Apple Pulls Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil Speakers Touch from App Store

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Airfoil Speakers Touch Removed from App Store

Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil Speakers Touch app for iOS has been inexplicably removed from the App Store, Paul Kafasis, the company’s CEO, noted Thursday.

Airfoil Speakers Touch, available on the App Store since 2009, allows users of Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil software for Mac and Windows to send audio from a computer to an iOS device, greatly expanding on the similar functionality of Apple’s AirPlay technology. 

Unfortunately, the app has been pulled from the App Store with little warning and, according to Mr. Kafasis, Apple has provided no explanation for its actions. Mr. Kafasis broke the news on Rogue Amoeba’s blog:

Today, we’ve been informed that Apple has removed Airfoil Speakers Touch from the iOS App Store. We first heard from Apple about this decision two days ago, and we’ve been discussing the pending removal with them since then. However, we still do not yet have a clear answer on why Apple has chosen to remove Airfoil Speakers Touch. Needless to say, we’re quite disappointed with their decision, and we’re working hard to once again make the application available for you, our users. 

As far as we can tell, Airfoil Speakers Touch is in full compliance with Apple’s posted rules and developer agreements. We’ve already filed an appeal with Apple’s App Review Board, and we’re awaiting further information. Unfortunately, Apple has full control of application distribution on iOS, leaving us with no other recourse here.

The guidelines that Apple uses to accept, reject, or remove previously accepted applications has drawn criticism for many years. In some instances, Apple has rejected applications that mirror forthcoming functionality, leading some to speculate that Airfoil Speakers Touch’s removal from the store is an indication that similar functionality will be included in iOS 6.

However, Rogue Amoeba believes that another factor is at play, and does not put much faith in the notion that iOS 6 will support converting iOS devices into AirPlay receivers.  

In a statement to Cult of Mac, Mr. Kafasis said: “We’ve seen that theory floated by a few folks as a wild guess, but there’s certainly no hard evidence that iOS 6 will contain audio receiving functionality. Anything’s possible, but I can’t say it seems likely that iOS 6 will turn iOS devices into AirPlay receivers. Even if that is the case, however, iOS 6 isn’t here yet nor even announced. The timing on pulling Airfoil Speakers Touch now, a month after it was approved but before iOS 6 has even been made public, seems to make little sense with regard to this possibility. It’s certainly not something Apple has done before.” 

[via Macgasm]

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4 Comments

ilikeimac

And yet another news outlet fails to highlight the interesting part of this story.

The hot new feature of Airfoil Speakers Touch is the ability to play music streamed from iTunes via AirPlay (formery AirTunes). And while the app is free this feature alone is a $3 in-app purchase. Third parties that offer this functionality (like Denon home theater receivers) have to pay Apple a license fee, however, it seems likely that Rogue Amoeba is not paying a license fee, but rather using the reverse engineered encryption key discovered last year.

Given the history of Apple’s app rejections and removals, it isn’t hard to imaging them not catching this kind of issue during the review of an upgrade to an existing app.

dhp

Asked for comment, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn A. Britt said, “I’m not sure I know what Airfoil is.”

Mike

dhp,

Brilliant! grin Hope everyone else gets the reference.

ilikeimac

Finally someone put it together.

http://daringfireball.net/2012/05/more_on_airfoil_speakers_touch

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