The Phoneys sticker app for iMessage has landed its creator in a serious conundrum after Apple called him with demands that he change it or face its removal from the iMessage app store. In a post on Medium, Adam Howell explains he built the sticker pack—which allows users to paste a convincing-looking iMessage bubble over a friend’s message to make it look like they said something they didn’t—with every expectation that it wouldn’t make it through the approval process. Once it did, people took notice, and with a little publicity, it shot to the top of the Top Paid list on the iMessage store.
That’s when Howell got a call from Apple informing him that they weren’t happy Phoneys had made it through their new streamlined approval process. The representative demanded changes to the stickers — that they be made colors other than blue or green, such as the bubbles displayed in iMessage, and that they use a font other than San Francisco to ensure no one mistakes the stickers for actual Messages. Howell has been given a week to make the alterations, but is publicly debating whether the app can even survive after the changes, since they would completely undermine the intended purpose of the stickers.