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. It was available from a seller named on the site as "Ngan Vo Thi Thuy" and despite the outrageous price, the app has managed to make it onto the app store's top earners list for the past two months. Of course, thanks to iOS sandboxing and other security features, malware isn't a significant issue in Apple's mobile operating system.
"Apps may use in-app purchase currencies to enable customers to "tip" digital content providers", the tech giant states in its newly-revised App Store Review Guidelines. "It's downright mind boggling that this horrendous "Mobile protection:Clean & Security VPN" app made it all the way into the top 10 without getting flagged", he added.
The app then, full of typing errors and vague language, offers up a "free trial" which users confirm via the iPhone's Touch ID fingerprint scanner. To earn that amount the app would only need around 200 subscribers. The setup will see Apple take a 30% slice of the tip leaving the developers with 70%.
Established App store brands and relatively larger developers will be magnified even more but ASO experiments can drive growth for all. Alas, Apple's beloved App Store is itself home to a selection of scamware apps that essentially provide zero utility and are expressly created to con unsuspecting users out of their hard-earned money. For many legitimate app developers, this is a cumbersome, time-consuming, and capricious process.
And perhaps more importantly, their subscription fees start from $4.54 per month; around 1/20 of the fee for this scam app on the US App Store.
For video streaming platforms, developers may decide to take a 20 percent cut to pass on 50 percent of the tips to content creators, which will open up a new and legal path for monetizing videos.
Subscriptions and In-App Purchases can also be purchased directly from the App Store outside the app which will be helpful for large brands on the App Store who are big on the Freemium model.
This app isn't an isolated case, and because the App Store displays ads in paid-for adverts in a similar way to organic search results, developers can shoehorn suspicious, money-grabbing apps right into the spotlight.