Apple approves, then rejects Hey Email app from creators of Basecamp
Hey Email is the latest developer to go against App Store policies.
What you need to know
- Apple has rejected the most recent update to the Hey Email app.
- The company says it is now required to offer in-app purchases to avoid being removed.
- The creators behind the app say that they will not implement Apple’s request.
Yesterday, the creators of Basecamp launched a new email app called Hey Email that looks to approach email in a whole new way. Today, it looks like the app might be in jepoardy of being taken down from the App Store.
Reported by Protocol, the company was contacted by Apple earlier today saying that their update to their app was rejected and that they are required to offer in-app purchases for their service in order for the app to remain on the App Store.
David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founder of Basecamp, tweeted out about the situation today, saying that he is “literally stunned”.
Wow. I’m literally stunned. Apple just doubled down on their rejection of HEY’s ability to provide bug fixes and new features, unless we submit to their outrageous demand of 15-30% of our revenue. Even worse: We’re told that unless we comply, they’ll REMOVE THE APP.
— DHH (@dhh) June 16, 2020
Heinemeier Hansson went on to post a copy of the rejection letter from Apple along with a list of other email apps that they say exist on the App Store in the same way they are trying to, without having to offer in-app purchases that earn Apple its 30% cut.
But this is preposterously false and inconsistent. The Basecamp app has been in the App Store for YEARS offering access to a subscription bought elsewhere. The store is FULL of apps doing just that. Even other email apps! A few examples we compiled: pic.twitter.com/MYC1KF1Xfr
— DHH (@dhh) June 16, 2020
Heinemeier Hansson says that he was very conscious of the potential repurcussions of his public outcry towards Apple’s actions, saying that the app is very dependent on Apple and the company knows it. He also says he has heard from many other developers who are too afraid to speak up publicly against the company’s App Store policies.
“If we can’t have Hey on iOS, we’re nowhere. We have to be on the biggest platform in this segment, and Apple knows that … You listen to some of these app developers, and they sound like hostages. They sound like they’re reading a prepared statement, because otherwise Apple could hurt their business. Which is true!”
Heinemeier Hansson says that he will sooner “burn this house down myself, before I let gangsters like that spin it for spoils.”
“There is never in a million years a way that I am paying Apple a third of our revenues. That is obscene, and it’s criminal, and I will spend every dollar that we have or ever make to burn this down until we get to somewhere better.”
Hey Email is still available on the App Store. The company is still working through a waiting list of those interested in the app. For those who choose to subscribe, the service costs $99 a year.