Apple pulls Box Office app, Nullriver responds to NetShare removal

Apple has pulled another application, Box Office, from its App Store, while Nullriver has posted a statement regarding the removal of its NetShare application. Box Office, a popular movie listing search and browsing application, was removed from the store over the weekend with no explanation from Apple. In a posting on the Mac Rumors forums, the developer of the application said, “Apple pulled the app yesterday without giving my any notification that they were doing it, or what their justification was for removing it. I’ve tried to contact them about the issue, but it’s been a complete dead end. If anyone has a useful contact number for apple, please let me know. I’m in regular contact with all my data providers, and none of them have had an issue with my app. Indeed, the response was the exact opposite. They like my app and have even asked if i would do custom application work for them in the future. Furthermore, all the data i use is licensed by the owners as ‘free for non commercial use’. i.e. precisely what BoxOffice is.”

In a related development, Nullriver Software, developers of the NetShare iPhone tethering application that was posted to and then removed from the App Store multiple times last week, posted the following statement on their website regarding the app: “We’re not quite sure why Apple took down the NetShare application yet, we’ve received no communication from Apple thus far. NetShare did not violate any of the Developer or App Store agreements. We’re hoping we’ll get some feedback from Apple today. Sorry to all the folks that couldn’t get it in time. We’ll do our best to try to get the application back onto the App Store if at all possible. At the very least, we hope Apple will allow it to be used in countries where the provider does permit tethering.”

  1. The sad thing about this is that you will get some Apple apologists coming along saying that this is the right way to treat people. To pull their apps without a word. Apple is becoming more and more Microsoft daily.

  2. First of all, the Box Office app is great, and if Apple is going to get in the business of yanking apps after they’ve been made available, it would be prudent of the company to at least provide some sort of explanation within the confines of the withdrawn application’s page on the iTunes Store.

    Secondly, I think it is now fair to say that the iPhone 3G/iPhone 2.0 launch has represented a sophomore slump for the company. The supply shortages, the activation disasters, the laggy and buggy software, the App Store drama…all of it suggests to me that Apple desperately needs to wow its sworn friends and even its enemies with the presentation of the next slew of iPods, because this has been a launch worth forgetting.

  3. I agree that Apple needs to provide explanation as to why it pulls an app. If some rule has been violated, then say so. If someone has complained of copyright infringement, then say so. How else can the developer community learn what they need to avoid submitting?

    On a positive note, at least Apple cannot lock up the developer at Guantanamo indefinitely without explanation.

  4. When I downloaded Box Office, I could not for the life of me get it to work. It could never find a theatre within any miles (I live in the center of at least 5 within less than 10 miles), nor could it ever find any movie playing. Maybe they pulled it because of complaints that it didn’t work at all.

  5. I agree with Flippy Hambone that Apple owes an explanation for those applications pulled from the store. That just makes good customer service sense.
    But to call the launch of the 3G a “sophomore slump” when the iPhone sold out in the first weekend is ridiculous. How can a company sell completely out of a product and be in a slump?

  6. downloaded the application a couple of weeks ago, and absolutely loved it. Does this mean if I have it already I lose it? This doesn’t make me happy.

  7. I love Box Office. I have never had one problem with it. I also agree Apple needs to explain to the public and the developer why the app was pulled.

  8. Box Office has repeatedly crashed my iPhone – causing it to spontaneously restart.

    Perhaps this behavior caused Apple to pull it. After all, you shouldn’t crash the iPhone.

    Perhaps Box Office did something outside the programming limits that Apple imposed to cause the iPhone to crash so frequently.

  9. I would assume the BoxOffice App was removed because it incorporates the ratings from the (RT) website. If the App author did not receive permission from RT to use those ratings, I would think they would be infringing on RT’s copyrights.

    A complaint lodged directly from RT to Apple would result in the App being pulled, without any notification to the BoxOffice provider.

  10. Does anyone have a link for the developer agreements that you have to abide by when creating an app? I am just getting into it.


  11. 1. Per the author, all the suppliers of data did not have any problems.

    2. Version 1.1 may have had some issues but version 1.2 has been stable.

    3. Other movie apps use similar data look-ups and they still exist. Hopefully just a snafu that gets fixed but this is bad because Boxoffice is one of the most popular apps out there.

  12. As Apple is exposed to liability by the Apps in the AppStore, it’s not at all a surprise that they pull first, ask questions later. I imagine some rights holder complained, about some app, and Apple pulled the app to investigate the claim. I would hope some communication is forthcoming.

    Sort of like what eBay and Youtube have to do.

  13. Here is a thought for Apple, how about testing some of these apps that are supposed to be certifying. Or better yet spend some time fixing the crappy iPhone 2.0 software that costantly crashing.

    No app quitting should brick a phone! It happened to me 22 times on my Iphone 3G, and already twice in two days after I got Apple to replace my iPhone 3G! I am not alone, just check out the brick stories on Apple’s own discussion forums, there are hundreds of them.

    Taking down apps without explanation is not good business or good to users. The Apple apologists, fanboys, and fan sites do more harm than good when the bite their tongue and stay silent when Apple either does something wrong or puts out a crappy software release! Who are they protecting, not users, not switchers, not even themselves. Apple needs to be told point blank when something is wrong ir does not work!

  14. RNB, I realize that you fancy yourself an Apple fan, and believe me, I like their products as well. I have had multiple iPods and iPhones in my household, so please dispense with the “ridiculous” comments simply because I dare to label the iPhone 3G launch as a “sophomore slump.”

    Had you read my comment carefully–or, rather, read it at all–you would have noticed that I used this description because, irrespective of sales, there have been multiple troublesome issues associated with the first four weeks of the new iPhone hardware and software. If anything is ridiculous, it’s the assertion that great sales routinely equal great success.

  15. What annoys me is that once the app is pulled from the Store, it stops working on your iPhone. If I downloaded it, let me keep it, what’s the big deal?

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