Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, hopped on the phone with TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino today to talk about the company’s decision to reject the Hey Email app from the App Store.
The rejection of the app has caused an outcry from many in the developer community over the last couple of days. The Hey email app was originally approved for the App Store, but when the developers behind the app tried to release an update, they were contacted from the App Store team and told to make changes in order to stay on the store. Schiller says that the inital approval was actually an error.
“In fact, Hey’s Mac App was rejected for the exact behavior that the iOS app is being targeted for. Schiller says that the iOS app’s original version was approved in error, and should never have shipped to the store.”
The Hey Email app currently requires users who download the app to navigate away from it in order to purchase a subscription to the email service, which currently costs $99 a year. Apple says that the company needs to offer in-app purchases for the service in order to meet its guidelines, something that Hey is opposed to as it would result in paying Apple’s 30% fee for selling through the App Store.
Apps in the Reader category can be exempt from having to offer in-app purchases, but Schiller says that email apps have not ever been considered as part of this category and are not eligible for the exemption.
“You download the app and it doesn’t work, that’s not what we want on the store … We didn’t extend these exceptions to all software … Email is not and has never been an exception included in this rule.”
Schiller says that, at least at this time, that Apple is not considering making any changes to its rules and guidelines, and that the Hey Email app will need to meet those guidelines in order to remain in the App Store.
“Sitting here today, there’s not any changes to the rules that we are considering … There are many things that they could do to make the app work within the rules that we have. We would love for them to do that.”
You can read Apple’s latest rejection letter to the HEY Email app in its entirety below:
We are writing to let you know the appeal results for your app, HEY Email.
The App Review Board evaluated your app and determined that the rejection was valid. Your app does not comply with the App Store Review Guidelines detailed below. As you are aware, this is the reason your Hey Email app was rejected when it was submitted to the Mac App Store on June 11, 2020.
The HEY Email app is marketed as an email app on the App Store, but when users download your app, it does not work. Users cannot use the app to access email or perform any useful function until after they go to the Basecamp website for Hey Email and purchase a license to use the HEY Email app. This violates the following App Store Review Guidelines:
Guideline 3.1.1 – Business – Payments – In-App Purchase
If you want to unlock features or functionality within your app, you must use in-app purchase. Your app requires customers to purchase content, subscriptions, or features outside of the app, but those items are not available as in-app purchases within the app as required by the App Store Review Guidelines.
Guideline 3.1.3(a) – Business – Payments – “Reader” Apps
Reader apps may allow users to access previously purchased content and content subscriptions. Your mail app is not one of the content types allowed under this guideline for “Reader” apps (specifically: magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video, access to professional databases, VOIP, cloud storage, or approved services such as classroom management apps). Therefore, customers must be given the option to purchase access to features or functionality in your app using in-app purchase.
Guideline 3.1.3(b) – Business – Payments – Multiplatform Services
Apps that operate services across multiple platforms may allow users to access content, subscriptions, or features they have acquired in your app on other platforms or on your website, provided those items are also available as in-app purchases within the app. Your HEY Email app does not offer access to content, subscriptions, or features as in-app purchases within the app. In fact, the app does not function as an email app or for any purpose until the user goes to the Basecamp Hey Email website to start a free trial or purchase a separate license to use the app for its intended purpose.
To resolve this issue, please revise your app such that it does not violate any of the App Store Review Guidelines and terms.
There are a number of ways that you could revise your app or service to adhere to the App Store Review Guidelines. Customers who have previously purchased access to content, subscriptions, or features elsewhere may continue to access these items in your app, as long as new iOS customers are given the option to purchase access using in-app purchase as required by the App Store Review Guidelines.
If you would prefer not to offer users the option of in-app purchases, you could consider having the app function as marketed — an email client that works with standard IMAP and POP email accounts, where customers can optionally configure the Hey Email service as their preferred email service provider. This would allow the app to function as an email client without requiring an additional payment to use its features and functionality. Under this approach, what you sell on your website is clearly an email service separate from the function of your app as distributed on the App Store.
We are here as a resource as you explore these or other ideas to bring the Hey Email app within compliance of the App Store Review Guidelines and terms.
Thank you for being an iOS app developer. We understand that Basecamp has developed a number of apps and many subsequent versions for the App Store for many years, and that the App Store has distributed millions of these apps to iOS users. These apps do not offer in-app purchase — and, consequently, have not contributed any revenue to the App Store over the last eight years. We are happy to continue to support you in your app business and offer you the solutions to provide your services for free — so long as you follow and respect the same App Store Review Guidelines and terms that all developers must follow.
