Dropbox & Apple Work to Solve App Rejections

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Dropbox said on Monday that it was working with Apple to solve an issue that had led to App Store rejections for apps using the Dropbox SDK. At issue were links in apps to online resources for purchasing more space on Dropbox, which violates long-standing App Store guidelines.

Dropbox is a popular storage and syncing solution for Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, BlackBerry, Linux, and both desktop and mobile Web browsers. Files stored on Dropbox get synced to all of your devices without additional user interaction.

When the iPhone was opened up to the App Store, Dropbox was quickly promoted as a workaround for Apple’s restrictions on accessing that device’s file system. It was a great way to get documents to iOS devices, and there are competing services such as Box, SkyDrive, SugarSync, and others.

Dropbox’s business model is to offer 2GB of storage for free, allowing users to purchase more storage if they need it. Dropbox also provides a software development kit (SDK) that allows third party developers to add access to the service to their own apps.

At the same time, Apple when Apple added a subscription service to iOS in 2011, the company instituted a policy that forbade developers from including links in their apps to webpages where they could make purchases or buy subscriptions.

Which is where this story comes to a head. The Dropbox SDK included a link to a page on the company’s site, as shown in the screenshot below that was posted to Dropbox’s developer forum, that included a link to signing up for a new account and the ability to buy new space.

Screenshot

Screenshot Posted to Dropbox Developer Forum

Apple cited that screenshot as the reason for rejecting some apps from the App Store starting late last week. Dropbox released a new version of its SDK that didn’t include that link so that developers could get their apps back in the App Store.

The company also released a statement to AppleInsider saying that it was working with Apple to offer a better resolution going forward.

“Apple is rejecting apps that use the Dropbox SDK because we allow users to create accounts. We’re working with Apple to come up with a solution that still provides an elegant user experience,” the company said.

Aside: While we’re here, if you haven’t signed up for a Dropbox account yet, use this reporter’s referral link. He could use the added space.

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This all could have been prevented if Apple hadn’t caved on 3rd party libraries. </snark>

webjprgm

Apple’s policies make it the GPL of apps.  Not the free, open source part of GPL, but the part where anything that touches GPL must also become GPL.  Anything that touches App Store must also go through App Store.  This is an example of something that probably does violate (or comes close to the line) Apple’s policies, but in a way that really should just be allowed.

I hope they work something good out.

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