According tomedia reports, Apple has stopped updating and threatened to remove the new iOS email client Hey because it does not provide the ability for users to purchase subscriptions from the app. Hey, released on Monday, is understood to have developed a software developed by Basecamp’s developers to provide a streamlined email service for internet and mobile phone users. Access costs $99 a year, but users must purchase it outside the App Store.
David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founder and chief technology officer of Basecamp, says Apple’s inability to get a 30 per cent commission is at the heart of the debate between Apple and developers.
Under the agreement, Apple initially approved version 1.0 of the app, but rejected two new versions that included a bug fix. This basically interrupts Hey’s ability to publish updates to its app.
Because Hey doesn’t offer in-app purchase options, users of the software must sign up for a subscription on the company’s website and sign in through the app. That way, Hey doesn’t have to pay Apple 15 to 30 percent for a subscription. App Sotre’s reviewers told Hey developers that the app violated part 3.1.1 of Apple’s guide, which requires developers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system to purchase digital goods or services.
As Heinemeier Hansson continues to explain, Apple’s App Store team has also said they will remove the app unless in-app purchase options are introduced. He added that Apple doesn’t consider Hey a “Reader” app because it bypasses subscription requirements within the app.
According to part 3.1.3 of Apple’s guide, the Reader app allows users to access previously purchased content or content subscriptions, as long as the app does nare or point to iOS users buying outside the App Store.
Despite the threat of removal, Basecamp’s developers have no plans to give up. Heinemeier Hansson told Protocol magazine that he would never pay Apple a third of his income.
The competition between Hey and Apple comes after the European Commission launched a formal antitrust investigation into the actions of the Apple App Store and Apple Pay. The official survey will focus on Apple’s “gatekeeper” role for third-party apps on its platform and the potential competitiveness of its own apps such as iCloud and Apple Music.
Apple is also facing a major technology investigation in the U.S. that ranges from the App Store policy to third-party software feature Sherlocking. CEO Tim Cook has been asked to testify on behalf of the company.
Coincidentally, earlier this year, in testimony to the House Antitrust Committee, Heinemeier Hansson called attention to Apple’s iron-fisted approach to the App Store.