We hope to assist you in offering the Hey Email app on the App Store.
App Review Board
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Google's aluminum Pixel 5 has a hole in the back for wireless charging – MobileSyrup
If you spent some time studying the Pixel 5 specifications after Google announced the phone yesterday, you may be wondering how on earth the search giant managed to include wireless charging in an aluminum phone.
Well, Google confirmed the details to a few U.S. members of the press, including Android Authority’s David Imel, who shared the engineering behind it on Twitter. In short, the Pixel 5’s aluminum chassis has a physical cutout for the Qi charging coil. Google coated the whole back of the phone in a ‘bio-resin skin’ (read: plastic) that covers and protects the coal while also giving the back of the phone a flush, uniform look.
Google is using a Bio-resin on top of the aluminum of the Pixel 5’s body to achieve wireless charging. Basically, there is a physical cutout in the aluminum where the coil lives, and this plastic bio-resin sits on top.
— David ImeI (@DurvidImel) September 30, 2020
Google says wireless charging works as normal and can hit up to 10W speeds, just like on the Pixel 4.
While this simple workaround is relatively neat, it made me wonder why Google bothered making an aluminum-bodied phone if it was going to cover it in a plastic-like coating anyway. Google has a bit of a history doing stuff like this too. The Pixel 3, for example, has a glass back partially covered with a matte, plastic-like finish. The orange and white Pixel 4 also cover the glass back with a similar matte finish.
However, Imel explained that Google did have a reason: thinness. The Pixel 5 sports a 4,080mAh battery — the biggest to date in a Pixel device, although not substantially bigger than what other manufacturers offer. Google told Imel that using an aluminum frame with the super-thin bio-resin allowed it to keep the phone at 8mm thick while maintaining a premium feel.
As nice as glass phones are, I haven’t enjoyed the trend of flagships moving towards the ‘glass sandwich’ we see on so many phones now. Glass screen, metal band around the edge, glass back. If you drop a phone like this, it’ll probably break, and glass just doesn’t feel good in your hand. Granted, both these issues can be remedied with a case, but for me, cases add too much bulk.
While we don’t know how well the bio-resin will hold up over time, Google’s ‘aluminum with skin’ approach seems like a win, especially since it maintains wireless charging. Hopefully, we see other manufacturers take similar approaches and move away from glass-back smartphones.
Steve and Alex from Minecraft is the latest character coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – The Verge
Nintendo unveiled this morning that Steve and Alex from Minecraft will be added to the character roster in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. This is the second character announcement in the Fighter Pass Vol. 2 DLC that’s available for $29.99, following Min Min from Arms. There are four new fighters yet to be announced for the DLC.
In the short presentation, a brief preview showed off Steve in action, playing in a special Minecraft-themed stage. Players will be able to play as Steve or Alex, and swap to Enderman, or a Zombie as alternatives. The game’s director, Masahiro Sakurai, explained following the announcement that Steve and the blocky Minecraft style presented a big challenge for the team. He said, “We have to rework all our existing stages so that blocks can be placed in them.”
There will be a broadcast on Saturday, October 3rd at 10:30AM ET / 7:30AM PT that dives deeper on their play styles. That’s when the release date for the characters will be announced, too.
If for some reason you haven’t jumped into the game yet, the first Fighters Pass, available as an add-on for $24.99, added a slew of interesting characters to its already-packed roster. You’ll get Dragon Quest XI’s hero, Banjo-Kazooie, Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Joker from Persona 5, and Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard.
You can rewatch the announcement here (skip to 29:42 for the action).
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighter reveal: Start time, how to watch and our predictions – CNET
The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster is expanding once again, as Steve joins the battle. Nintendo announced the Minecraft star as the eighth downloadable fighter to the Ultimate roster in a three-minute YouTube reveal on Thursday.
Steve is the second fighter in the $30 Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Fighters Pass Vol. 2, after Arms alumni Min Min was announced back in June (that was FOUR months ago, what the…?). The pass is set to include six new fighters, and Nintendo said they’ll be available by the end of 2021.
The previous $25 Fighter Pass included Persona 5’s Joker, Dragon Quest 11’s Hero, Banjo-Kazooie (guh-huh!), Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard and Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. They each came with a new stage and music.
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