Why Apple allowed BlueMail back into their Mac App Store

Eight months after it was removed, BlueMail is back in Apple’s Mac App Store.

Mariella Moon for Engadget:

The email app’s creators sued the tech giant last year after it launched the “Sign in with Apple” feature, which lets you sign into apps and websites with your Apple ID to protect your information. BlueMail’s developer, Blix, claimed the feature violates its 2017 “Share Email” patent that its app uses. In addition, BlueMail disappeared from the App Store shortly after the “Sign in with Apple” feature was announced. Now, the app is available for download again…

Bilx’s statement, verbatim:

App Store outage: image: Apple App Store on Apple devices
Apple’s App Store
Blix Inc., a leading provider of messaging solutions to consumers and businesses around the world, today announces that its product, BlueMail, has been restored to the Mac App Store following an eight month battle with the world’s largest technology company that spilled over from the courts into the public conversation.

Apple had shown little willingness to resolve the issue, providing shifting explanations as to why the app was removed from the app store and why it could not be restored. On February 6, Blix submitted an updated version of BlueMail. Although this update did not address many of the unjustified shifting explanations Apple provided over the last eight months, including notarization and hardened runtime, it was quickly approved, demonstrating the effectiveness of public pressure.

With BlueMail restored, Blix has no intention of dropping its legal case against Apple, which extends beyond the removal of BlueMail on the Mac App Store to the suppression of its iOS app and the infringement of Blix’s patented technology through “Sign in with Apple.”

“We’re happy that users can once again get BlueMail through the Mac App Store, but we know this isn’t the end. Our experience has shown that until the app review process includes effective checks and balances, Apple holds too much power over small developers.” said Ben Volach, co-founder at Blix. “One solution could be to include external independent members and observers in Apple’s App Review Board, just as a public company’s Board of Directors represents its shareholders.”

“When we wrote to Tim Cook in November, we heard back in hours. When we wrote to Apple’s developer community, BlueMail was back on the App Store within a week,” said Dan Volach, co-founder at Blix. “If you’re out there too scared to come forward, let this be your proof that speaking out works. To Apple, we want to reiterate that all we want for developers is an opportunity to be treated fairly.”

Ben and Dan Volach will also continue to drive the initiative to rally small developers.

MacDailyNews Take: If you follow Apple’s App Store guidelines, your app will be included in the App Store. No histrionic calls for “revolt” or baseless lawsuits required.


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