeauNouvelle) August 4, 2021
One of the apps, called “Jelly: Slime Simulator, ASMR,” features a $13 per week subscription to get past its paywall, amounting to $676 per year. Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines state (with emphasis our own):
If we can’t understand how your app works or your in-app purchases aren’t immediately obvious, it will delay your review and may trigger a rejection. And while pricing is up to you, we won’t distribute apps and in-app purchase items that are clear rip-offs. We’ll reject expensive apps that try to cheat users with irrationally high prices.
The fact that such apps have passed the App Store review process to be awarded a special feature from Apple on the App Store has induced outrage in some developers, such as Simeon Saëns of Two Lives Left, who took a closer look at one of the apps.
Given that at least some of these apps charge $13 per week, it is difficult to not see them as breaking App Store guidelines, so it is particularly surprising that they were actively featured by Apple on the App Store.
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