January 23, 2012 at 11:10 am

Apple Deletes Counterfeit App from iTunes

The "real" Camera+ app is back in iTunes, and the alleged counterfeit has been removed.

Apple’s “velvet rope” policy of allowing only certain apps into its iTunes app store has made it a target of criticism. Ironically, its bungling of that policy might be the strongest argument in its favor.

After approving a (supposed) update to the incredibly popular Camera+ app, the 14th-most-popular app in iTunes, Apple deleted it after sharp-eyed Glyn Evans alerted the real developer (Tap Tap Tap) to the existence of the fake, which had somehow survived Apple’s approval process. Although this is embarrassing for Apple, it also represents a taste of the sort of mayhem that could plague iTunes if Apple were to approve every app submitted by developers.

Sophos Security, which often publicizes malware on Facebook and other platforms, was not able to determine whether Camera+ actually did anything dodgy, like sending all of your photos somewhere, or activating itself to spy on you 24/7 without permission. Apple potentially put its users in harm’s way by approving the app, leading to criticism from Tap Tap Tap.

“Oh, Apple and your all too often disappointing approval process,” tweeted the company in response to the gaffe.

Oh, Apple indeed. It can’t be easy to run such a popular app store. When people aren’t complaining about apps being denied, they’re complaining about them being admitted.