Basecamp’s protest of Apple’s policies is already benefiting other developers

In any case, users of the App Store don’t get to vote, and neither does Hey.

What Hey could do, though, was embrace Apple’s pretzel logic and concoct the strangest app imaginable, a dadaist take on email whose sole real purpose was to highlight the absurdity of software development in the modern era. And that’s just what it did. Here’s Nilay Patel writing Monday in The Verge[17]:

Basecamp isn’t done with the fight. The company has submitted a new version of Hey that meets the strict letter of Apple’s rules but clearly defies their spirit: the company will now offer iOS users a free temporary Hey email account with a randomized address, just so the app is functional when it is first opened. These burner accounts will expire after 14 days. Hey is also now able to work with enterprise customers, as Apple initially took issue with the app’s consumer focus.

Hey has not adopted Apple’s own in-app payment system or allowed users to sign up for its full, paid service through the iOS app. Instead, users will still need to subscribe by going directly to Hey’s website.

Surprisingly, it worked — at least for now. Hey is in the App Store as negotiations continue. And whether out of fear of antitrust regulation or a desire not to see this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference overshadowed by a developer dispute, the historically obstinate Apple has even shown sides of yielding. Nick Statt had the surprising news at The Verge[18]:

Apple today announced two major changes[19] to how it handles App Store disputes with third-party developers. The first is that Apple will now allow developers to appeal a specific violation of an App Store guideline, and that there will also be a separate process for challenging the guideline itself. Additionally, Apple says it will no longer delay app updates intended to fix bugs and other core functions over App Store disputes.

“Additionally, two changes are coming to the app review process and will be implemented this summer. First, developers will not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself,” reads a press release[20] from Apple published this afternoon. “Second, for apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. Developers will instead be able to address the issue in their next submission.”

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