Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reversed its earlier decision regarding the banning of the Amphetamine app from its Mac App Store because of its drug-inspired name and logo. The company has claimed that William Gustafson’s app name violated policies forbidding encouraging of drug use despite the app being in the store for over six years and Mac Store once promoted it.
Apple reverses decision to ban Amphetamine app
The company is facing growing scrutiny regarding the consistency of its policies governing apps. Over the weekend Gustafson who is the developer of the app that prevents Macs from going into sleep mode received a call from the company informing him that the app will remain. The row began on December 29 after the company informed the developer that the free app had violated the company’s policy and gave a two-week notice to remove the app by January 12.
Amphetamine app which is a keep-awake utility features an icon including a cartoonish yellow pill and a computer screen. Gustafson wrote in Github that Apple informed him that Amphetamine seemed to promote inappropriate use of drugs especially considering the app name and icon feature controlled pills. He added that amphetamine doesn’t refer to illegal drugs because in the US Adderall and other drugs fall under that category.
Apple not showing consistency with its app policies
Apple has now retracted its early decision and a representative informed Gustafson that the company acknowledges that the pill icon and “amphetamine” have been used metaphorically and in a medical sense. This raises questions on the consistency of the review process of apps in the App Store since Amphetamine has been available in the store since 2014 and Gustafson has even conducted updates in the app with Apple representatives without any pointing that it violated guidelines.
However, removal of the app could not have been a big deal as developers can still offer apps outside the App Store. But it could have been challenging to attract new users by pitching them via other channels.