Kosta Eleftheriou, a co-founder of the Fleksy keyboard app, later sold to Pinterest in an acquihire deal, has been calling attention to Apple App Store issues like fake reviews, ratings, and subscription scams, as well asafter his app, FlickType, was targeted by scammers. The crusade: filing a lawsuit against Apple. The suit, which the developer claims was filed Wednesday in California Superior Court in County, alleges that Apple enticed developers to build applications for its App Store — the only place iOS applications can be legally sold — by claiming it’s a safe and trustworthy place but doesn’t protect legitimate app developers against scammers profiting from their hard work.
The suit says that Apple is disincentivized to do so because scammers are generating designed software. They also flood their apps with fake ratings and reviews to make them appear a much better option when users are looking for an app in this space.via their subscriptions, which involve a revenue share with Apple. scammers have personally impacted Eleftheriou. He left a well-paying job at Pinterest to develop his FlickType app, an alternative swipe . After its launch, the app was targeted by copycat app makers who claim their apps offer the same feature set as FlickType but instead lock users into high-priced subscriptions for their poorly
Meanwhile, FlickType sports a 3.5-star rating, as it’s often dinged forplatform issues outside the developer’s control or missing features users want to call attention to. Eleftheriou engages with his app’s users, however — responding to complaints and letting users know when were added, or bugs have been fixed. Scammers buy enough 5-star reviews to keep their apps’ overall . In other words, Eleftheriou is doing the hard work of being an developer carving out a category for swipe keyboards for the Watch. Still, his potential income is being shifted to scam presence.
In years past, Apple took issues of little to police scammers’ apps because it profits from developer misconduct. Eleftheriou also notes he has raised these issues to Apple via KPAW, LLC, but Apple did “next to nothing” to resolve the problem.seriously. It cleaned up shady subscription through regular sweeps. It even once went so far as to ban apps built using templates to raise the bar on app quality, which angered that didn’t have the resources or funds to make more professional apps. (Apple later revised its policy to be more equitable.) But the new lawsuit alleges that Apple is now doing
Eleftheriou’s story is even more complicated because hisnumerous times after meeting with Apple special projects manager Randy Marsden over a possible acquisition. He tells TechCrunch numbers were discussed with Apple, and his meetings had included a director and a VP, among others. , the lawsuit notes. Shortly after, FlickType was pulled from the over App Store Review Guidelines violations, even as a competitor’s app was approved.
Eleftheriou appealed for his app through Developer Relations but was given no guidance on, he said. Over the following months, FlickType faced rejection from Review. Apple’s App Store Review noted that the app offered a “poor user experience,” even though tech journalists at numerous outlets had praised it, and it. App Review also told the developer that “full keyboard apps are not appropriate for Apple Watch,” while it continued to allow competitors to publish their keyboard apps.