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Apple Rejects Incredibly Useful iTunes Report App

ASiST First screenshotMostly out of personal necessity I had created MyAppSales to download and chart the sales reports available on iTunes Connect, the website where Apple makes daily reports available for only 7 days. A dozen BETA testers helped me improve it and iron out some kinks and finally it was ready to be submitted for sale on the app store.

Some people suggested that Apple might not want any app to interface with their website, but someone found an all called Sales Report on the app store for $14.99 which does precisely that. I assumed that Apple had to be fair and allow all apps that do the same thing. So I submitted it.

There was an occasional back and forth where every time I got an additional line of the full answer, but I kept arguing for fairness. After many weeks of keeping my app MyAppSales under review they finally came back with a rejection reason that I cannot counter:

Thank you for submitting your application to the App Store. Unfortunately, your application My App Sales cannot be added to the App Store because it violates section 3.3.7 of the iPhone SDK Agreement:

“Applications may not use any robot, spider, site search or other retrieval application or device to scrape, retrieve or index services provided by Apple or its licensors, or to collect information about users for any unauthorized purpose. ”

There is no public API allowing information from iTunes Connect to be used in the manner demonstrated by your application. 

Now I am baffled. I and a dozen other people keep using MyAppSales and we are quite happy with it. But Apple seemingly does not feel a moral obligation to appliy those pesky SDK Laws equally to all developers.

Requests for comment about why the other app is still available on the app store have not been answered so far. I sent an e-mail to “Maringo Holdings, LLC” to congratulate them for having successfully outsmarted Apple.

Currently I have no time or strength to rip out the heart and usefulness from my app. Therefore for now I am offering the source code for purchase. You can compile the app yourself and use it on all your iPhones as you please. I think $15 is a fair price. Send it to me via PayPal (oliver@drobnik.com) and I will send you the source project. I will also keep providing free updates to source license holders.

Maybe in the future I will find a workaround, either via an FTP server in between Apple and the App or maybe interface with one of those numerous services that are popping up proposing to manage your reports online.


Categories: Administrative

11 Comments »

  1. Respond to this by creating two sections of the service – the iPhone app would read a google docs spreadsheet and a separate script or service would log into apple’s website and scrape the data into the spreadsheet.

    This way, the app would technically not be in violation.

  2. It’s no use. I already have tons and tons of additional features in MyAppSales that are also incompatible with iTunes. I’d rather innovate and make the best app there is then spend what little time I have on trying to outsmart Apple.

  3. You are not alone. I wrote a small note about the situation: http://iphone-dev-tips.alterplay.com/2009/11/good-app-ideas-are-rejected-in-advance.html
    Oliver, don’t you think to publish the app in Cydia?

  4. I asked Saurik twice but he never responded.

  5. What if you set up the scraping part to happen as a web service and then the app wouldn’t be doing any scraping at all. just getting the reports from the web service.

  6. I have different projects taking up my time. There is not enough monetary incentive as oppposed to making apps for everybody.

  7. The paypal way to acquire it is serious?
    I have interest to acquire it, cause I’m affraid to add my user and pass in a closed code app, but I think that your app are suposed to be cheaper than Sales Report, don’t you?

Trackbacks

  1. App Store sales tracking at Under The Bridge
  2. Peer Reviews | Dr. Touch
  3. Petition for Official iTunes Sales Report Download API | Dr. Touch
  4. Report Downloading Update | Cocoanetics

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