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Apple blessed apps which make you pay them to go away

by on19 April 2022

So much for app store protection

The fruit and nutty Cargo cult Apple has been approving scam apps which make you pay them for a subscription before they let you shut down your phone.

Since Apple takes a third of the profits of apps in return for a pledge to protect users from scam apps, one can only assume it is lying or it is making a tidy enough sum from them to allow them through.

Principal software engineer at Red Hat, Edoardo Vacci discovered the first in the latest batch of scam apps. One, My Metronome, locks up and won’t allow users to quit using either the menu bar or keyboard shortcuts (it can be Force Quit though) until they agree to pay a $9.99 per month subscription.

According to FlickType founder and scam app hunter Kosta Eleftheriou who spoke with The Verge, the developer behind My Metronome seems to have “experimented with various techniques over the years of preventing people from closing the paywall”.

After Eleftheriou blew the whistle on the scam, Apple removed the app from its store. The developer though, Music Paradise is connected to another app development company called Groove Vibes that has created similar scam apps. In fact, according to the privacy policies of the companies, they’re registered at the same address and both mention Akadem GmbH.

The Verge tested Music Paradise’s Music Paradise Player app along with all of the Mac apps made by Groove Vibes. Unlike ransomware, the apps in question don’t lock users out of their files but instead prevent users from easily closing them so that they fall for the scam and sign up for a monthly subscription instead.

The Tame Apple Press is shocked that these scam apps appeared to "slip through the cracks" during Apple’s App Review process which should have prevented them from being published in the first place. After all Apple does collect a third of the cash made from such apps so it has a reason to ban as many as it can… oh.


Last modified on 19 April 2022
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