The Hey Calendar app has faced rejection from the App Store, drawing parallels to the previously experienced situation with Hey Email. This decision by Apple has sparked debate, as Hey Calendar, similar to its counterpart Hey Email, operates under the same business model as apps like Spotify. These apps, known as “reader apps” enable access to content or services located off-device.
The rejection of Hey Calendar appears to contradict the App Store’s own guidelines. According to these rules, free apps that serve as standalone companions to a paid web-based tool don’t require in-app purchases. They only need to avoid direct calls for purchases inside or outside the app. This model is precisely what Hey Calendar follows, raising questions about its rejection and Apple’s arbitrary control over the App Store and what it allows people to have on their own iPhones.
David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founder of Hey, expressed his concerns on X, highlighting that an Apple representative criticized Hey Calendar for lacking functionality and not including an in-app purchase option. This stance by Apple seems inconsistent with the App Store’s stated policies.
Moreover, Apple’s suggestion to merge Hey Calendar with Hey Email into a single app adds another layer of complexity. This advice contrasts with the freedom enjoyed by large companies like Google and Apple themselves, who operate multiple standalone apps without facing similar restrictions, cementing the dominance of Big Tech and preventing up-and-coming alternatives to readily complete.
The ongoing issue reflects broader concerns raised by Hey’s co-founder, Jason Fried, in 2020. Fried previously criticized Apple for its involvement in developers’ relationships with their users. He argued that such interference limits user choice and can negatively impact customer service.
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