Apple pulls iPhone app that forced users to leave a good review

Plenty of users were able to leave bad reviews, probably through the App Store website.

What you need to know

  • Apple has pulled an app from the App Store that forced users to leave a good review before using it.
    According to Kosta Eleftheriou, the app would only let users tap to leave a good review and then ‘submit’.
  • Plenty of users did leave bad reviews through other means, and the app is now gone.

Apple appears to have removed an app from the iOS App Store that only let people use it after leaving a good review.

Kosta Eleftheriou highlighted the strange behavior of the app in a tweet:

The video appears to show a review prompt that can’t be bypassed, and one that won’t accept anything lower than a three-star review before only letting users hit ‘submit’. The app does have plenty of bad reviews, but these are all about being forced to leave good ones. It is unclear how a developer would be able to bork the App Store review prompt so comprehensively like this, but Eleftheriou claims the developer has more than 15M downloads and “$MILLIONS” in revenue, of which Apple receives a commission.

Eleftheriou despaired that “even an automated check would have caught this” before claiming that Apple doesn’t improve the App Store because there is no competition.

Eleftheriou has filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming it uses monopoly power relating to scam apps in the App Store. Eleftheriou says that a scam app version of his own Flicktype was allowed onto the App Store. The lawsuit echoes many of the same sentiments as the recently-ended Epic Games trial, in which the game-maker argued that Apple should be forced to have competing app stores for software distribution on the iOS ecosystem.

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