Whenever we discuss our inability to update the TouchArcade app (Free), inevitably comments pop up asking how it is that we get our updates rejected while other apps like CheapCharts (Free), AppZapp and similar are allowed on the App Store. Well, it’d appear this morning we have our answer and all it comes down to is good ol’ Apple inconsistency. Per a Facebook post, Apple has kicked CheapCharts out of the App Store, and the reasoning is all too familiar for us between the TouchArcade app and the AppShopper app. Apparently, when they added Mac apps to their price tracker, that was the final straw for Apple who “suddenly claimed that our business model would not be in compliance with Apple’s guidelines and that the look and feel of CheapCharts would be identical to that of the App Store."
It’s the same song and dance we’ve been through, and it appears Apple’s goal is clear: They want to be the sole source of curation for the App Store and will not accept any competition, regardless of how little sense that actually makes. All CheapCharts, like the TouchArcade app and AppShopper app, really does is encourage people to buy more apps.
We hear all the time that people download a particular game because they have it on their TouchArcade watch list, or got a sale alert via AppShopper. CheapCharts isn’t any different, and those are sales which Apple is more than happy to take 30% of which likely never would have occurred otherwise.
But, Apple makes the rules on the App Store, and as unbelievably frustrating and nonsensical as they may be, we all agree to them when we accept the terms and conditions of being a registered app developer. If nothing else, this makes me happy we’ve decided to focus our efforts on redesigning and improving our web site to have a mobile experience that duplicates all the functionality of the app over continue to attempting to update it. CheapCharts, unfortunately, served as a fantastic example of what would have happened had we gone down that road.
Speaking of the new site, we’ve been giving Patreon backers sneak peeks of its development, and while we likely won’t have it live before iOS 11 launches and the TouchArcade app officially dies… Hopefully it won’t be long after that. Turns out there’s lots of moving pieces and things to consider when updating a decade old web site, who knew!
To the CheapCharts team, we’re sorry this happened, and know exactly how it feels. We’re proverbially pouring one out for ya’ll and hope you guys figure out what to do next.