Yesterday, the API documentation browser known as Dash, which has been available to developers and others for quite some time, was pulled from the App Store.
Considering its presence in the App Store, and availability for the Mac as well, has been allowed without question, the app’s sudden removal from the digital storefront was strange, and has understandably raised some questions. The app’s developer, Bogdan Popescu, was made aware of the app’s removal without much fanfare, with Apple not going out of its way to confirm why the app was removed other than saying there was “fraudulent conduct” tied to the app.
However, soon after the app’s removal, Popescu was notified by Apple that the app was removed because of “review manipulation” related to Dash. Popescu, for his part, says he has never done anything like that. And, gauging by the popularity of the app among developers, it would stand to reason that the reasoning seems suspect at best.
“Update: Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I’ve never done.
Apple’s decision is final and can’t be appealed.”
As it stands, Dash has been removed from the App Store, with no chance of appeal now, and Popescu’s iTunes Connect account has been shut down altogether.
Apple’s Phil Schiller eventually stepped in, emailing Matthew Els and confirming, based on information he has seen following Dash’s removal, that the app was removed due to fraudulent behavior:
Thanks for your email about this app.
I did look into this situation when I read about it today. I am told this app was removed due to repeated fraudulent activity.
We often terminate developer accounts for ratings and review fraud, including actions designed to hurt other developers. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, on behalf of all of our customers and developers.
I hope that you understand the importance of protecting the App Store from repeated fraudulent activity.
Dash for Mac was also pulled from the Mac App Store, but the app is still available for the desktop platform outside of the Apple storefront.