Apple HEY email app saga: approval received, developers win

  • Jun 23, 2020 AEST
  • Team Kalkine
Apple HEY email app saga: approval received, developers win


  • At present, developers are making the availability of apps for every walk of life, and without a doubt, they have already made and are continuing to make our lives extremely easy.
  • According to the latest update, Apple has now given its approval to software update of HEY email app.
  • Earlier, Apple approved HEY’s version 1.0 on its iOS app, but bug fixed version 1.0.1 was swiftly rejected.
  • HEY’s founder expressed his views on it and stated that Apple wanted to collect, as much as 30 per cent cut on the app purchases made via Apple store.

In contemporary world, the importance of mobile phones/laptops in our lives is undoubtedly endless. Mobile phones/laptops are undergoing tremendous transformation and are no longer ordinary devices; courtesy of the several incredible characteristics and opportunities in the form of applications (apps) that they offer.

The presence of multiple apps on mobile/laptop are serving as a topping on cake, being relished by people.

In current times, can you imagine going to the bank and transferring money, or buying a train ticket instead of purchasing online? Yes! No! No!

All thanks to app developers who have come to our rescue, enabling easy life.

Apps are transforming the world, enhancing people’s lives, and empowering developers to innovate unlike earlier times to meet various digital needs of users.

Do you encounter the message stating download the latest version of an app? Both, developers and developing entities of the app constantly make sure that they keep up with the latest in sync with demands of its users.

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There is no doubt, that the app development industry is blooming with emergence of advanced developers and app development entities are keen on offering the needed contentment and requirements of app users.

Another question that pops up asking, where do we get all these apps in our phones? There are app stores available for android, iOS, and windows that have abundant apps available for download and use.

App stores have grown into an eye-popping and vibrant ecosystem for both developers, as well as users.

There is a huge trend of apps, spreading its wings like no time ever before, and have become the largest opportunity for the business world.

You have heard of Apple. Right! The Company is a stringent service provider, who makes sure that whatever is available on Apple store, it sails through the App Review process in line with pre-defined guidelines of Apple.

As per the latest media report, Apple has given its nod to a software update to HEY email app, post the co-founder tweeted about the Apple’s App Store rules, sparking rage from all the corners. In last few days, Apple, and email app HEY launched by Basecamp were in battleground over the issue of guidelines of app store.

Lets us apprise ourselves with the new app- HEY.

A new reinvented app for email named “HEY” buzzed in the market after its launch on 15 June 2020 for a limited number of users. This is a consent-based email app that comes with a feature of screening, fixing bad subjects, inbox- named as Imbox distinguishes the emails based on priority. The app also features an option to reply back, attachment library and many more, which make emails more manageable. 

Guess what? One gets it for US$ 99 per year.

Let us deep dive and understand what the battle was all about.

While version 1.0 of HEY was initially approved and Apple’s app store, review team swiftly rejected bug fixed version 1.0.1.

Apple was of the opinion that HEY app broke the app store rules and advised the Company to adhere to developer guidelines if the developer (Basecamp) wishes to have continuous updating of the software on iOS or release it for Mac.

David Heinemeier Hansson, Basecamp co-founder and CTO, promptly tweeted an array of tweets about the denial, including a screenshot of Apple’s rejection note. 

As per his tweets, HEY’s capability to offer bug fixes and new features were rejected by Apple because it expected HEY to pay 15 to 30 percent of its revenue.

Moreover, HEY is an email app, marketed on the App Store, but the consumers were unable to download the app since Apple advised HEY iOS app must include in-app purchases.

Apple’s guideline 3.1.1 and 3.1.3 (a) and (b) outlines that the Company must use Apple’s in-app billing system if they want users to buy digital goods or subscription, exceptions are only sculpted out for a subdivision of Reader Apps such as Netflix and other streaming services.

There was a lot of outrage on Apple’s decision, and Mr Hansson further added that while Basecamp was urging its customers to pay US$99 annual fee for access to HEY email; Apple wanted the transaction to happen within the four walls of its store, as Apple would collect of as much as 30 per cent cut on the app purchases made via Apple store.

Interestingly, Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) kickstarted on 22 June and will go on until 26 June 2020. It is an annual event for thousands of developers worldwide. What is significant, this time is that the event is happening online, and there is no cap on the number of virtual attendees.

On 15 June 2020, Apple announced some massive numbers in consideration with its app marketplace that supported sales of US$519 billion in 2019, with over 85 per cent of it going to third-party app developers and businesses of all sizes. Things have changed for Apple over the past few years in the light of how people build, sell, and consume software when it launched the app store ten years ago.

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With WWDC taking place this week, it looks like a more extensive discussion on Apple’s monopoly, and app store policies will take place.


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