Developers warn of fraudulent applications on Mac App Store

Developer Jeff Johnson, who is behind the Safari extension Stop The Madness, among other things, has in one long thread on Twitter attacked Mac App Store. He directs the same criticism against the one that many developers have previously made against the iOS store: Apple is far from doing enough to remove programs that break the rules.

The programs he mentions are on the top 100 lists for free programs and most lucrative programs, and the rule they mainly break is that they do nothing at all without the user signing up for a subscription. According to Apple’s rules, free apps must be functional without paying anything, but may have in-app purchases and subscriptions for additional functions.

One of the worst programs was found by the developer Edoardo Vacchi. It’s called My Metronome and when you first open it, a dialog box appears that cannot be closed without starting a subscription, while the program’s exit function has been turned off. So you have to forcibly quit it.

Jeff Johnson has found several other developers who have the exact same address as the developer behind My Metronome, and it’s about a bunch of apps on the Mac App Store’s charts.

Apple has removed My Metronome, but several of the other programs that have the same fraudulent behavior are still in the store at the time of writing.

Jeff Johnson writes that the problem is not whether the apps in question are violating the App Store rules, but that Apple is clearly not protecting users from fraud.

Kosta Eleftheriou, the developer who has made it his mission to find scams on the App Store and has also sued Apple, has also noticed the discoveries.