Apple removes Pepe The Frog game from its App Store

Apple has rolled out massive update for its users

But when we tried to release to the App Store, we got hit with "Your app contains images and references of Pepe the Frog, which are considered objectionable content". Reportedly, Apple told several Chinese social networking apps, including WeChat, to disable their tip functions or risk being kicked off the App Store. That includes a mobile VPN called "Mobile protection "Clean & Security VPN" ranked 10 as of June 7".

It may seem obvious not to install such an application, but to reach the estimated $80,000 monthly target, the scammer only needs to dupe 200 people into subscribing for a month. As long as they are okay with Apple taking 30%.

This is pretty stupid, because we spent a ton of hours trying to get this to work on iOS and spent $99 on the developer license, and now we can't even post it to the App Store. Ads display a small blue icon signifying an advertisement, but otherwise, they're almost indistinguishable from search results. According to marketing data firm Sensor Tower, the bogus app delivers more or less US$80,000 each month in revenue.

Note: Because of how iOS sandboxes apps, there's no reason to install an anti-virus software on iPhone or iPad.

Lin explains how unethical developers are abusing Apple's App Store Search Ads platform and "taking advantage of the fact that there's no filtering or approval process for ads, and that ads look nearly indistinguishable from real results". They have been around for years (not just a few weeks) and have built up a loyal customer base thanks to their fast connections, secure encryption, and a wide range of overseas servers for users to choose from.

The "malware scanning" app Lin spotted that aggressively pushes users to a $99.99 weekly subscription.

"For full-time developers like myself, it's such a shock and disappointment to see the wrong behavior being rewarded". Lin also suggests a better user interface on Touch ID subscriptions, easier cancellations of subscriptions, and the introduction of fraud and abuse protections into Search Ads.

According to United States tech media TechCrunch, Apple's move could take tipping out of the grey area, and more app developers might institute digital tip jars as an alternative way to get creators paid without having to offer ad revenue sharing. "The App Store sandboxing rules mean that anti-virus software couldn't really do anything useful anyway".

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