Apple has withdrawn threats to remove the popular tool app “Amphetamine” from the Mac App Store. According to the developer, Apple had threatened to remove the app over its name and said that it violated guideline 1.4.3 related to “consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs or excessive amount of alcohol.”
For strangers, Amphetamine is a free app on the Mac App Store designed to prevent your Mac from going to sleep. It was released in 2014 and has been on the Mac App Store ever since, but only this week did Apple contact amphetamine creator William Gustafson with the accusation that the app violated the App Store guidelines.
The guideline is:
Apps that encourage the consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal substances or large amounts of alcohol are not allowed in the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume some of these drugs will be rejected. It is not permitted to facilitate the sale of marijuana, tobacco or controlled substances (with the exception of licensed pharmacies).
Apple also added specific details:
“Your app seems to promote inappropriate use of controlled substances. In particular, the app name and icon include references to controlled substances, pills. ”
Apple said that if Gustafson did not change the name and branding of Amphetamine, the app would be removed from the Mac App Store on January 1
On January 2, 2021, I received a phone call from Apple to discuss the results of my appeal. In that conversation, an Apple representative stated that Apple now recognizes that the word “amphetamine” and the pill icon are used “metaphorically,” and in a “medical sense.”
Ultimately, Apple went back on its stance, and Amphetamine is allowed to remain on the Mac App Store. Nevertheless, this is yet another instance of Apple’s inconsistent approach to applying the App Store guidelines. There are many other applications on the Mac App Store with references to both legal and illegal drugs, in many cases far more obvious than amphetamine.
You can read the full details of the situation on Gustafson’s GitHub page here.
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