Apple’s walled garden it not as impenetrable as you might think. On Sunday, Joe White of App Advice reported that the Gatekeepers of Cupertino allowed an iOS app entitled “Microsoft Word 2012” into the App Store. The app even carried the weighty, legitimate-seeming price tag of $9.99. Problem is, this app was most certainly not Microsoft Word — in fact, it wasn’t even made by Microsoft. Instead, it was created by a prolific maker of other such scammy, spammy apps: Super Racing Real Games.
The fake Microsoft Word 2012 app remained on the App Store until Monday afternoon, after various other reports pointed out the breach in Apple’s supposedly rigorous app approval threshold. As of now, it is gone. But one glaringly obvious question remains: How in the hell was this app allowed into the App Store in the first place?
As a long-time user of iOS devices, I have come to expect the corporate-imposed limitations on the iOS app ecosystem. Yes, I can jailbreak my devices. (That’s not illegal — yet — despite Apple’s kicking and screaming.) But I don’t. Why? Because I like to download apps carefree, knowing that there is not a chance a game is actually a piece of nefarious malware, as has been the case with a troubling number apps for Android. That’s the point of such authoritarian restraint — to give those of us who fill your overflowing coffers of gold nothing if not peace of mind.
This hyper-level of control is what makes Apple both great and despised the world over. But if Apple is going to still allow obvious pieces of garbage, like Super Racing Real Games’ latest “Microsoft Word” abomination, into the App Store, despite all its claims of poking, prodding, testing, and examining, then what’s the point? Such screw-ups give us users but one thing: the worst of both worlds.
Of course, mistakes can happen to anyone — even to the most valuable company on Earth. But someone’s got to pay — and that someone needs to be Super Racing Real Games.
As Apple must know by now, fake Microsoft Word is far from the piece of tricky crap squeezed out by Super Racing Real Games — to be fair, that’s all the developer has produced. Oddity Meter, File Manager, F1 Birdie Driver, Fruit Defense — all these apps and too many others are nothing more than spam, ripped-off creations that prey on unsuspecting users, $0.99 at a time.
So the time for action is now, Apple: Ban this egregious spam creator, and all the others like it. Tighten up your defenses, and don’t let this type of infiltration happen again. Fail to do so, and you’ll have at least one customer questioning whether its worth it to allow you the control you have over the important technologies in our lives.
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