Back in 2008, Apple added native support for Emoji icons in iPhone Firmware 2.2, which was available only to iPhone users on Japan’s SoftBank network.
But since Apple added native support for Emoji icons for all the users in iOS 5 last year, it seems to have finally decided to remove these Emoji apps from the App Store. MacRumors reports that it has sent notices like the one seen below informing developers that their Emoji apps have been removed from the App Store.
We are writing to let you know your app, XXXX, has been removed from the App Store because it is no longer needed to unlock Emoji.
Since iOS 6 now provides Emoji support to all users, your app is no longer in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines <https://developer.apple.com/appstore/resources/approval/guidelines.html>
2.12 Apps that are not very useful, are simply web sites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
If you have questions about the removal of your application, please contact App Review at email@example.com. Please include the App ID and the name of your application in your email.
Thank you and best regards,
As MacRumors points out, while the notice mentions that the apps have been removed, a number of Emoji apps are still available in the App Store, so it remains to be seen when the apps will vanish from the App Store.
While we don’t think Apple should remove apps from the App Store because they’ve started offering the functionality natively in iOS, in this particular case we think it makes sense as some developers are selling Emoji apps for $0.99 in the App Store, which is essentially tricking users to pay for a feature that is natively available for free.
What do you think about Apple’s decision to remove the Emoji apps from the App Store?