William C. Gustafson, developer of the app Amphetamine was told by Apple that his app violated App Store guidelines. He was given a time of two weeks to remove all references to the word ‘amphetamine’ and remove the pill image from the icon, although the app has been in the App Store since 2014, and has nothing to do with drug use; it’s been merely designed to prevent Macs from going into sleep mode.
Apple further warned Gustafson that if he didn’t comply with the order, the company would remove Amphetamine from the App Store on January 12th. Gustafson revealed that the violation email he received from Apple was sudden and unexpected.
Apple, however, soon took back its decision, assuring Gustafson that Amphetamine can stay on the App Store. Since he couldn’t understand how the app got flagged in the first place, he questioned the company about it, asking if it was a result of complaints from customers. The Apple representative responded to that saying ‘’I don’t think so’’.
Just got off a call with @Apple. Appeal accepted and Amphetamine will remain on the @AppStore. Thank you all for your comments, opinions, and action. We may not all agree, but I am happy we all still have the freedom to express ourselves today. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PV7eB9aUfn— William C. Gustafson (@x74353) January 2, 2021
It was revealed that Apple had an issue with the app’s name and icon as it seemed to be “promoting inappropriate use of controlled substances or pills.” Gustafson, however, said that until now, he had never received any objection over Amphetamine’s name or icon ever since the app was launched, despite multiple interactions with Apple employees for updates to the app.
The App Store guideline that, according to Apple, Amphetamine particularly violated is as follows:
“Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco or vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies) isn’t allowed.”
Gustafson clarified that his app is not involved in any of the things mentioned in the guideline. He further added that changing the name of the app would have ruined its brand recognition by making it difficult for users to find future updates of the app.