Part of me now wants to find a way to sue Apple just for the discovery. To better understand the discussion around the volumes of email I’ve sent about scam apps, App Store policies, etc. Haven’t seen one yet, but I’m expecting at least one of my emails to pop up in the Epic docs
I’ll just dox myself in the mean time. Here’s a good one from 2019 on App Store dark patterns and the Touch ID scam:
Never got a reply to this one. Had Apple taken me up on this, or just taken the situation more seriously, I would’ve helped clean up the App Store before @keleftheriou was forced to start doing it publicly.
There was plenty of time to turn the ship. 28 long months ago:
2018: “From Apple’s perspective I know these things don’t feel particularly dire, but millions of Apple customers are having terrible App Store experiences every single day. By taking more immediate measures [you can slow] the erosion of user confidence in the App Store.”
As with many serfs tending the walled garden at Apple’s pleasure, I’m worried I’ve already shared too much and would only make things worse by sharing more, but I’ve got hundreds more where this came from, dating all the way back to 2008. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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More from @drbarnard

4 May
Ah… the heady days of 2016, when I thought Apple was finally going to make more than token changes to the App Store. Felt the same in 2008, and 2009, and 2010, and 2011, and 2012, and 2013, and 2014, and 2015, and for some reason still hope Apple rethinks the App Store in 2021.
2/ 2014: “I’d love to see Apple wield that power to shape the App Store in ways that will sustain and encourage meaningful development over the long-term and not let the current success of the App Store blind it to issues that are impacting the trajectory of the App Store.”
Read 12 tweets
4 May
1/ This email from @pschiller looks bad on the surface, but one of the things Apple should be arguing in this case is that by running the store and collecting the revenue they have protected consumers.
2/ Thought experiment: if instead of adding IAP to the App Store in 2009, Apple had allowed devs to collect payments directly inside apps, would there have been less fraud or more? Would subscriptions be easier to cancel or harder? Would paywalls be less deceptive or more?
3/ Speaking of fraud and deceptive paywalls, can’t help but link to this:…
Read 10 tweets
5 Feb
1/ Advertising helps businesses bring attention to their products and services, and that’s not a bad thing. Targeting made ads better for everyone, including those viewing the ads (I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve grown to actually enjoy Instagram ads)
2/ I’m thrilled that Apple is essentially deprecating the IDFA and preventing all the creepy tracking that’s been going on. But I think they’ve thrown the (targeting and measurement) baby out with the (creepy tracking) bathwater.
3/ That whole interview between @eric_seufert and @benthompson is a fantastic, nuanced exploration of the far-reaching implications of Apple’s fundamentalist approach to these privacy changes.
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb
Steps to reproduce:
1. Search a high traffic keyword like wallpapers, scanner, VPN, etc.
2. Download the top 5 search results
3. At least one (often multiple) will be shady apps pushing expensive weekly subscriptions using various dark patterns
4. Get mad at Apple all over again
2/ More steps to reproduce:
1. Browse TikTok and tap on app ads until you find a shady subscription app
2. Start a free trial in that app (TikTok has now identified you as an easy mark)
3. Tap on any new app ads you see and explore just how bad things really are on the App Store
3/ I spent a couple hours doing this on TikTok and sending the apps to Apple. Most are still up. Example: $2/week for a handful of bad live wallpapers (ad on TikTok was nothing like the app)…
Read 33 tweets
2 Feb
1/ I wish it were this simple. Unfortunately, allowing access to the IDFA allows a heck of a lot more than just personalized ads. Eric’s point is valid though, the combination of SKAdNetwork and App Tracking Transparency don’t actually give consumers choice.
2/ When a consumer allows tracking, they are allowing anything that app might do with any of their data. And for personalized ads to even work in this paradigm, they have to allow tracking for multiple apps, not just Facebook/Instagram/Google Chrome/Whatever.
3/ Real consumer choice would be a beefed up SKAdNetwork with modes for personalization ON or OFF. With personalization on, SKAdNetwork would allow apps like Instagram to get 100% conversion tracking when the consumer allows personalization.
Read 6 tweets
21 Nov 20
1/ This is one area where Apple holds itself to same or higher standards than they hold 3rd party developers to. At least according to their written policies. A thread:
2/ Developers can use the IDFV to individually identify all users across their portfolio of apps & collect as much data as they want. Apple doesn’t prevent Facebook from doing that. Apple is preventing them from tracking users across any app (with their SDK installed) and the web
3/ Facebook’s accusations ring hollow unless they can point to specific ways in which Apple is leveraging it’s data to unfairly compete with Facebook and 3rd party developers. The privacy as a cover for profit also rings hollow for so many reasons.
Read 11 tweets

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