Apple has removed popular API documentation browser Dash from the App Store, claiming that an account linked to the app’s parent company Kapeli engaged in App Store review manipulation. In a statement to The Loop, Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr said almost 1,000 fraudulent reviews were discovered across the 2 accounts and 25 apps associated with Kapeli. Who posted the reviews and which apps received those reviews is still unclear. “Warning was given in advance of the termination and attempts were made to resolve the issue with the developer but they were unsuccessful,” Neumayr said. “We will terminate developer accounts for ratings and review fraud, including actions designed to hurt other developers.”
Bogdan Popescu, the sole developer behind Kapeli, tells a very different story. In a blog post, Popescu claims his account was terminated after he requested to migrate the account from an individual one to a company one. After contacting Apple, he was informed that fraudulent activity linked had resulted in the termination. While Neumayr contends that Apple had been communicating its concerns over the fraudulent reviews posted in the App Store for two years, Popescu said he heard nothing about it until after his account was terminated. Popescu claims that 3-4 years ago he helped a relative get started by paying for her Developer Program membership with his credit card and giving her some of his test devices, which linked the accounts as far as Apple was concerned. In a phone call with an Apple representative speaking on behalf of Phil Schiller, Popescu said he has no control over that second account and shouldn’t be held accountable for the behavior of a person not officially affiliated with his company. Apple requested that Popescu submit a blog post that explains he’s working with Apple to resolve the issue and absolves Apple of making a mistake in its decision to terminate the account. Popescu said he has submitted that post and is still waiting for approval, and that Apple’s public statement coming after that call blindsided him. As of now Dash is still not available in the App Store, but can still be downloaded for macOS as a direct download.