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An iPhone app was forcing people to leave a positive review before actually using the app

How did this get by Apple?

Apple app store logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Apple and Epic Games are currently going at it over Apple’s insistence on companies using its App Store and, in turn, taking a cut of all sales. You would think that with that exclusivity, the iPhone maker would ensure that all apps on the platform follow the rules, but it turns out that isn’t the case.

Revealed by app research Kosta Eleftheriou, the UPNP Xtreme app (which has since been removed from the App Store) was an app that supposedly gave people a way to stream content from their phone to their TV, but in order to even use the app, you had to first leave a review.

Not only is review requests at launch a no-no with Apple, but the app developers had it so you couldn’t leave a 1- or 2-star review, which you can see below.

The app is no longer available, but The Verge was also able to confirm the review prompt before it was removed. The app had over 15 million downloads and Eleftheriou says the app has made “millions.”

This blatant oversight from Apple also has people wondering how something like this made it through Apple’s moderation tools and team. This isn’t obscure or hard-to-find, it literally starts breaking the rules upon launching the app.

Further into the Twitter thread, Eleftheriou states, “If you think you can trust App Store ratings, you haven’t been paying enough attention. […] The worst part? This trick is EXTREMELY easy for any developer to do, and not limited to this app.”

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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